One is one … or is it? Counting, units, and the (relative) value of the concept of one

Interaction involves relationships, and relationships involve the ways in which things are connected to each other. It all begins with the individual thing or unit of one. One is, by definition, the smallest whole number. So it may feel like a very simple idea. Yet when we question this idea, we find that the concept of one actually has more than one meaning. In his TED-Ed video, Christopher Danielson explored the versatility and usefulness of “the many meanings of one”. At the same time, he provided an insightful glimpse at the complex cognitive processes necessary to understand what one really is.

One bag of apples, one apple, one slice of apple — which of these is one unit? Explore the basic unit of math (explained by a trip to the grocery store!) and discover the many meanings of one.

One is one…or is it? | Christopher Danielson • TED-Ed