Wittgenstein and Frege

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Of all philosophers, it is Frege whom Wittgenstein held in greatest esteem. The aim of philosophy, Wittgenstein wrote in the Tractatus, “is the logical clarification of thoughts”, a characterization that might well be taken to be true of Frege's philosophy. The clarity that Wittgenstein saw as an important philosophical virtue is arguably nowhere better illustrated than in Frege's writings, even if one disagrees with the substantive philosophical claims that Frege makes. Peter Geach reports a remark that Wittgenstein made to him when they were discussing Frege's essay “On Concept and Object”. Wittgenstein may have envied Frege's style, but he nevertheless felt it had a strong effect on his own writing. Frege is explicitly cited as an influence on the Tractatus, but although he is rarely mentioned by name in his later writings, his views continued to be a major source of inspiration to the very end of Wittgenstein's life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Wittgenstein
EditorsHans-Johann Glock, John Hyman
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781118641163
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Publication series

NameBlackwell Companions to Philosophy


  • Wittgenstein
  • Frege


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