When I was in 7th grade, we used a flashy, image-rich math textbook that made such efforts to be kid-friendly that it was almost shameful; I particularly remember a section featuring a battle between King Strong and Gonzilla. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
No. But I do remember a lecture in which you held the podium and said, “some would argue that 2 + 2 = 4 is actually in this podium.” That was probably the first math lesson I ever had.
I have no recollection of saying that. What on earth was the context?
Oh man, I don’t know. It may have been Platonic forms in the world — instead of demarcated into some celestial world. You introduced that idea several times — in several different ways. What’s funny is that it took me several years of labor in the service industry to see what you meant.
I can remember talking about the idea that colour is right there in the lectern where it appears. And I can remember talking about the idea that the Fregean third realm is all around us. And I can remember talking about Aristotle’s idea that mathematics deals with the same objects as physics, only in a more abstract way. But I can’t remember talking about 2 + 2 = 4 being in the lectern….
Maybe it was in the context of Zeno’s paradox. And you might have been talking about Aristotle’s claim that — conceptually — you can slice an object smaller and smaller forever. So maybe it was prefaced with “from a conceptual perspective,” or something like that.
But, if the third realm is everywhere, and the rules of mathematics sort-of live in or substantiate that realm, then is it wrong to talk about 2 + 2 = 4 being in the lectern?
I remember that too, I believe one instance at least can be found somewhere in the “Foundations of Libertarian Ethics” series of lectures on Mises.org. Also somewhere in there is the comment that running into a burning building to save a person is noble, but running into a burning building to save a ham sandwich is not.
What if the ham sandwich is a live pig with mustard and bread on its back and belly?
Well, I remember the ham sandwich example; I often use it in teaching Plato’s Laches or Aristotle’s Ethics.
We might call this “Roderick’s Principle of Textbook Design”: If students can’t read your book without laughing out loud at its patent absurdity, then you’re doing it wrong.