5

2

We know that these can all be considered as knowledges:

- 1 + 1 = 2
- free delivery for purchases over $100
- there are approximately 100 people in this village
- Alice is dating Bob
- universe is probably started by a big bang

Mathematical knowledge tends to be very "exact", and we rely on them to be just that. What is the nature of the difference between a mathematical knowledge, for example, 1 + 1 = 2, and a more general knowledge, suppose, Alice is dating Bob or universe started by big bang? Or do these knowledge all have something in common?

4Mathemathics is an ideal abstraction. It is in some sense discussible how real it is. :-) But it's based on perfect abstractions and can therefore reach a sort of perfect knowledge that things dealing with the real world can't reach. Because although 100*2000 = 2 000 000 in maths, if you take 2000 piles of hundred apples, a whole lot of them will be squished, so you end up with less than 2 million apples. The real world are often not quite as perfect and self-evident as maths is, so we are less sure of it. – Lennart Regebro – 2011-06-19T08:58:44.133

@LennartRegebro I may need to use that example. That's a really elegant way to capture that distinction! – Cort Ammon – 2015-09-03T14:45:15.573