Some Fregean Considerations on Predicates and Their Reference

Tabula Rasa 25 (2006)
The aim of this paper is (i) to defend Frege's view that the referents of predicates are certain kinds of functions, or "concepts", i.e. incomplete entities, and not their extensions (i.e. sets of objects described by those predicates); and (ii) to justify, by a natural augmentation of Frege's semantic theory with modal ingredients, Frege's position that the sameness between concepts, or property-sharing, turns only on the sameness of extensions. Several problems with the doctrine that a predicate's extension is its referent are presented, including the regress argument and an argument from the modern philosophy of language related to natural kind terms. In this connection, it is also pointed out that all referential expressions are in a sense rigid.
Keywords predicates  reference  frege  rigidity
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