Concept

Hume's principle

Summary
Hume's principle or HP says that the number of Fs is equal to the number of Gs if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence (a bijection) between the Fs and the Gs. HP can be stated formally in systems of second-order logic. Hume's principle is named for the Scottish philosopher David Hume and was coined by George Boolos. HP plays a central role in Gottlob Frege's philosophy of mathematics. Frege shows that HP and suitable definitions of arithmetical notions entail all axioms of what we now call second-order arithmetic. This result is known as Frege's theorem, which is the foundation for a philosophy of mathematics known as neo-logicism. Origins Hume's principle appears in Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic (§63), which quotes from Part III of Book I of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1740). Hume there sets out seven fundamental relations between ideas. Concerning one of these, proportion in quantity or number, Hume argues that our reasoning about proportion
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