David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 31 (3):307-336 (1997)
We examine the arguments on both sides of the recent debate (Hale and Wright v. Field) on the existence, and modal status, of the natural numbers. We formulate precisely, with proper attention to denotational commitments, the analytic conditionals that link talk of numbers with talk of numerosity and with counting. These provide conceptual controls on the concept of number. We argue, against Field, that there is a serious disanalogy between the existence of God and the existence of numbers. We give stronger reasons than those advanced by Wright for resisting Field's analogy. We argue that the rules governing the basic numerical notions commit us to the natural numbers as necessary existents. We also show that the latest twist in the debate involving 'surdons' leaves both sides in a stalemate
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Citations of this work BETA
Berit Brogaard (2007). Number Words and Ontological Commitment. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):1–20.
Jessica Carter (2008). Categories for the Working Mathematician: Making the Impossible Possible. Synthese 162 (1):1 - 13.
Julian C. Cole (2009). Creativity, Freedom, and Authority: A New Perspective On the Metaphysics of Mathematics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):589-608.
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