Identity, Individuality, and Unity
|E. J. Lowe a1|
a1 University of Durham
Locke notoriously included number amongst the primary
qualities of bodies and was roundly criticized for doing so by Berkeley.
Frege echoed some of Berkeley's criticisms in attacking the idea that ‘Number
is a property of external things’, while defending his own view that number is a
property of concepts. In the present paper, Locke's view is defended against
the objections of Berkeley and Frege, and Frege's alternative view of number is
criticized. More precisely, it is argued that numbers are assignable to pluralities
of individuals. However, it is also argued that Locke went too far in asserting
that ‘Number applies itself to ... everything that either doth exist, or can be imagined’.