Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy


Thursday 27 May 2010
Bern, Switzerland

4th International Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy
In Honour of Professor Sir Michael Dummett

Prof. Dr. Crispin Wright

(New York University / University of Aberdeen)

Whence the Paradox? Axiom V and Indefinite Extensibility

In the last chapter of Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics Michael Dummett suggests that Frege's major mistake – the key to the collapse of the project of Grundgesetze – consisted in "his supposing there to be a totality containing the extension of every concept defined over it; more generally [the mistake] lay in his not having the glimmering of a suspicion of the existence of indefinitely extensible concepts" (page 317). I will try to say what I think is right about this particular diagnostic suggestion of Dummett's: to propose a characterization of indefinite extensibility, and to explain the connection of the notion so characterized with paradox.

Prof. Dr. Crispin  Wright

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