The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:|
as the roots of three or five, showing that they are incommensurable by the
unit: he selected other examples up to seventeen --there he stopped. Now
as there are innumerable roots, the notion occurred to us of attempting to
include them all under one name or class.
SOCRATES: And did you find such a class?
THEAETETUS: I think that we did; but I should like to have your opinion.
SOCRATES: Let me hear.
THEAETETUS: We divided all numbers into two classes: those which are made
up of equal factors multiplying into one another, which we compared to
square figures and called square or equilateral numbers;--that was one