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Gottlob Frege

Frege (1848-1925) was the greatest meta-logician since Aristotle. What started off as a simple question about the logical foundations for arithmetic, led to a revolution in the theory of mathematics, logic, linguistics, and philosophy of science. And although Frege's efforts ultimately failed (mathematics cannot be derived purely from laws of logic) he developed modern logical notation as well as a key distinction between sense and reference that gave rise to philosophy of language. After Frege, questions of philosophy and theoretical science become questions about meaning and rigorous formal systems. The Positivist movement led by Bertrand Russell developed directly off of Frege's findings.