Logic and the Linguistic Turn

Philosopher Michael Potter on modern logic.

Michael Potter is Professor of Logic in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1989. His forthcoming book, Wittgenstein1916, will be a study of Wittgenstein's views on ethics and religion during the First World War, during the time he was writing his famous Tractatus.

We spoke to him about Wittgenstein, the linguistic turn and the importance of logic to the study of language.

Can you start by explaining what we mean when we talk about the linguistic turn in philosophy?

It is usually attributed to Gottlob Frege in his 1884 book, The Foundations of Arithmetic. He was interested in explaining arithmetic and his account was based on the idea of trying

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