GOTTLEB FREGE- Summary of Lecture by Professor Priest
In the beginning of the lecture, professor Priest introduces to the audience the contributions of a German mathematician, logician, and philosopher, Gottleb Frege. Priest begins with a brief story of an encounter in 1903 between two philosophers, Gottleb Frege and Bertrand Russell. Russell sends a letter to Frege, critiquing his findings in his second book, The Foundations of Arithmetic. Russell argues that even though he was impressed by Frege’s work, his discovery is not aligned with Russell’s theory of arithmetic, but his findings may come to use in the future and “unwelcome at first glance”. After sending a humble reply to Russell’s letter, Frege decides to revoke his book from the press, and begins to rewrite the book. He includes an appendix addressing to Russell’s argument saying, “Russell’s letter was terrible to receive as a scientific author,” because Frege’s whole foundation was questioned at the time his work was nearly complete. During the re-release, he revised the body of his appendix in which he addressed Russell’s critique, made some suggestions to solve the problems. Also, he even addressed why his own solutions would not work to solve the dilemma. After this event, Frege became discouraged to improve this project, because the basis of his whole work was adversely challenged, and he was not even able to defend his own theory. He basically gave up on his life’s work, and finally died in 1925, still believing that his “genius ideas” were worthless. Professor Priest then discusses the main topics of his lecture on Frege, which are brief overviews of Mathematical developments, and how his findings actually turned a new page in logic and philosophy even though these findings were not widely accepted until 40 years after his death. Priest provides the historical account during the 19th century, and the foundations of Mathematics as natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers,...
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