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Geometry and Generality in Frege's Philosophy of Arithmetic

Jamie Tappenden
Synthese
Vol. 102, No. 3 (Mar., 1995), pp. 319-361
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117992
Page Count: 43
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Geometry and Generality in Frege's Philosophy of Arithmetic
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Abstract

This paper develops some respects in which the philosophy of mathematics can fruitfully be informed by mathematical practice, through examining Frege's "Grundlagen" in its historical setting. The first sections of the paper are devoted to elaborating some aspects of nineteenth century mathematics which informed Frege's early work. (These events are of considerable philosophical significance even apart from the connection with Frege.) In the middle sections, some minor themes of "Grundlagen" are developed: the relationship Frege envisions between arithmetic and geometry and the way in which the study of reasoning is to illuminate this. In the final section, it is argued that the sorts of issues Frege attempted to address concerning the character of mathematical reasoning are still in need of a satisfying answer.

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