more from Michael Dummett

Single Idea 9859

[catalogued under 9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / c. Modern abstracta]

Full Idea

If someone argued that assuming the existence of the Equator explains nothing, and it has no causal powers, so everything would be the same if it didn't exist, so we needn't accept its existence, we should gape at the crudity of the misunderstanding.

Gist of Idea

It is absurd to deny the Equator, on the grounds that it lacks causal powers


Michael Dummett (Frege philosophy of mathematics [1991], Ch.15)

Book Reference

Dummett,Michael: 'Frege: philosophy of mathematics' [Duckworth 1991], p.182

A Reaction

Not me. I would gape if someone argued that latitude 55 14' (and an infinity of other lines) exists for the same reasons (whatever they may be) that the Equator exists. A mode of description can't create an object.