Gottlob Frege
Zalta (Edward N.)
Source: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy,1995-2008
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (b. 1848, d. 1925) was a German mathematician, logician, and philosopher who worked at the University of Jena.
  2. Frege essentially reconceived the discipline of logic by constructing a formal system which, in effect, constituted the first ‘predicate calculus’. In this formal system, Frege developed an analysis of quantified statements and formalized the notion of a ‘proof’ in terms that are still accepted today.
  3. Frege then demonstrated that one could use his system to resolve theoretical mathematical statements in terms of simpler logical and mathematical notions. One of the axioms that Frege later added to his system, in the attempt to derive significant parts of mathematics from logic, proved to be inconsistent. Nevertheless, his definitions (of the predecessor relation and of the concept of natural number) and methods (for deriving the axioms of number theory) constituted a significant advance.
  4. To ground his views about the relationship of logic and mathematics, Frege conceived a comprehensive philosophy of language that many philosophers still find insightful. However, his lifelong project, of showing that mathematics was reducible to logic, was not successful.

  1. Frege's Life
  2. Frege's Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics
    → 2.1 The Basis of Frege's Term Logic and Predicate Calculus
    → 2.2 Complex Statements and Generality
    → 2.3 Proof and Definition
    → 2.4 Courses-of-Values, Extensions, and Proposed Mathematical Foundations
    → 2.5 The Analysis of Statements of Number
    → 2.6 Natural Numbers
    → 2.7 Frege's Conception of Logic
  3. Frege's Philosophy of Language
    → 3.1 Frege's Puzzles
    → 3.2 Frege's Theory of Sense and Denotation
  4. Bibliography
    → A. Primary Sources
    → B. Secondary Sources
    Other Internet Resources
    Related Entries


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

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