Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic

Cardinality, Counting, and Equinumerosity

Richard G. Heck


Frege, famously, held that there is a close connection between our concept of cardinal number and the notion of one-one correspondence, a connection enshrined in Hume's Principle. Husserl, and later Parsons, objected that there is no such close connection, that our most primitive conception of cardinality arises from our grasp of the practice of counting. Some empirical work on children's development of a concept of number has sometimes been thought to point in the same direction. I argue, however, that Frege was close to right, that our concept of cardinal number is closely connected with a notion like that of one-one correspondence, a more primitive notion we might call just as many.

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Notre Dame J. Formal Logic Volume 41, Number 3 (2000), 187-209.

First available in Project Euclid: 26 November 2002

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 03A05: Philosophical and critical {For philosophy of mathematics, see also 00A30}

Frege logicism counting arithmetic


Heck, Richard G. Cardinality, Counting, and Equinumerosity. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 41 (2000), no. 3, 187--209. doi:10.1305/ndjfl/1038336841.

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