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Talking about numbers


Felka, Katharina (2016). Talking about numbers. Frankfurt: Klostermann.

Abstract

For thousands of years philosophers have discussed the question of whether numbers exist. Surprisingly, there are very easy arguments from commonly accepted truths that seem to decide the question. For instance, it is a commonly accepted truth that Obama has two hands. If Obama has two hands, then the number of Obama’s hands is two, and, thus, numbers exist. If such arguments were convincing, ontological disputes about the existence of numbers could be decided simply by pointing to Obama’s hands! The book offers a defense of the profoundness of traditional onto­logical questions by showing that the easy arguments in question are based on false linguistic assumptions. To do so it engages with recent linguistic research and develops analyses of the pertinent sentences that are of interest far beyond the metaontological question at hand.

Abstract

For thousands of years philosophers have discussed the question of whether numbers exist. Surprisingly, there are very easy arguments from commonly accepted truths that seem to decide the question. For instance, it is a commonly accepted truth that Obama has two hands. If Obama has two hands, then the number of Obama’s hands is two, and, thus, numbers exist. If such arguments were convincing, ontological disputes about the existence of numbers could be decided simply by pointing to Obama’s hands! The book offers a defense of the profoundness of traditional onto­logical questions by showing that the easy arguments in question are based on false linguistic assumptions. To do so it engages with recent linguistic research and develops analyses of the pertinent sentences that are of interest far beyond the metaontological question at hand.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Easy arguments for mathematical realism
Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:German
Date:2016
Deposited On:21 Feb 2017 11:28
Last Modified:30 Aug 2017 07:14
Publisher:Klostermann
Series Name:Studies in Theoretical Philosophy
Volume:3
Number of Pages:188
ISBN:978-3-465-03879-5
Official URL:http://www.klostermann.de/Felka-Katharina-Talking-About-Number

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