Logic and Mathematics

Joseph Agassi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It is Frege, not Boole, who is the father of modern logic. What exactly is modern about modern logic? Why did Frege develop it? The answers given here are these. Modern logic is both comprehensive and fully formal. The comprehensiveness in question is the sufficiency for the purposes of mathematics. (Other kinds of comprehensiveness are possible.) Fully formal systems are such that computers can use them. The idea of a fully formal language is Frege’s; he offered fully formal inferences. Russell was the first to offer a formal language proper. These days, when computers are parts of everyday life, developing a formal system is hardly a challenge. At the time, Russell noted, only two formal systems were available, his and that of Wittgenstein. Most significantly, it was Frege who rendered logic unmistakably the logic of statements; analysis of concepts thus turned into (post-Wittgenstein) analysis of statements. (Regrettably, on this too many analytic philosophers are not au courant.)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292


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