- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press (October 15, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226904261
- ISBN-13: 978-0226904269
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wittgenstein's Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics, Cambridge, 1939
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From the Back Cover
For several terms at Cambridge in 1939, Ludwig Wittgenstein lectured on the philosophical foundations of mathematics. A lecture class taught by Wittgenstein, however, hardly resembled a lecture.
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Top customer reviews
For those who enjoy delving into deep and abstract philosophical issues, such as foundations of mathematics, philosophy of language, etc., Wittgenstein's writings can be quite thought-provoking and challenging. Few 20th century philosophers have had as great an impact on the philosophy of language in the West as has Wittgenstein. So, if you're one of those individuals who enjoys having his/her imagination taken on a wild tour of complex and philosophically abstruse ideas, Wittgenstein's philosophizing (including the book currently being reviewed) is not a bad place to find them.
I include here an addendum to my earlier review of "Wittgenstein's Lectures". Now that I've finished the book, I wish to add to my original review some additional observations.
Wittgenstein discusses logic and mathematics in such ways as to give me the impression that he did not believe that logic is a realm of reality in which all "logical laws" are infallible, and did not seem to believe that any correct conclusion arrived at by application of principles of logic will necessarily agree with any other conclusion that is correctly arrived at by logic.
According to my own thinking about logic, this ground of all necessary aspects of reality (logic) is the domain of all realities that are possible, as well as all realities that do, in fact, exist. Therefore, if anything is logically possible, there exist various ways of expressing that logical possibility, and every logically correct way of expressing the possibility will exactly agree with every other logically correct way of expressing it. Maybe Wittgenstein would have agreed with this, but if so, then I don't fully understand the import of some of his arguments in the book under review here.
From my own viewpoints on Wittgenstein's philosophy, he added tremendously to our understanding of logic and language, and in areas like logic, language, and foundations of mathematics, Wittgenstein was among the very preeminent philosophers of the 20th century. His legacy in these areas of human thought will leave lasting marks.
Thus, "Wittgenstein's Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics" is a work well worth reading and deciphering by any philosopher of logic, mathematics, or language. Much of it is tough reading, but it tends to get one's synapses firing, and it is anything but dull.
The best part, however, is that this is perhaps the sweetest-smelling book I have ever read. And what, to be honest, goes better with abstract investigations into the basis of mathematics than the smell of cookies? Nothing, that's what.