### Single Idea 9837

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

Full Idea

Husserl contends that 0 is not a number, on the grounds that 'nought' is a negative answer to the question 'how many?'.

Gist of Idea

0 is not a number, as it answers 'how many?' negatively

Source

report of Edmund Husserl (Philosophy of Arithmetic [1894], p.144) by Michael Dummett - Frege philosophy of mathematics Ch.8

Book Reference

Dummett,Michael: 'Frege: philosophy of mathematics' [Duckworth 1991], p.95

A Reaction

I seem to be in a tiny minority in thinking that Husserl may have a good point. One apple is different from one orange, but no apples are the same as no oranges. That makes 0 a very peculiar number. See Idea 9838.

Related Idea

Idea 9838
Treating 0 as a number avoids antinomies involving treating 'nobody' as a person **[Frege, by Dummett]**