FOM: Frege hath said it (logical priority)

Dean Buckner Dean.Buckner at
Thu Mar 7 17:25:46 EST 2002

Argument: a discussion in which reasons are put forward in support of a
proposition.  One such reason can be "Aristotle hath said it" (and who
argued that?)

Here is my argument again.

1.  Children from an early age (before 2) grasp the concept of "other"
(here's one foot, point to the other)
2.  For there to be one thing and for there to be another thing, is for
there to be two things.
3.  To grasp that there is one thing & another thing, is to grasp there are
two things (even though can't grasp how to use the word "two")
4.  (so) Children under the age of two can grasp something like the concept
of number
5.  But can they grasp Hume's principle?  this is to understand not only the
concept of "same number", but to grasp a particular condition attached to
there being the same number

I can see plenty of things to challenge in this, so please challenge it.  No
more Aristotle, no more Frege.  They would not approve.

(What Aristototle actually said was that there is a difference between what
is logically prior, and what is prior "for man".  He went on to say is that
what is prior "for man" is what is particular, i.e. sense knowledge.  "The
universal causes are furthest from sense and particular causes are nearest
to sense" (72a3).  I have no quarrel with this, indeed I argued for it in my
earlier postings on UI (qv).   He did not mean priority in age!  See also I
Physica 5 189a 5 , III De Anima c7 n5 431b 2.

The proposition I will argue (I won't speak for Heck) is that we can learn
from children.  If they can grasp the concept of number (or something like
it) without grasping A, B, C &c, then A B C is not essential to the concept
of number.)

There seems an extraordinary resistance in this group to discussing
connections between meaning and number.  Maybe that's because my arguments
seem incoherent?  But then, please say.

Dean Buckner

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