History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (4):341-348 (2009)

Marcus Rossberg
University of Connecticut
Philip A. Ebert
University of Stirling
In 1885, Georg Cantor published his review of Gottlob Frege's Grundlagen der Arithmetik . In this essay, we provide its first English translation together with an introductory note. We also provide a translation of a note by Ernst Zermelo on Cantor's review, and a new translation of Frege's brief response to Cantor. In recent years, it has become philosophical folklore that Cantor's 1885 review of Frege's Grundlagen already contained a warning to Frege. This warning is said to concern the defectiveness of Frege's notion of extension. The exact scope of such speculations varies and sometimes extends as far as crediting Cantor with an early hunch of the paradoxical nature of Frege's notion of extension. William Tait goes even further and deems Frege 'reckless' for having missed Cantor's explicit warning regarding the notion of extension. As such, Cantor's purported inkling would have predated the discovery of the Russell-Zermelo paradox by almost two decades. In our introductory essay, we discuss this alleged implicit (or even explicit) warning, separating two issues: first, whether the most natural reading of Cantor's criticism provides an indication that the notion of extension is defective; second, whether there are other ways of understanding Cantor that support such an interpretation and can serve as a precisification of Cantor's presumed warning
Keywords Gottlob Frege  Georg Cantor  Philosophy of Mathematics  Set-theoretic paradoxes
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1080/01445340903102813
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,408
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Grundlagen der Arithmetik.Gottlob Frege - 1884 - Breslau: Wilhelm Koebner Verlag.
Iteration Again.George Boolos - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (2):5-21.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Counting by Identity: A Reply to Liebesman.Oliver R. Marshall - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):385-390.
The Psychology and Philosophy of Natural Numbers.Oliver R. Marshall - 2017 - Philosophia Mathematica (1):nkx002.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
476 ( #14,544 of 2,420,816 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #543,487 of 2,420,816 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes