The Latest Frege

Prima Philosophia 12:41-48 (1999)
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Many authors believe that the manuscripts Frege wrote in 1924–1925 are not theoretically of interest. They are rather a product of his emotional despair and theoretical dead-end which he reached in the last years of his life. Such is also the judgement of Michael Dummett delivered in his seminal book Frege: Philosophy of Language. According to Dummett, “the few fragmentary writings of Frege’s final period—1919–1925—are not of high quality: they are interesting chiefly as showing that Frege did, at least at the very end of his life, acknowledge the failure of the logicist programme” (Dummett 1981, p. 664). In this paper we will try to show that the widely accepted negative assessment of Frege’s latest writings is due to a lack of understanding of their true idea. In fact, the change in Fre-ge’s mind in the last two or three years of his life was result of long deliberations on a severe tension in his founding intuitions. The change itself made his logico-philosophical project more coherent and, thus, is of utmost theoretical importance.


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