Dialogue 37 (1):83- (1998)

Marc A. Joseph
Mills College
It is argued that the finitist interpretation of wittgenstein fails to take seriously his claim that philosophy is a descriptive activity. Wittgenstein's concentration on relatively simple mathematical examples is not to be explained in terms of finitism, But rather in terms of the fact that with them the central philosophical task of a clear 'ubersicht' of its subject matter is more tractable than with more complex mathematics. Other aspects of wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics are touched on: his view that mathematical propositions are 'grammatical propositions' (and so, Strictly speaking, Not genuine propositions at all) and his view that in mathematics 'everything is algorithm, Nothing meaning'. His views on consistency and his anti-Foundationalism are linked with this central thesis
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0012-2173
DOI 10.1017/s0012217300047600
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