Article ID: CBB296871977

Alice Ambrose and the American Reception of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics, 1935–75 (2020)


Alice Ambrose (1906–2001) worked throughout her intellectual life to unpack her teacher Ludwig Wittgenstein's contributions to philosophy. Unlike her more renowned Cambridge-educated colleagues, Ambrose endeavored as an American logician to account for how it was that Wittgenstein challenged not only philosophers' prior conceptions of ordinary language but also the very epistemic premises on which doing philosophy was conceived. For as she maintained, the "peace" Wittgenstein offered philosophy was in effect the dissolution of mathematicallogical misunderstandings. Drawing on materials both private and published, this article seeks to uncover the transatlantic origins of Ambrose's postwar meditations on the resolution of philosophical problems in mathematical logic. Throughout, I will show that a key to understanding the American reception of Wittgenstein's "therapeutic" philosophy after 1945 is Ambrose's unique engagement with her teacher's work and with the history of philosophy.

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Authors & Contributors
Friedlander, Eli
Wise, M. Norton
Galison, Peter Louis
Cohen, Robert S.
Levine, Hillel
Klagge, James C.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Perspectives on Science
Acta Philosophica
History of European Ideas
Oxford University Press
Franco Angeli
Harvard University Press
Kluwer Academic
Cambridge University Press
Philosophy of science
Language and languages
Wittgenstein, Ludwig
Gödel, Kurt
Vailati, Giovanni
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
12th century
21st century
Great Britain

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