Realismbei Frege: Reply to Burge

Synthese 102 (3):363 - 382 (1995)
Abstract
Frege is celebrated as an arch-Platonist and arch-realist. He is renowned for claiming that truths of arithmetic are eternally true and independent of us, our judgments and our thoughts; that there is a third realm containing nonphysical objects that are not ideas. Until recently, there were few attempts to explicate these renowned claims, for most philosophers thought the clarity of Frege's prose rendered explication unnecessary. But the last ten years have seen the publication of several revisionist interpretations of Frege's writings — interpretations on which these claims receive a very different reading. In Frege on Knowing the Third Realm, Tyler Burge attempts to undermine this trend. Burge argues that Frege is the very Platonist most have thought him — that revisionist interpretations of Frege's Platonism, mine among them, run afoul of the words on Frege's pages. This paper is a response to Burge's criticisms. I argue that my interpretation is more faithful than Burge's to Frege's texts.
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