Results for 'numbers'

999 found
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  1. The Number Sense Represents (Rational) Numbers.Sam Clarke & Jacob Beck - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-57.
    On a now orthodox view, humans and many other animals possess a “number sense,” or approximate number system, that represents number. Recently, this orthodox view has been subject to numerous critiques that question whether the ANS genuinely represents number. We distinguish three lines of critique – the arguments from congruency, confounds, and imprecision – and show that none succeed. We then provide positive reasons to think that the ANS genuinely represents numbers, and not just non-numerical confounds or exotic substitutes (...)
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  2. Number Words as Number Names.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (4):331-345.
    This paper criticizes the view that number words in argument position retain the meaning they have on an adjectival or determiner use, as argued by Hofweber :179–225, 2005) and Moltmann :499–534, 2013a, 2013b). In particular the paper re-evaluates syntactic evidence from German given in Moltmann to that effect.
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  3. Of Numbers and Electrons.Cian Dorr - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):133-181.
    According to a tradition stemming from Quine and Putnam, we have the same broadly inductive reason for believing in numbers as we have for believing in electrons: certain theories that entail that there are numbers are better, qua explanations of our evidence, than any theories that do not. This paper investigates how modal theories of the form ‘Possibly, the concrete world is just as it in fact is and T’ and ‘Necessarily, if standard mathematics is true and the (...)
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  4. Number Words and Ontological Commitment.Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):1–20.
    With the aid of some results from current linguistic theory I examine a recent anti-Fregean line with respect to hybrid talk of numbers and ordinary things, such as ‘the number of moons of Jupiter is four’. I conclude that the anti-Fregean line with respect to these sentences is indefensible.
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  5. The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?Friederike Moltmann - 2016 - In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Abstractionism: Essays in Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press. pp. 113-129.
    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 (...) as abstract objects. (shrink)
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  6. Reference to Numbers in Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):499 - 536.
    A common view is that natural language treats numbers as abstract objects, with expressions like the number of planets, eight, as well as the number eight acting as referential terms referring to numbers. In this paper I will argue that this view about reference to numbers in natural language is fundamentally mistaken. A more thorough look at natural language reveals a very different view of the ontological status of natural numbers. On this view, numbers are (...)
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  7. Number and Natural Language.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 2005 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. pp. 1--216.
    One of the most important abilities we have as humans is the ability to think about number. In this chapter, we examine the question of whether there is an essential connection between language and number. We provide a careful examination of two prominent theories according to which concepts of the positive integers are dependent on language. The first of these claims that language creates the positive integers on the basis of an innate capacity to represent real numbers. The second (...)
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  8. Numbers and Functions in Hilbert's Finitism.Richard Zach - 1998 - Taiwanese Journal for History and Philosophy of Science 10:33-60.
    David Hilbert's finitistic standpoint is a conception of elementary number theory designed to answer the intuitionist doubts regarding the security and certainty of mathematics. Hilbert was unfortunately not exact in delineating what that viewpoint was, and Hilbert himself changed his usage of the term through the 1920s and 30s. The purpose of this paper is to outline what the main problems are in understanding Hilbert and Bernays on this issue, based on some publications by them which have so far received (...)
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  9.  99
    Real Numbers Are the Hidden Variables of Classical Mechanics.Nicolas Gisin - 2020 - Quantum Studies: Mathematics and Foundations 7:197–201.
    Do scientific theories limit human knowledge? In other words, are there physical variables hidden by essence forever? We argue for negative answers and illustrate our point on chaotic classical dynamical systems. We emphasize parallels with quantum theory and conclude that the common real numbers are, de facto, the hidden variables of classical physics. Consequently, real numbers should not be considered as ``physically real" and classical mechanics, like quantum physics, is indeterministic.
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  10.  80
    The Existence of Numbers (Or: What is the Status of Arithmetic?).Andrew Boucher - manuscript
    I begin with a personal confession. Philosophical discussions of existence have always bored me. When they occur, my eyes glaze over and my attention falters. Basically ontological questions often seem best decided by banging on the table--rocks exist, fairies do not. Argument can appear long-winded and miss the point. Sometimes a quick distinction resolves any apparent difficulty. Does a falling tree in an earless forest make noise, ie does the noise exist? Well, if noise means that an ear must be (...)
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  11. Numbers and Propositions: Reply to Melia.Tim Crane - 1992 - Analysis 52 (4):253-256.
    Is the way we use propositions to individuate beliefs and other intentional states analogous to the way we use numbers to measure weights and other physical magnitudes? In an earlier paper [2], I argued that there is an important disanalogy. One and the same weight can be 'related to' different numbers under different units of measurement. Moreover, the choice of a unit of measurement is arbitrary,in the sense that which way we choose doesn't affect the weight attributed to (...)
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  12. Why Numbers Are Sets.Eric Steinhart - 2002 - Synthese 133 (3):343-361.
    I follow standard mathematical practice and theory to argue that the natural numbers are the finite von Neumann ordinals. I present the reasons standardly given for identifying the natural numbers with the finite von Neumann's. I give a detailed mathematical demonstration that 0 is {} and for every natural number n, n is the set of all natural numbers less than n. Natural numbers are sets. They are the finite von Neumann ordinals.
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  13. Fair Numbers: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About the Underrepresentation of Women in Philosophy.Yann Benétreau-Dupin & Guillaume Beaulac - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:59-81.
    The low representation (< 30%) of women in philosophy in English-speaking countries has generated much discussion, both in academic circles and the public sphere. It is sometimes suggested (Haslanger 2009) that unconscious biases, acting at every level in the field, may be grounded in gendered schemas of philosophers and in the discipline more widely, and that actions to make philosophy a more welcoming place for women should address such schemas. However, existing data are too limited to fully warrant such an (...)
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  14. Rational Numbers: A Non‐Consequentialist Explanation Of Why You Should Save The Many And Not The Few.Tom Dougherty - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):413-427.
    You ought to save a larger group of people rather than a distinct smaller group of people, all else equal. A consequentialist may say that you ought to do so because this produces the most good. If a non-consequentialist rejects this explanation, what alternative can he or she give? This essay defends the following explanation, as a solution to the so-called numbers problem. Its two parts can be roughly summarised as follows. First, you are morally required to want the (...)
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  15. Why the Numbers Should Sometimes Count.John T. Sanders - 1988 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (1):3-14.
    John Taurek has argued that, where choices must be made between alternatives that affect different numbers of people, the numbers are not, by themselves, morally relevant. This is because we "must" take "losses-to" the persons into account (and these don't sum), but "must not" consider "losses-of" persons (because we must not treat persons like objects). I argue that the numbers are always ethically relevant, and that they may sometimes be the decisive consideration.
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  16. Incomparable Numbers.Kenneth Walden - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 10.
    This chapter presents arguments for two slightly different versions of the thesis that the value of persons is incomparable. Both arguments allege an incompatibility between the demands of a certain kind of practical reasoning and the presuppositions of value comparisons. The significance of these claims is assessed in the context of the “Numbers problem”—the question of whether one morally ought to benefit one group of potential aid recipients rather than another simply because they are greater in number. It is (...)
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  17. The Small Number System.Eric Margolis - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):113-134.
    I argue that the human mind includes an innate domain-specific system for representing precise small numerical quantities. This theory contrasts with object-tracking theories and with domain-general theories that only make use of mental models. I argue that there is a good amount of evidence for innate representations of small numerical quantities and that such a domain-specific system has explanatory advantages when infants’ poor working memory is taken into account. I also show that the mental models approach requires previously unnoticed domain-specific (...)
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  18. Constructing a Concept of Number.Karenleigh Overmann - 2018 - Journal of Numerical Cognition 2 (4):464–493.
    Numbers are concepts whose content, structure, and organization are influenced by the material forms used to represent and manipulate them. Indeed, as argued here, it is the inclusion of multiple forms (distributed objects, fingers, single- and two-dimensional forms like pebbles and abaci, and written notations) that is the mechanism of numerical elaboration. Further, variety in employed forms explains at least part of the synchronic and diachronic variability that exists between and within cultural number systems. Material forms also impart characteristics (...)
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  19. Infinite Numbers Are Large Finite Numbers.Jeremy Gwiazda - unknown
    In this paper, I suggest that infinite numbers are large finite numbers, and that infinite numbers, properly understood, are 1) of the structure omega + (omega* + omega)Ө + omega*, and 2) the part is smaller than the whole. I present an explanation of these claims in terms of epistemic limitations. I then consider the importance, part of which is demonstrating the contradiction that lies at the heart of Cantorian set theory: the natural numbers are too (...)
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  20. Intuitions About Large Number Cases.Theron Pummer - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):37-46.
    Is there some large number of very mild hangnail pains, each experienced by a separate person, which would be worse than two years of excruciating torture, experienced by a single person? Many people have the intuition that the answer to this question is No. However, a host of philosophers have argued that, because we have no intuitive grasp of very large numbers, we should not trust such intuitions. I argue that there is decent intuitive support for the No answer, (...)
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  21. Show Me the Numbers: A Quantitative Portrait of the Attitudes, Experiences, and Values of Philosophers of Science Regarding Broadly Engaged Work.Kathryn Plaisance, Alexander V. Graham, John McLevey & Jay Michaud - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4603-4633.
    Philosophers of science are increasingly arguing for the importance of doing scientifically- and socially-engaged work, suggesting that we need to reduce barriers to extra-disciplinary engagement and broaden our impact. Yet, we currently lack empirical data to inform these discussions, leaving a number of important questions unanswered. How common is it for philosophers of science to engage other communities, and in what ways are they engaging? What barriers are most prevalent when it comes to broadly disseminating one’s work or collaborating with (...)
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  22. Log or Linear? Distinct Intuitions of the Number Scale in Western and Amazonian Indigene Cultures.Pierre Pica, Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Véronique Izard - 2008 - Science 320 (5880):1217-1220.
    The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic (...) and logarithmic mapping when numbers were presented nonsymbolically under conditions that discouraged counting. This indicates that the mapping of numbers onto space is a universal intuition and that this initial intuition of number is logarithmic. The concept of a linear number line appears to be a cultural invention that fails to develop in the absence of formal education. (shrink)
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  23. African Numbers Games and Gambler Motivation: 'Fahfee' in Contemporary South African.Stephen Louw - 2018 - African Affairs 117 (466):109-129.
    Since independence, at least 28 African countries have legalized some form of gambling. Yet a range of informal gambling activities have also flourished, often provoking widespread public concern about the negative social and economic impact of unregulated gambling on poor communities. This article addresses an illegal South African numbers game called fahfee. Drawing on interviews with players, operators, and regulatory officials, this article explores two aspects of this game. First, it explores the lives of both players and runners, as (...)
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  24.  58
    The Number of Bricks in a Ziggurat.Ben Blumson & Jarinah Jabbar - 2020 - Mathematics Magazine 93 (3):226-227.
    The number of bricks in a ziggurat is a sum of consecutive squares.
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  25. Numbers and Manifolds.Peter Simons - 1982 - In Barry Smith (ed.), Parts and Moments. Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology. Munich: Philosophia. pp. 160-197.
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  26.  59
    Number, Language, and Mathematics.Joosoak Kim - manuscript
    Number is a major object in mathematics. Mathematics is a discipline which studies the properties of a number. The object is expressible by mathematical language, which has been devised more rigorously than natural language. However, the language is not thoroughly free from natural language. Countability of natural number is also originated from natural language. It is necessary to understand how language leads a number into mathematics, its’ main playground.
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  27. Numbers, Empiricism and the A Priori.Olga Ramirez Calle - 2020 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):149-177.
    The present paper deals with the ontological status of numbers and considers Frege ́s proposal in Grundlagen upon the background of the Post-Kantian semantic turn in analytical philosophy. Through a more systematic study of his philosophical premises, it comes to unearth a first level paradox that would unset earlier still than it was exposed by Russell. It then studies an alternative path, that departin1g from Frege’s initial premises, drives to a conception of numbers as synthetic a priori in (...)
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  28.  67
    Introduction to Knowledge, Number and Reality. Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack.Nils Kürbis, Jonathan Nassim & Bahram Assadian - 2022 - In Nils Kürbis, Jonathan Nassim & Bahram Assadian (eds.), Knowledge, Number and Reality. Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1-30.
    The Introduction to "Knowledge, Number and Reality. Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack" provides an overview over Hossack's work and the contributions to the volume.
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  29. Numbers, Fairness and Charity.Adam Hosein - manuscript
    This paper discusses the "numbers problem," the problem of explaining why you should save more people rather than fewer when forced to choose. Existing non-consequentialist approaches to the problem appeal to fairness to explain why. I argue that this is a mistake and that we can give a more satisfying answer by appealing to requirements of charity or beneficence.
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  30. Numbers Without Science.Russell Marcus - 2007 - Dissertation, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
    Numbers without Science opposes the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument, seeking to undermine the argument and reduce its profound influence. Philosophers rely on indispensability to justify mathematical knowledge using only empiricist epistemology. I argue that we need an independent account of our knowledge of mathematics. The indispensability argument, in broad form, consists of two premises. The major premise alleges that we are committed to mathematical objects if science requires them. The minor premise alleges that science in fact requires mathematical objects. The (...)
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  31.  74
    The Dirac Large Number Hypothesis and a System of Evolving Fundamental Constants.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    In his [1937, 1938], Paul Dirac proposed his “Large Number Hypothesis” (LNH), as a speculative law, based upon what we will call the “Large Number Coincidences” (LNC’s), which are essentially “coincidences” in the ratios of about six large dimensionless numbers in physics. Dirac’s LNH postulates that these numerical coincidences reflect a deeper set of law-like relations, pointing to a revolutionary theory of cosmology. This led to substantial work, including the development of Dirac’s later [1969/74] cosmology, and other alternative cosmologies, (...)
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  32. Numbers Versus Nominalists.Nathan Salmon - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):177–182.
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  33. An Alleged Analogy Between Numbers and Propositions.Tim Crane - 1990 - Analysis 50 (4):224-230.
    A Commonplace of recent philosophy of mind is that intentional states are relations between thinkers and propositions. This thesis-call it the 'Relational Thesis'-does not depend on any specific theory of propositions. One can hold it whether one believes that propositions are Fregean Thoughts, ordered n-tuples of objects and properties or sets of possible worlds. An assumption that all these theories of propositions share is that propositions are abstract objects, without location in space or time...
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  34.  74
    Number and Reality: Sources of Scientific Knowledge.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - ScienceRise 23 (6):59-64.
    Pythagoras’s number doctrine had a great effect on the development of science. Number – the key to the highest reality, and such approach allowed Pythagoras to transform mathematics from craft into science, which continues implementation of its project of “digitization of being”. Pythagoras's project underwent considerable transformation, but it only means that the plan in knowledge is often far from result.
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  35. Whence the Complex Numbers?Hans Halvorson - manuscript
    A short note on why we use complex numbers in physics.
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  36. A Number of Scenes in a Badly Cut Film" : Observation in the Age of Strobe.Jimena Canales - 2011 - In Lorraine Daston & Elizabeth Lunbeck (eds.), Histories of Scientific Observation. University of Chicago Press.
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  37. Education Enhances the Acuity of the Nonverbal Approximate Number System.Manuela Piazza, Pierre Pica, Véronique Izard, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene - 2013 - Psychological Science 24 (4):p.
    All humans share a universal, evolutionarily ancient approximate number system (ANS) that estimates and combines the numbers of objects in sets with ratio-limited precision. Interindividual variability in the acuity of the ANS correlates with mathematical achievement, but the causes of this correlation have never been established. We acquired psychophysical measures of ANS acuity in child and adult members of an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucú, who have a very restricted numerical lexicon and highly variable access to mathematics (...)
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  38. Putting a Number on the Harm of Death.Joseph Millum - 2019 - In Espen Gamlund & Carl Tollef Solberg (eds.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-75.
    Donors to global health programs and policymakers within national health systems have to make difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce health care resources. Principled ways to make these decisions all make some use of summary measures of health, which provide a common measure of the value (or disvalue) of morbidity and mortality. They thereby allow comparisons between health interventions with different effects on the patterns of death and ill health within a population. The construction of a summary measure of (...)
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  39. Quantity and Number.James Franklin - 2014 - In Daniel D. Novotný & Lukáš Novák (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 221-244.
    Quantity is the first category that Aristotle lists after substance. It has extraordinary epistemological clarity: "2+2=4" is the model of a self-evident and universally known truth. Continuous quantities such as the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle are as clearly known as discrete ones. The theory that mathematics was "the science of quantity" was once the leading philosophy of mathematics. The article looks at puzzles in the classification and epistemology of quantity.
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  40. Platonism by the Numbers.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I defend traditional Platonic mathematical realism from its contemporary detractors, arguing that numbers, understood as abstract, non-physical objects of rational intuition, are indispensable for the act of counting.
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  41. On Multiverses and Infinite Numbers.Jeremy Gwiazda - 2014 - In Klaas Kraay (ed.), God and the Multiverse. Routledge. pp. 162-173.
    A multiverse is comprised of many universes, which quickly leads to the question: How many universes? There are either finitely many or infinitely many universes. The purpose of this paper is to discuss two conceptions of infinite number and their relationship to multiverses. The first conception is the standard Cantorian view. But recent work has suggested a second conception of infinite number, on which infinite numbers behave very much like finite numbers. I will argue that that this second (...)
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  42. How to Learn the Natural Numbers: Inductive Inference and the Acquisition of Number Concepts.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2008 - Cognition 106 (2):924-939.
    Theories of number concepts often suppose that the natural numbers are acquired as children learn to count and as they draw an induction based on their interpretation of the first few count words. In a bold critique of this general approach, Rips, Asmuth, Bloomfield [Rips, L., Asmuth, J. & Bloomfield, A.. Giving the boot to the bootstrap: How not to learn the natural numbers. Cognition, 101, B51–B60.] argue that such an inductive inference is consistent with a representational system (...)
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  43. Indeterminism in Physics, Classical Chaos and Bohmian Mechanics: Are Real Numbers Really Real?Nicolas Gisin - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-13.
    It is usual to identify initial conditions of classical dynamical systems with mathematical real numbers. However, almost all real numbers contain an infinite amount of information. I argue that a finite volume of space can’t contain more than a finite amount of information, hence that the mathematical real numbers are not physically relevant. Moreover, a better terminology for the so-called real numbers is “random numbers”, as their series of bits are truly random. I propose an (...)
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  44. Does the Number Sense Represent Number?Sam Clarke & Jacob Beck - 2020 - In Blair Armstrong, Stephanie Denison, Michael Mack & Yang Xu (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
    On a now orthodox view, humans and many other animals are endowed with a “number sense”, or approximate number system (ANS), that represents number. Recently, this orthodox view has been subject to numerous critiques, with critics maintaining either that numerical content is absent altogether, or else that some primitive analog of number (‘numerosity’) is represented as opposed to number itself. We distinguish three arguments for these claims – the arguments from congruency, confounds, and imprecision – and show that none succeed. (...)
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  45. On the Number of Gods.Eric Steinhart - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (2):75-83.
    A god is a cosmic designer-creator. Atheism says the number of gods is 0. But it is hard to defeat the minimal thesis that some possible universe is actualized by some possible god. Monotheists say the number of gods is 1. Yet no degree of perfection can be coherently assigned to any unique god. Lewis says the number of gods is at least the second beth number. Yet polytheists cannot defend an arbitrary plural number of gods. An alternative is that, (...)
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  46. Process Reliabilism, Prime Numbers and the Generality Problem.Frederik J. Andersen & Klemens Kappel - 2020 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):231-236.
    This paper aims to show that Selim Berker’s widely discussed prime number case is merely an instance of the well-known generality problem for process reliabilism and thus arguably not as interesting a case as one might have thought. Initially, Berker’s case is introduced and interpreted. Then the most recent response to the case from the literature is presented. Eventually, it is argued that Berker’s case is nothing but a straightforward consequence of the generality problem, i.e., the problematic aspect of the (...)
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  47. Belief Dependence: How Do the Numbers Count?Zach Barnett - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):297-319.
    This paper is about how to aggregate outside opinion. If two experts are on one side of an issue, while three experts are on the other side, what should a non-expert believe? Certainly, the non-expert should take into account more than just the numbers. But which other factors are relevant, and why? According to the view developed here, one important factor is whether the experts should have been expected, in advance, to reach the same conclusion. When the agreement of (...)
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  48. The Ontology of Number.Jeremy Horne - manuscript
    What is a number? Answering this will answer questions about its philosophical foundations - rational numbers, the complex numbers, imaginary numbers. If we are to write or talk about something, it is helpful to know whether it exists, how it exists, and why it exists, just from a common-sense point of view [Quine, 1948, p. 6]. Generally, there does not seem to be any disagreement among mathematicians, scientists, and logicians about numbers existing in some way, but (...)
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  49. Physical Possibility and Determinate Number Theory.Sharon Berry - manuscript
    It's currently fashionable to take Putnamian model theoretic worries seriously for mathematics, but not for discussions of ordinary physical objects and the sciences. But I will argue that (under certain mild assumptions) merely securing determinate reference to physical possibility suffices to rule out nonstandard models of our talk of numbers. So anyone who accepts realist reference to physical possibility should not reject reference to the standard model of the natural numbers on Putnamian model theoretic grounds.
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  50. Ethics Without Numbers.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper develops and explores a new framework for theorizing about the measurement and aggregation of well-being. It is a qualitative variation on the framework of social welfare functionals developed by Amartya Sen. In Sen’s framework, a social or overall betterness ordering is assigned to each profile of real-valued utility functions. In the qualitative framework developed here, numerical utilities are replaced by the properties they are supposed to represent. This makes it possible to characterize the measurability and interpersonal comparability of (...)
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