Chapter

Counting Objects

Terence Parsons

in Indeterminate Identity

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250449
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681301 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250449.003.0008
Counting Objects

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If counting objects in the face of indeterminacy, one sometimes gets no determinate answer. This is due to indeterminacy of predication, producing indeterminacy regarding which objects are supposed to be counted, or indeterminacy of identity, producing indeterminacy regarding whether an object has already been counted. After giving formulas for making cardinality claims, the chapter shows how to get them ‘right’. For instance, in the ship case it is true that there are at least two ships, false that there are more than three, and indeterminate whether there are exactly two or three. Sometimes a question can be formulated in two ways: either austerely, or with a determinacy connective added. These formulations correspond to two natural ‘right’ answers.

Keywords: counting; cardinality claims; ship puzzle; variant analyses; super-resolutional readings

Chapter.  4649 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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