The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?

In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Abstractionism: Essays in Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press. pp. 113-129 (2016)
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The question whether numbers are objects is a central question in the philosophy of mathematics. Frege made use of a syntactic criterion for objethood: numbers are objects because there are singular terms that stand for them, and not just singular terms in some formal language, but in natural language in particular. In particular, Frege (1884) thought that both noun phrases like the number of planets and simple numerals like eight as in (1) are singular terms referring to numbers as abstract objects
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