In search of the origins of some of the most fundamental problems that have beset philosophers in English-speaking countries in the past century, Claire Ortiz Hill maintains that philosophers are treating symptoms of ills whose causes lie buried in history. Substantial linguistic hurdles have blocked access to Gottlob Frege's thought and even to Bertrand Russell's work to remedy the problems he found in it. Misleading translations of key concepts like intention, content, presentation, idea, meaning, concept, etc., severed analytic philosophy from its roots.
Hill argues that once linguistic and historical barriers are removed, Edmund Husserl's critical study of Frege's logic in his 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic provides important insights into issues in philosophy now.
She supports her conclusions with analyses of Frege's, Husserl's, and Russell's works, including Principia Mathematica, and with linguistic analyses of the principal concepts of analytic philosophy. She re-establishes links that existed between English and Continental thought to show Husserl's expertise as a philosopher of mathematics and logic who had been Weierstrass's assistant and had long maintained ties with Cantor, Hilbert, and Zermelo.