more from E.J. Lowe

Single Idea 8298

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism]

Full Idea

I favour an account of sets which sees them as being instances of numbers, thereby avoiding the unhelpful metaphor which speaks of a set as being a 'collection' of things. This reverses the normal view, which explains numbers in terms of sets.

Gist of Idea

Sets are instances of numbers (rather than 'collections'); numbers explain sets, not vice versa


E.J. Lowe (The Possibility of Metaphysics [1998], 10)

Book Reference

Lowe,E.J.: 'The Possibility of Metaphysics' [OUP 2001], p.210

A Reaction

Cf. Idea 8297. Either a set is basic, or a number is. We might graft onto Lowe's view an account of numbers in terms of patterns, which would give an empirical basis to the picture, and give us numbers which could be used to explain sets.

Related Idea

Idea 8297 Numbers are universals, being sets whose instances are sets of appropriate cardinality [Lowe]