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What is the number one? How do we know that 2+2=4? These apparently simple questions are in fact notoriously difficult to answer, and in one form or other have occupied philosophers from ancient times to the present. Gottlob Frege's conviction that the truths of arithmetic, and mathematics more generally, are derived from self-evident logical truths formed the basis of a systematic project which revolutionized logic, and founded modern analytic philosophy. In this text the author traces the development of Frege's thought from his invention of a powerful new logical language in "Begriffsschrift", through his explication of his project in the "Foundations of Arithmetic" and famous papers such as "On Sense and Reference", to the brilliant, but ultimately doomed, presentation of the system in "Basic Laws of Arithmetic".
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 12.7mm | 181.44g
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0192876953
  • 9780192876959

Table of contents

A brief biography and discussion of the diaries; the project and its motivation; Frege's conception of logically perfect language and the new logic; the role of definitions in Frege's project and Frege's strategy for defining the numbers; the shifts in Frege's views about logic and language; the second version of the logic, Frege's proofs and the contradiction; the aftermath of the contradiction; Frege's contributions to contemporary thought.
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About Joan Weiner

Joan Weiner teaches logic, philosophy of mathematics, and the history of early analytic philosophy at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She is the author of Frege in Perspective (1990).
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