Frege’s Context Principle and Reference to Natural Numbers

  • Øystein Linnebo
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 341)


Frege proposed that his Context Principle—which says that a word has meaning only in the context of a proposition—can be used to explain reference, both in general and to mathematical objects in particular. I develop a version of this proposal and outline answers to some important challenges that the resulting account of reference faces. Then I show how this account can be applied to arithmetic to yield an explanation of our reference to the natural numbers and of their metaphysical status.


Natural Number Singular Term Proper Part Physical Body Unity Relation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øystein Linnebo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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