Michael Dummett is one of the most important and influential of contemporary philosophers; this book covers his work on metaphysics and the philosophy of language, two branches of philosophy that are closely intertwined. It contains twenty essays that have not appeared in his previous collections Truth and Other Enigmas and Frege and Other Philosophers; of these essays, three are previously unpublished, one appears here in English for the first time, and others have been difficult of access until now. The two central questions addressed here are: What is it for a word or a sentence to mean what it does? What is it for a statement to be true? These fundamental questions continue to perplex philosophers. This collection represents a fascinating and indispensable contribution to the project of resolving this perplexity.
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.
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.
Logicism and the Philosophy of Language brings together the core works by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell on logic and language. In their separate efforts to clarify mathematics through the use of logic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Frege and Russell both recognized the need for rigorous and systematic semantic analysis of language. It was their turn to this style of analysis that would establish the philosophy of language as an autonomous area of inquiry. This anthology gathers together these foundational writings, and frames them with an extensive historical introduction. This is a collection for anyone interested in questions about truth, meaning, reference, and logic, and in the application of formal analysis to these concepts.
Die Sprachen sind nicht nach dem logischen Lineal gemacht. (Briefwechsel, p. 102) If success in solving problems is the hallmark of philosophical great ness, then Frege was not a great philosopher. But by that same token, very few if any other figure in the history of philosophy will qualify. On the other hand, if the hallmark of philosophical great ness is the opening up of new conceptual territory and the raising of hitherto unsuspected crucial questions, the shifting of philosophical perspectiv~ and the determination of subsequent lines of enquiry, then Frege must rank among the greatest philosophers of all times. He was the first to develop a completely formalized language and a logical system sufficiently powerful to generate arithmetic; he opened up the fields of philosophy of logic and arithmetic; his theses on sense reference and definition were seminal to almost all subse quent work done in the philosophy oflanguage; and his ontological speculations constituted the foundation of one of the most profound metaphysics ever developed: that of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the Tractatus.
cake, even though it is typically given the pride of place in expositions in Frege's semantics. As a part of this attempted reversal of emphasis, Jaakko Hintikka has also called attention to the role Frege played in convincing almost everyone that verbs for being had to be treated as multiply ambiguous between the "is" of identity, the "is" of predication, the "is" of existence, and the "is" of class-inclusion - a view that had been embraced by few major figures (if any) before Frege, with the exception of John Stuart Mill and Augustus De Morgan. Hintikka has gone on to challenge this ambiguity thesis. At the same time, Frege's role in the genesis of another major twentieth-century philosophical movement, the phenomenological one, has become an important issue. Even the translation of Frege's key term "Bedeutung" as "reference" has become controversial. The interpretation of Frege is thus thrown largely back in the melting pot. In editing this volume, we have not tried to publish the last word on Frege. Even though we may harbor such ambitions ourselves, they are not what has led to the present editorial enterprise. What we have tried to do is to bring together some of the best ongoing work on Frege. Even though the ultimate judgment on our success lies with out readers, we want to register our satisfaction with all the contributions.
This volume collects nine essays that investigate the work of Gottlob Frege. The contributors address Frege’s work in relation to literature and fiction (Dichtung), the humanities (Geisteswissenschaften), and science (Wissenschaft). Overall, the essays consider internal connections between different aspects of Frege’s work while acknowledging the importance of its philosophical context. There are also further common strands between the papers, such as the relation between Frege’s and Wittgenstein’s approaches to philosophical investigations, the relation between Frege and Kant, and the place of Frege’s work in the philosophical landscape more generally. The volume is therefore of direct relevance to several current debates in philosophy in general, in addition to Frege and Wittgenstein research in particular. Even though Frege’s great significance for contemporary philosophy is not disputed, the question of how we are to understand the character and aims of his project is debated. The debate has a starting point in Frege’s specific conception of logic. The volume elucidates this conception as well as the relation between natural language and the Begriffsschrift. It will help philosophers, researchers, and students better understand the nuances of this great thinker. By extension, it will also help readers seeking to understand Wittgenstein’s approach to philosophical difficulties and his struggle to find an apt form of presentation for his philosophical investigations.
Part of the Longman Library of Primary Sources in Philosophy,” this edition ofFrege's Foundations of Arithmetic is framed by a pedagogical structure designed to make this important work of philosophy more accessible and meaningful for readers. A General Introduction includes the work's historical context, a discussion of historical influences, and biographical information on Gottlob Frege. The conclusion discusses how the work has influenced other philosophers and why it is important today. Annotations and notes from the editor clarify difficult passages for greater understanding, and a bibliography gives the reader additional resources for further study.
This new book offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Frege's remarkable philosophical work, examining the main areas of his writings and demonstrating the connections between them. Frege's main contribution to philosophy spans philosophical logic, the theory of meaning, mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. The book clearly explains and assesses Frege's work in these areas, systematically examining his major concepts, and revealing the links between them. The emphasis is on Frege's highly influential work in philosophical logic and the theory of meaning, including the features of his logic, his conceptions of object, concept and function, and his seminal distinction between sense and reference. Frege will be invaluable for students of the philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and analytic philosophy.
Gottlob Frege's Über Sinn und Bedeutung (`On Sense and Reference'), has come to be seen, in the century since its publication in 1892, as one of the seminal texts of analytic philosophy. It, along with the rest of Frege's writings on logic and mathematics, came to mark out a whole new domain of inquiry. This volume bears witness to the continuing importance and influence of that agenda. It contains original papers written by leading Frege scholars for the conference held in 1992 in Karlovy Vary to celebrate the publication of Frege's essay. The fourteen essays show how the questions Frege discusses in that essay connect intimately with issues much debated in current philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.
Gottlob Frege is one of the greatest logicians ever and also a philosopher of great significance. In this book Rosado Haddock offers a critical presentation of the main topics of Frege's philosophy, including, among others, his philosophy of arithmetic, his sense-referent distinction, his distinction between function and object, and his criticisms of formalism and psychologism. More than just an introduction to Frege's philosophy this book is also a highly critical and mature assessment of it as a whole in which the limitations, confusions and other weaknesses of Frege's thought are closely examined. The author is also a Husserlian scholar and this book contains valuable discussions of Husserl's neglected views and comparisons between the two great philosophers.
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.
Dummett argues that the aim of philosophy is the analysis of thought and that, with Frege, analytical philosophy learned that the route to the analysis of thought is the analysis of language. Here are bold and deep readings of the subject's history and character, which form the topic of this volume.
The Foundations of Arithmetic is undoubtedly the best introduction to Frege's thought; it is here that Frege expounds the central notions of his philosophy, subjecting the views of his predecessors and contemporaries to devastating analysis. The book represents the first philosophically sound discussion of the concept of number in Western civilization. It profoundly influenced developments in the philosophy of mathematics and in general ontology.