Book Chapter

Contemporary Reviews of Frege's Grundgesetze


Ebert PA & Rossberg M (2019) Contemporary Reviews of Frege's Grundgesetze. In: Essays on Frege's Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 637-651.

In the Foreword to Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, Frege comments on the lack of reception that his previous work, in particular, his Grundlagen der Arithmetik, had received and reflects on how this lack of serious engagement by his contemporaries affected his work: With this, I arrive at a second reason for the delay [of the publication of the first volume of Grundgesetze]: the despondency that at times overcame me as a result of the cool reception, or rather, the lack of reception, by mathematicians of the writings mentioned above, and the unfavourable scientific currents against which my book will have to struggle. (Frege, 1893, xi) In an accompanying footnote he goes further, detailing the lack of engagement by contemporaries with his work: One searches in vain for my Grundlagen der Arithmetik in the Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik. Researchers in the same area, Mr Dedekind, Mr Otto Stolz, Mr von Helmholtz seem not to be acquainted with my works. Kronecker does not mention them in his essay on the concept of number either. (Frege, 1893, xi) While some scholars have recently offered an explanation for the omission of Frege’s work in the Jahrbuch, there is no doubt that Frege was badly affected by this lack of attention.

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online11/09/2019
PublisherOxford University Press
Publisher URL…60&lang=en&cc=gb
Place of publicationOxford