more from Richard Dedekind

Single Idea 9824

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / c. Counting procedure]

Full Idea

If we scrutinize closely what is done in counting an aggregate of things, we see the ability of the mind to relate things to things, to let a thing correspond to a thing, or to represent a thing by a thing, without which no thinking is possible.

Gist of Idea

In counting we see the human ability to relate, correspond and represent


Richard Dedekind (Nature and Meaning of Numbers [1888], Pref)

Book Reference

Dedekind,Richard: 'Essays on the Theory of Numbers' [Dover 1963], p.32

A Reaction

I don't suppose it occurred to Dedekind that he was reasserting Hume's observation about the fundamental psychology of thought. Is the origin of our numerical ability of philosophical interest?