Review of Frege making sense , by Michael Beaney. London, U.k.: Duckworth, 1996. Pp. IX+358 [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Purporting to show how Frege's contributions to philosophy of language and philosophical logic were developed with the aim of furthering his logicist programme, the author construes him as more systematic than is often recognized. Centrally, the notion of sense as espoused in Frege's monumental articles of the Nineties had only an ostensible justification as an account of the informativeness of a posteriori identity statements. In fact its rationale was to help articulate the thesis that arithmetical truth is analytic, since, it is maintained, to sustain such a thesis the two sides of the identities at the heart of the logicist reconstruction must be shown to have the same sense. Yet the notion of sense required for the analyticity thesis was not, and could not have been, successfully deployed on behalf of Frege's logicism. For Frege also held that many arithmetical propositions, including, apparently, identities, are informative. But no proposition can be at once informative and analytic. Although systematic, Frege's work harbored a crucial internal tension.
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