more from Alvin Plantinga

Single Idea 14648

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / g. Real numbers]

Full Idea

Can't I name all the real numbers in the interval (0,1) at once? Couldn't I name them all 'Charley', for example?

Gist of Idea

Could I name all of the real numbers in one fell swoop? Call them all 'Charley'?


Alvin Plantinga (De Re and De Dicto [1969], p.40)

Book Reference

Plantinga,Alvin: 'Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality' [OUP 2003], p.40

A Reaction

Plantinga is nervous about such a sweeping move, but can't think of an objection. This addresses a big problem, I think - that you are supposed to accept the real numbers when we cannot possibly name them all.