Robert Schwartzkopff


THE-NUMBER-OF terms as higher-order descriptions


Consider number words like ‘two’ in statements of pure and applied arithmetic such as, for instance (1) Two is an even number, and (2) The number of Martian moons is two.It is one of the defining features of Thomas Hofweber’s philosophy of mathematics that, despite syntactically behaving like singular terms (i.e. expressions of semantic type 0), such number words are of a higher semantic type semantically. In this talk, I extend this view to the-number-of terms ‘the number of Martian moons’, by developing and defending a novel analysis of such terms as higher-order descriptions of semantic type 1. Moreover, this talk shows how this analysis naturally gives rises to so-called concealed question uses of such terms, uses on which such terms co-denote with how-many questions such as ‘How many moons does Mars have?’ and which are arguably on display in sentences like (2).

Date / Time / Place

June 21st / 10:45 / Aula Magna