- Dummett, Michael Anthony Eardley
- (1925– )British philosopher of logic and language. Born in London and educated at Oxford, Dummett was a Fellow of All Souls, and from 1979 to 1992 held the chair of logic at Oxford. Dummett has been one of the most influential British philosophers of the second half of the 20th century. His work centres upon the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mathematics, and shows a marked sympathy with verificationist and constructivist ideals. Almost singlehandedly he kept the flame of mathematical intuitionism alive as philosophically interesting, while his massive works in the philosophy of language inspired continuing interest in the relationship between evidence, or assertibility, on the one hand, and truth on the other (see also realism/anti-realism ).Dummett is also known for an uncompromising re-evaluation of the western tradition, viewing writings before the rise of analytical philosophy as fatally flawed by having taken epistemology to be fundamental, whereas the correct approach, giving a foundational place to a concern with language, only took wing with the work of Frege . Critics have queried whether Frege's thought was thus born ‘unfertilized by external inferences’, and have objected there is more than a passing concern with meaning in Plato, Aristotle, the Nyaya school of Indian philosophy, and many others. Equally, the supposedly pure investigation of language in the 20th century has often kept some dubious epistemological and metaphysical company. Dummett's works include Frege: Philosophy of Language (1973), and the collections of essays Truth and Other Enigmas (1978) and The Seas of Language (1994). Rather different interests are met in The Game of Tarot (1980), an exploration of the game designed to discredit what Dummett regards as the irrational theories and pseudo-history of occultists, and Style and Grammar, an explanation of the correct way to write lucidly (1993).
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.