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Max Black

From Academic Kids

Max Black (1909 - 1988) was a distinguished Anglo-American philosopher, who has been a leading influence in analytic philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century. He has made contributions to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics and science, the philosophy of art, and published studies of the work of philosophers such as Frege. His translation (with Peter Geach) of Frege's published philosophical writing is a classic text, still in print.

Image:MaxBlack.jpg

He was born in Azerbaijan, his family moving to London in 1912, when he was three. He grew up in London. He studied mathematics at Queens' College, Cambridge where he developed an interest in the philosophy of mathematics. Russell, Wittgenstein, G. E. Moore, and Ramsey were all at Cambridge at that time, and their influence on Black may have been considerable.

He graduated in 1930 and was awarded a fellowship to study at Göttingen for a year.

His first book was The nature of mathematics (1933), an exposition of Principia Mathematica and of current developments in the philosophy of mathematics.

He lectured in mathematics at the Institute of Education in London from 1936 to 1940 then moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana. In 1946 he accepted a professorship in philosophy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.


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