Gottlob Frege

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Frege, Gottlob

(gôt`lōp frā`gə), 1848–1925, German philosopher and mathematician. He was professor of mathematics (1879–1918) at the Univ. of Jena. Frege was one of the founders of modern symbolic logicsymbolic logic
or mathematical logic,
formalized system of deductive logic, employing abstract symbols for the various aspects of natural language. Symbolic logic draws on the concepts and techniques of mathematics, notably set theory, and in turn has contributed to
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, and his work profoundly influenced Bertrand Russell. He claimed that all mathematics could be derived from purely logical principles and definitions. He considered verbal concepts to be expressible as symbolic functions with one or more variables. His books include Begriffsschrift (1879); Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik (1884; tr. The Foundations of Arithmetic, 1950); Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (2 vol., 1893–1903).


See P. T. Geach and M. Black, ed., Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege (1952); M. Resnik, Frege and the Philosophy of Mathematics (1980); M. Dummett, The Interpretation of Frege's Philosophy (repr. 1981).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Frege, Gottlob


Born Nov. 8, 1848, in Wismar; died July 26, 1925, in Bad Kleinen. German logician.

Frege received his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen in 1873. He was a professor at the University of Jena from 1879 to 1918. Frege’s principal work was The Fundamental Laws of Arithmetic (vols. 1–2, 1893–1903), in which he proposed a system of formalized arithmetic based on a second-order predicate calculus that he developed. His intention was to provide a substantiation of the notion of the reducibility of mathematics to logic (seeLOGICISM).


Biriukov, B. V. “O rabotakh Frege po filosofskim voprosam matematiki.” In the collection Filosofskie voprosy estestvoznaniia, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1959.
Stiazhkin, N. I. Formirovanie matematicheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1967. (Contains bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gottlob Frege


Gottlob Frege

(person, history, philosophy, mathematics, logic, theory)
(1848-1925) A mathematician who put mathematics on a new and more solid foundation. He purged mathematics of mistaken, sloppy reasoning and the influence of Pythagoras. Mathematics was shown to be a subdivision of formal logic.

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