David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Grazer Philosophische Studien 72 (1):73-94 (2006)
According to Frege a proposition—or, in his terms, a thought—is an abstract structured entity constituted by senses which satisfies, at least, the three following properties: it can be semantically assessed as true or as false, it is the object of so called propositional attitudes and it can be grasped. What Frege meant by 'grasping' is the peculiar way in which we can have epistemic access to propositions. The possibility for propositions to be grasped is put by Frege as a warrant for their existence: to challenge their graspability would amount to jeopardise their ontological reality. But is it true, as Frege uncritically maintained, that the "graspability requirement" is satisfied as far as propositions (as he conceived them) are concerned? This is the topic of the present work. A negative answer to the above mentioned question has been given in recent time by the representatives of what has come to be labelled the "cognitive turn" in analytical philosophy. People such as Fodor and Johnson-Laird patently denied the possibility for propositions, conceived à la Frege, to be accessed by the grasping relation. What grounds their position is, to put it roughly, the following train of thought: in order for something to be the target of the grasping relation it must enter the mind. Nothing which is different from a mental entity can enter the mind. Therefore, what can be grasped must be mental. The upshot of this move implies, among other things, the rejection of that radical anti-psychologism which was characteristic of the forefathers of the analytical tradition. In our work we shall try to resist their conclusion by showing that it is not necessary to zero the distinction between propositions and mental entities in order to provide an adequate account of the grasping relation. What one has to give up, instead, is only Frege's late Platonism of the "third realm" which, in our view, is a wholly unnecessary and dispensable accretion of his picture. For, as we shall show, if Platonism is in place it is difficult to provide an account of the grasping relation which makes no use of the "representationalist hypothesis" — i.e. of the hypothesis that ideas mediate our access to whatever can be given to us. But representationalism, once in place, makes the theoretical role of the notion of sense dispensable or purely additional.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Joshua Armstrong & Jason Stanley (2011). Singular Thoughts and Singular Propositions. Philosophical Studies 154 (2):205 - 222.
Sten Lindström (2003). Frege's Paradise and the Paradoxes. In Krister Segerberg & Rysiek Sliwinski (eds.), A Philosophical Smorgasbord: Essays on Action, Truth and Other Things in Honour of Fredrick Stoutland. Uppsala Philosophical Studies 52.
Robin Jeshion (2001). Frege's Notions of Self-Evidence. Mind 110 (440):937-976.
Clevis Headley (1997). Platonism and Metaphor in the Texts of Mathematics: GÃ¶Del and Frege on Mathematical Knowledge. [REVIEW] Man and World 30 (4):453-481.
Anthony Palmer (2011). Propositions, Properties and Relations: Wittgenstein's “Notes on Logic” and the Tractatus. Philosophical Investigations 34 (1):77-93.
Josefa Toribio (1997). Twin Pleas: Probing Content and Compositionality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):871-89.
Marco Ruffino (2007). Fregean Propositions, Belief Preservation and Cognitive Value. Grazer Philosophische Studien 75 (1):217-236.
Dale Jacquette (2011). Frege on Identity as a Relation of Names. Metaphysica 12 (1):51-72.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #64,689 of 1,008,248 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #28,154 of 1,008,248 )
How can I increase my downloads?