Gottlob Frege was an eminent German mathematician of nineteenth century. Besides being a brilliant mathematician he was an equally magnificent philosopher and logician. The development of modern logic is attributed to him rendering him vitally important figure in mathematics. Many considered him the true father of analytic philosophy. He remained unrecognized for his accomplishments during his lifetime. However, his true genius was recognized posthumously by Bertrand Russell and Giuseppe Peano who highlighted his work to their generations.
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege on 8 November 1848 was born in Wismar, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. His father co-founded a girls’ high school and assumed the duties of a headmaster till the end of his days. After his father’s death, his mother took over the school. His father wrote a textbook on learning German language for children. The book dealt with logic and language and Frege grew up reading it which stimulated his philosophical tendencies. He received his education from a gymnasium in Wismar, graduating in 1869. His mentor Gustav Adolf Leo Sachse was a positive influence on Ferge as he encouraged him to reach his potential studying at University of Jena. He was the reason Ferge was able to make his scientific career. In 1986, he earned his degree from Jena, attending twenty courses of lectures on several disciplines including mathematics and physics per semester.
Moreover, he was also supervised by Ernst Karl Abbe an equally prominent mathematician. He was worth more than an instructor to Frege. Being a director of the optical manufacturer Carl Zeiss AG, Abbe had the power to further Ferge’s career. They corresponded frequently, subsequent to Frege’s graduation. Afterwards, he studied at a leading university in mathematics, Göttingen. There he attended lectures on analytic geometry, function theory, physical studies and applied physics. Most of his professors were renowned figures including Rudolf Friedrich Alfred Clebsch, Wilhelm Eduard Weber, Hermann Lotze and others. He completed his doctoral dissertation titled, “On a Geometrical Representation of Imaginary Forms in a Plane” under the supervision of Ernst Christian Julius Schering. The purpose of his research was to solve such fundamental problems in geometry.
In 1887, Ferge tied the knot with Margarete Katharina Sophia Anna Lieseberg. His early work and career might have focused mainly on geometrical problems but later his interest shifted to logic. His magnum opus Concept-Script: A Formal Language for Pure Thought Modeled on that of Arithmetic was a milestone in logical work history. It was groundbreaking work which shed a new light on variables and functions. The primary objective of his work on logic was to prove that mathematics is deeply rooted in logic. While trying to prove that theory, he devised methods that seem to take him further beyond the Stoic propositional logic and Aristotelian syllogistic. Consequently, he developed axiomatic predicate logic and invented quantified variables.
Frege laid the foundation of analytic philosophy and his key works in logic and language led to the maximizing the importance of linguistics in philosophy. His distinct works include argument analysis of the proposition, principle of compositionality, distinction between concept and object; and sense and reference. He refuted the psychologistic appeal to mental explanations of the content of judgment of the semantics of a sentence, being a philosopher of mathematics. Much of his philosophical work was not accessible outside of German speaking nations. Translation of his philosophical work was conducted after the Second World War by students of Wittgenstein.