2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

On the Foundations of Philosophy: An Examination of Husserl's Theory of Abstraction, 1887-1901
Andrew J. McCall
Dr. Stephen Pollard, Faculty Mentor

Gottlob Frege wrote a scathing review of Edmund Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891) three years after its publication, and six years before Husserl published his groundbreaking Logical Investigations, the beginning of which is devoted to an attack on his 'psychologistic' position in the Philosophy of Arithmetic. In this paper I examine Husserl's epistemic beliefs concerning the relationship between mathematics, logic, philosophy, and psychology, by looking specifically at his descriptions of abstraction in the Philosophy of Arithmetic and Logical Investigations. I will contrast these beliefs with those upon which Frege based his philosophy, showing that Husserl's epistemology in the Logical Investigations is much closer to that of Frege. While Husserl's intellectual growth in that decade undoubtedly had many divergent influences, his revised description of abstraction can be interpreted as a hybridization of Freges epistemology with some of the core observations from Philosophy of Arithmetic.

Keywords: Husserl, Edmund, Frege, Gottlob, Abstraction, Philosophy of Mathematics, Logic

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 22-4
Location: MG 2090
Time: 10:15

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