Frege-Russell numbers: Analysis or explication?

Abstract
For both Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, providing a philosophical account of the concept of number was a central goal, pursued along similar logicist lines. In the present paper, I want to focus on a particular aspect of their accounts: their definitions, or reconstructions, of the natural numbers as equivalence classes of equinumerous classes. In other words, I want to examine what is often called the "Frege-Russell conception of the natural numbers" or, more briefly, the Frege-Russell numbers. My main concern will be to determine the precise sense in which this conception was, or could be, meant to constitute an analysis.1 I will be mostly concerned with Frege’s views on the matter; but Russell will come up along the way, for illustration and comparison, as will some recent neo-Fregean proposals and results. The structure of the paper is as follows: In the first section, I sketch Frege's general approach. Next, I differentiate several kinds, or modes, of analysis, as further background. In the third section, I zero in on the equivalence class construction, raising the question of why it might, from a Fregean point of view, be seen as 'the right' construction, thus as an analysis in a strong sense. In the fourth section, I provide a contrasting, more conventionalist view of the matter, often associated with the Carnapian notion of explication, and expressed in some remarks by Russell. I then discuss the motivation for the Frege-Russell numbers in more depth. In the sixth section, I introduce a neo-Fregean alternative, to be examined along similar lines. Finally, I reflect further on the significance of the kinds of arguments available in this connection.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,768
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

30 ( #57,138 of 1,098,986 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #114,795 of 1,098,986 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.