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AbstractionismEssays in Philosophy of Mathematics$
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Philip A Ebert and Marcus Rossberg

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645268.001.0001

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The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?

The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?

6 (p.113) The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?

Friederike Moltmann

Oxford University Press

The common view, at least since Frege, is that terms like ‘the number of planets’ refer to numbers as abstract objects. On the basis of a range of linguistic evidence, I will argue that this view is mistaken. Instead I will argue that ‘the number of planets’ refers to a number trope, the instantiation of the property of being eight in the plurality of the planets.

Keywords:   numbers, abstract objects, tropes, specificational sentences, Frege, pluralities, plural reference, plural properties, numerals, Hofweber

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