more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8773

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique]

Full Idea

The way counting is learned is wholly contrary to abstractionist preconceptions, because the series of numerals has to be learned before it can be applied.

Gist of Idea

Abstractionists can't explain counting, because it must precede experience of objects


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 8)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.30

A Reaction

You might learn to parrot the names of numbers, but you could hardly know what they meant if you couldn't count anything. See Idea 3907. I would have thought that individuating objects must logically and pedagogically precede counting.

Related Idea

Idea 3907 Could you be intellectually acquainted with numbers, but unable to count objects? [Scruton]