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Frege, Gottlob (1848–1925)

Subject Philosophy

People Frege, Gottlob

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


German philosopher, logician, and mathematician, the founder of modern mathematic logic and the philosophy of language, born in Weimar, Professor of mathematic at the University of Jena. In the Begriffsschrift (Concept-Script, 1879), The Foundations of Arithmetic (1884), and Basic Laws of Arithmetic (2 vols., 1893, 1903), Frege developed the logicist program of reducing arithmetic to logic. Although his own version of logicism was undermined by Russell's paradox, Frege's philosophical insights greatly influenced Russell, Wittgenstein, and contemporary logic, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of language. In logic, Frege's theory of quantification established the framework for modern logic. In his “Function and Concept” and “On Concept and Object” (1891) Frege analyzed sentences in terms of function and argument, and in “On Sense and Reference” (1892), he drew the distinction between sense ( Sinn ) and reference ( Bedeutung ) to show that the sense of an expression and its reference do not always vary together. These classic papers laid the grounds for the subsequent development of analytic philosophy. Frege's anti-psychologism involved realism regarding concepts and thoughts. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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