[FOM] Frege and philosophy of language
urquhart at cs.toronto.edu
Wed Oct 22 15:15:07 EDT 2003
Dean Buckner writes that:
Frege is universally revered as the founder of natural
language philosophy, as we know.
I think the claim that he is "universally revered" for
this reason should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Grattan-Guiness in his recent "The Search for Mathematical
Roots 1870-1940" (Princeton 2000) writes of Frege:
The position of Frege in this story is rather strange,
and often misrepresented; so, unusually, we have to
begin after his end. Much commentary is available on an
analytic philosopher of language writing in English
about meaning and its meaning(s), and putting forward
some attendant philosophy of mathematics. The historical
record, however, reveals a different figure: Gottlob Frege
(1848-1925), a mathematician who wrote in German, in
a markedly Platonic spirit, principally on the foundations
of arithmetic and on a formal calculus in which it could
be expressed (p. 177).
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