The Rise of Analytic Philosophy, 1879-1930: From Frege to Ramsey, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Rise of Analytic Philosophy, 1879-1930

From Frege to Ramsey, 1st Edition

By Michael Potter


488 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138015142
pub: 2019-10-11
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Hardback: 9781138015135
pub: 2019-10-11
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In this book Michael Potter offers a fresh and compelling portrait of the birth of modern analytic philosophy, viewed through the lens of a detailed study of the work of the four philosophers who contributed most to shaping it:  Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Frank Ramsey.  It covers the remarkable period of discovery that began with the publication of Frege's Begriffsschrift in 1879 and ended with Ramsey's death in 1930. Potter--one of the most influential scholars of this period in philosophy--presents a deep but accessible account of the break with Absolute Idealism and Neo-Kantianism, and the emergence of approaches that exploited the newly discovered methods in logic. Like his subjects, Potter focusses principally on philosophical logic, philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics, but he also discusses epistemology, meta-ethics, and the philosophy of language. The book is an essential starting point for any student attempting to understand the work of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Ramsey as well as their interactions and their larger intellectual milieux. It will also be of interest to anyone who wants to cast light on current philosophical problems through a better understanding of their origins.

Table of Contents

I Frege


1 Logic before 1879

2 Begriffsschrift I: Foundations of logic

3 Begriffsschrift II: Propositional calculus

4 Begriffsschrift III: Quantification

5 Begriffsschrift IV: Identity

6 Begriffsschrift V: The ancestral

7 Early conception of logic

8 Grundlagen I: Arithmetical truth

9 Grundlagen II: Counting

10 Grundlagen III: The context principle

11 Grundlagen IV: The formal project

12 Axiomatic formalism

13 On sense and reference I: Singular terms

14 On sense and reference II: Sentences

15 Concepts

16 Grundgesetze I: Logic

17 Grundgesetze II: Extensions

18 Frege’s later conception of logic

19 Logical Investigations

II Russell


20 Absolute idealism

21 Geometry

22 McTaggart

23 German Mathematics

24 Whitehead

25 Moore

26 Leibniz

27 Peano

28 Early logicism

29 Denoting concepts

30 The contradiction

31 On denoting I: The Gray’s Elegy argument

32 On denoting II: The new theory

33 On denoting III: Assessment

34 Principia

35 Later logicism

36 The multiple relation theory of judgment

37 Epistemology

38 Matter

III The Tractatus


39 Facts

40 Pictures

41 Propositions

42 Sense

43 The conceptual notation

44 Objects I: Form

45 Objects II: Simplicity

46 Identity

47 Solipsism

48 Ordinary language

49 Logic

50 Arithmetic

51 Science

52 Ethics

53 Silence

54 The a priori

55 The metaphysical subject

IV Ramsey


56 The foundations of mathematics I: Types

57 The foundations of mathematics II: Logicism

58 Universals

59 Belief and disbelief

60 Degrees of belief

61 Last papers


About the Author

Michael Potter is Professor of Logic at Cambridge University and a Life Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. His studies in the history of analytic philosophy include Reason’s Nearest Kin (2000) and Wittgenstein’s Notes on Logic (2009). He is also noted for work in the foundations of mathematics, including Set Theory and its Philosophy (2004).

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