Wolfgang Spohn is chair of philosophy and philosophy of science at the University of Konstanz (since 1996). Before, he held professorhsips at Regensburg and Bielefeld. Wolfgang Spohn is one of the most distinguished philosophers of science today, Fellow Elect at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, and Member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina. In December 2012 he won the Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science for his book The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and its Philosophical Implications (Oxford University Press, 2012). He has published widely on topics in theoretical philosophy (epistemology and philosophy of science, in particular induction and causation; metaphysics; philosophy of language and philosophy of mind; logic, philosophical logics, and philosophy of logic and mathematics; action theory, decision theory, game theory, social choice theory, and the theory of practical rationality in general), but is perhaps best know for his work on Ranking Theory.
We are very glad that Wolfgang Spohn has accepted our inivitation to present the GOTTLOB FREGE LECTURES IN THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY in 2013. Everyone interested is invited to participate.
The Gottlob Frege Lectures in Theoretical Philosophy
are named in honour of the German mathematician and philosopher Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege. We have chosen Frege as the patron for our lecture series as he is widely recognised for his clarity and unpretentious, no-nonsense style of dealing with philosophical problems. So are the lecturers we are honoured to host in Tartu.
From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (b. 1848, d. 1925) was a German mathematician, logician, and philosopher who worked at the University of Jena. Frege essentially reconceived the discipline of logic by constructing a formal system which, in effect, constituted the first ‘predicate calculus’. In this formal system, Frege developed an analysis of quantified statements and formalized the notion of a ‘proof’ in terms that are still accepted today. Frege then demonstrated that one could use his system to resolve theoretical mathematical statements in terms of simpler logical and mathematical notions. One of the axioms that Frege later added to his system, in the attempt to derive significant parts of mathematics from logic, proved to be inconsistent. Nevertheless, his definitions (of the predecessor relation and of the concept of natural number) and methods (for deriving the axioms of number theory) constituted a significant advance. To ground his views about the relationship of logic and mathematics, Frege conceived a comprehensive philosophy of language that many philosophers still find insightful. However, his lifelong project, of showing that mathematics was reducible to logic, was not successful.