Abstract

Hale proposes a neo-logicist definition of real numbers by abstraction as ratios defined on a complete ordered domain of quantities (magnitudes). I argue that Hale's definition faces insuperable epistemological and ontological difficulties. On the epistemological side, Hale is committed to an explanation of measurement applications of reals which conflicts with several theorems in measurement theory. On the ontological side, Hale commits himself to the necessary and a priori existence of at least one complete ordered domain of quantities, which is extremely implausible because science treats the logical structure of quantities as subject to experimentally and theoretically motivated refinements and revisions.

You do not currently have access to this article.