Is Hume's Principle Analytic?

Crispin Wright

in The Reason's Proper Study

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780198236399
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597565 | DOI:
Is Hume's Principle Analytic?

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This paper is a reply to George Boolos's three papers (Boolos (1987a, 1987b, 1990a)) concerned with the status of Hume's Principle. Five independent worries of Boolos concerning the status of Hume's Principle as an analytic truth are identified and discussed. Firstly, the ontogical concern about the commitments of Hume's Principle. Secondly, whether Hume's Principle is in fact consistent and whether the commitment to the universal number by adopting Hume's Principle might be problematic. Also the so‐called ‘surplus content’ worry is discussed, which points out that the conceptual resources to grasp Hume's Principle vastly outstrip the conceptual resources employed in arithmetical reasoning. And lastly whether Hume's Principle is in bad company with other unsuccessful implicit definitions. In the last section, an account towards our entitlement to Hume’ Principle is sketched.

Keywords: analyticity; Anti‐Zero; Boolos; Frege; Hume's Principle

Chapter.  13331 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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