FOM: Alice, Bob and Carol

Manolo Martinez schiphol at
Wed Apr 10 09:52:29 EDT 2002

Hi, Dean.

I don't know if the following is of any relevance to the discussion, but just in case:

In order to analyze these two different sentences:

(1) Ive met three tap dancers
(2) Three and five are odd numbers

You need, I would say, different conceptual apparatus because you make different ontological commitments. In analyzing (1) it could very well be that you can do without the concept of number, something as you proposed, in the line of:

(3) Exist x, y and z such that  (x, y and z are tap dancers) & (x <> y, y <> z, x<>z)

This very tentative analysis is probably insufficient; as you surely need something more to be able to obtain

(4) Ive met an odd number of tap dancers

Which is clearly entailed by (1). But thats probably another story. Nevertheless, in uttering (2), I cannot see how to make profit of the similar scheme. I think that is because you are very transparently commiting to an ontology of natural numbers and in order to make clear and unambiguous sense of it, you need to go through some other kind of analysis, probably not too far from the fregean tradition.

What do you think?

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