David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 170 (3):349 - 369 (2009)
A number of formal constraints on acceptable abstraction principles have been proposed, including conservativeness and irenicity. Hume’s Principle, of course, satisfies these constraints. Here, variants of Hume’s Principle that allow us to count concepts instead of objects are examined. It is argued that, prima facie, these principles ought to be no more problematic than HP itself. But, as is shown here, these principles only enjoy the formal properties that have been suggested as indicative of acceptability if certain constraints on the size of the continuum hold. As a result, whether or not these higher-order versions of Hume’s Principle are acceptable seems to be independent of standard (ZFC) set theory. This places the abstractionist in an uncomfortable dilemma: Either there is some inherent difference between counting objects and counting concepts, or new criteria for acceptability will need to be found. It is argued that neither horn looks promising.
|Keywords||Frege Neo-logicism Abstraction Arithmetic Higher-order logic Bad company objection|
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References found in this work BETA
Stewart Shapiro (1991). Foundations Without Foundationalism: A Case for Second-Order Logic. Oxford University Press.
Kit Fine (2002). The Limits of Abstraction. Oxford University Press.
George Boolos (1984). To Be is to Be a Value of a Variable (or to Be Some Values of Some Variables). Journal of Philosophy 81 (8):430-449.
Agustin Rayo & Stephen Yablo (2001). Nominalism Through de-Nominalization. Noûs 35 (1):74–92.
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Citations of this work BETA
Beau Madison Mount (2015). Higher‐Order Abstraction Principles. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (4):228-236.
Matti Eklund (2009). Bad Company and Neo-Fregean Philosophy. Synthese 170 (3):393 - 414.
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