Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Revised Edition

Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Revised Edition

By Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein's work remains, undeniably, now, that of one of those few philosophers who will be read by all future generations.

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Wittgenstein's work remains, undeniably, now, that of one of those few philosophers who will be read by all future generations.

The Remarks analyzes in depth such topics as logical compulsion (the “must”) and mathematical conviction; calculation as experiment; mathematical surprise, discovery, and invention; Russell's logic, Gödel's theorem, Cantor's diagonal procedure, Dedekind's cuts; the nature of proof and contradiction; and the role of mathematical propositions in the forming of concepts.

Wittgenstein's later philosophy was much involved with the concept of “language-games,” of which mathematics was one. It was his feeling that a proper analysis of the use of language would clarify concepts and lead to the solution of (what seem to be) philosophical problems.

Sometimes, Wittgenstein's expository method is pre-Socratic: a flow of disconnected statements, not unlike Heraclitean fragments, that range from clear aphorisms to cryptic oracles. Elsewhere, there are brief Socratic dialogues with imaginary persons, opponents of equally severe seriousness, representatives of the other half of Wittgenstein strove for total clarity of language as a means of solving philosophical problems, but some of his most meaningful statements here are expressed suggestively, subjectively, poetically.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262230803 444 pp. | 5.25 in x 8.5 in

Paperback

$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262730679 444 pp. | 5.25 in x 8.5 in

Endorsements

  • Wittgenstein's work remains, undeniably, now, that of one of those few philosophers who will be read by all future generations. It is by far the richest twentieth-century source of philosophical ideas, which it will take us more decades yet properly to apprehend and to absorb; despite the difficulty with which his work presents the reader, there is nothing that is likely to be more rewarding. The philosophy of mathematics was one of his earliest and most persistent preoccupations...The present edition...is a selection from seven distinct pieces of writing by Wittgenstein, with none of which he was content. For all that, it demands the most thorough attention from anyone interested in his philosophy, because the subject occupied so important a place in his thought.

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