No one has figured more prominently in the study of the German philosopher Gottlob Frege than Michael Dummett. His magisterial Frege: Philosophy of Language is a sustained, systematic analysis of Frege's thought, omitting only the issues in philosophy of mathematics. In this work Dummett discusses, section by section, Frege's masterpiece The Foundations of Arithmetic and Frege's treatment of real numbers in the second volume of Basic Laws of Arithmetic, establishing what parts of the philosopher's views can be salvaged and employed in new theorizing, and what must be abandoned, either as incorrectly argued or as untenable in the light of technical developments. Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) was a logician, mathematician, and philosopher whose work had enormous impact on Bertrand Russell and later on the young Ludwig Wittgenstein, making Frege one of the central influences on twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy; he is considered the founder of analytic philosophy. His philosophy of mathematics contains deep insights and remains a useful and necessary point of departure for anyone seriously studying or working in the field.
Widespread interest in Frege's general philosophical writings is, relatively speaking, a fairly recent phenomenon. But it is only very recently that his philosophy of mathematics has begun to attract the attention it now enjoys. This interest has been elicited by the discovery of the remarkable mathematical properties of Frege's contextual definition of number and of the unique character of his proposals for a theory of the real numbers. This collection of essays addresses three main developments in recent work on Frege's philosophy of mathematics: the emerging interest in the intellectual background to his logicism; the rediscovery of Frege's theorem; and the reevaluation of the mathematical content of The Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Each essay attempts a sympathetic, if not uncritical, reconstruction, evaluation, or extension of a facet of Frege's theory of arithmetic. Together they form an accessible and authoritative introduction to aspects of Frege's thought that have, until now, been largely missed by the philosophical community.
No one has figured more prominently in the study of German philosopher Gottlob Frege than Michael Dummett. This highly acclaimed book is a major contribution to the philosophy of language as well as a systematic interpretation of Frege, indisputably the father of analytic philosophy. Frege: Philosophy of Language remains indispensable for an understanding of contemporary philosophy. Harvard University Press is pleased to reissue this classic book in paperback.
This book comprises all of Dummett's published and previously unpublished essays on Gottlob Frege, with the exception of those included in his Truth and Other Enigmas. In some of these essays he explores the relation of Frege's ideas to those of his predecessors and contemporaries. In othershe considers critically some interpretations of Frege, and develops the argument for a sound understanding of Frege's thought. Several of the essays illustrate his contention that Frege's work remains the best starting point for the investigation of problems concerning truth, meaning, and thoughtand language, which are still among the most contentious issues in modern analytical philosophy.
Essays Towards a Neo-Fregean Philosophy of Mathematics
Author: Bob Hale
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Bob Hale and Crispin Wright draw together here the key writings in which they have worked out their distinctive neo-Fregean approach to the philosophy of mathematics. The two main components in Frege's mathematical philosophy were his platonism and his logicism - the claims, respectively, that mathematics is a body of knowledge about independently existing objects, and that this knowledge may be acquired on the basis of general logical laws and suitable definitions. The central thesis ofthis collection is that Frege was - his own eventual recantation notwithstanding - substantially right in both claims. Where neo-Fregeanism principally differs from Frege is in taking a more optimistic view of the kind of contextual explanation (proceeding via what are now commonly called abstraction principles) of the fundamental concepts of arithmetic and analysis which Frege considered and rejected. On this basis, neo-Fregeanism promises defensible and attractive answers to some of the most important ontological and epistemological questions in the philosophy of mathematics. In addition to fourteen previously published papers, the volume features a new paper on the Julius Caesar problem; a substantial new introduction mapping out the programme and the contributions made to it by the various papers; a postscript explaining which issues most require further attention; and bibliographies both of references and of further useful sources. The Reason's Proper Study will be recognized as the most powerful presentation yet of the neo-Fregean programme; it will prove indispensable reading not just to philosophers of mathematics but to all who are interested in the fundamental metaphysical and epistemological issues on which the programme impinges.