Single Idea 9838

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / l. Zero]

Full Idea

Frege's point was that by treating 0 as a number, we run into none of the antinomies that result from treating 'never' as the name of a time, or 'nobody' as the name of a person.

Gist of Idea

Treating 0 as a number avoids antinomies involving treating 'nobody' as a person


report of Gottlob Frege (Grundlagen der Arithmetik (Foundations) [1884]) by Michael Dummett - Frege philosophy of mathematics Ch.8

Book Reference

Dummett,Michael: 'Frege: philosophy of mathematics' [Duckworth 1991], p.96

A Reaction

I don't think that is a good enough reason. Daft problems like that are solved by settling the underlying proposition or logical form (of a sentence containing 'nobody') before one begins to reason. Other antinomies arise with zero.