The traditional distinction between Millian and Fregean theories of names presupposes that what Mill calls ‘connotation’ lines up with what Frege calls ‘sense.’ This presupposition is false. Mill’s talk of connotation is an attempt to bring into view the line of thought that crystallizes in Frege’s distinction between concept and object. This latter is the semantic dualism of my title.
I expose and discuss here the different arguments Bradley used against the tenability of relations as genuine entities, as well as the corresponding arguments against predicates, both in metaphysical and logical terms, and this always in the framework of his semantic general ideas on judgment and truth. Also, I have found useful to try to find similar arguments in Frege, in order to show that, no matter how different their respective goals and methods may have been, both philosophers tried to (...) solve very similar problems regarding the nature of judgment and the role of relations in explaining its deep unity. Then I shall point out the multiple nature of the general problem involved, and finish with some reflections about its importance for analytical philosophers, especially for Russell. (shrink)
Abstract: Groundwork is lain for answering questions as to how to situate Husserl’s theory of functions in relation to Frege’s. I examine Husserl’s ideas about analyticity and mathematics, logic and mathematics, formalization, calculating with concepts and propositions, the foundations of arithmetic, extensions to show that, although he knew, studied and lauded Frege’s ideas about functions and concepts, each man approached the issues from different angles. Seduced by the siren of transcendental phenomenology Husserl did not pursue the issues, implications, and consequences (...) of his ideas about functions. I ask whether so doing could provide new insight into, or even solutions to, the problems involving functions that beset Frege, Russell and have beset their successors. (shrink)
Michael Dummett has argued that a formal semantics for our language is inadequate unless it can be shown to illuminate to our actual practice of speaking and understanding. This paper argues that Frege’s account of the semantics of predicate expressions according to which the reference of a predicate is a concept (a function from objects to truth values) has exactly the required characteristics. The first part of the paper develops a model for understanding the distinction between objects and concepts as (...) an ontological distinction. It argues that, ontologically, we can take a Fregean function to be generated by a property detection device that can register for any object the presence or absence of that property. This provides a direct connection between the semantics of sentences and the structure of perceptual judgment. The second part of the paper deals with arguments that have been mounted against the coherence of Frege’s semantics. It argues that some of these are question begging, while others are correct in so far as Frege’s claim is untenable if we assume that the syntactic categories singular term and predicate are primary, and the ontological categories are simply projections of these syntactic categories. However, the objections dissipate once we recognize that an independent ontological characterization of the distinction is available. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege is a significant figure in the philosophy of mathematics and logic insofar as he is the founder of modern symbolic logic and the articulator of the key distinctions and problems that have come to define much of contemporary analytic philosophy. Frege's concept-object distinction plays a major role in underwriting his thesis that numbers must be objects of a particular kind. Fregean numbers are generally interpreted as archetypal abstract objects, demanding some explanation as to how we come to know (...) them. Because Frege's distinction does not seem to deliver such an explanation, commentators have tended to dismiss it as a mistake. I argue that, despite its treatment by most scholars, Frege's distinction should not be read as an ontological claim, but as a methodological principle designed to prevent the errors being committed by his mathematical contemporaries. Analyzed as a norm of mathematical reasoning, Frege's concept-object distinction reveals itself as a neo-Kantian variant of Kant's distinction between a concept and an intuition. A key part of my argument involves delineating the different neo-Kantian camps that arose as a result of the clash between non-Euclidean geometries and Kant's epistemology. Frege is then shown to be aligned with the neo-Kantian camp led by Hermann Cohen and Paul Natorp. Seeing Frege as influenced by Cohen/Natorp's interpretation of Kantian epistemology not only supports my thesis that the C&O distinction is a methodological claim, but also explains why Frege defended the claim that Euclidean geometry was a body of necessary and universal truths grounded on pure intuition and continued to do so well into the 1900's. (shrink)
The paper presents a historical account of the primacy of concepts in Frege's conception of logic. Moreover, it argues that Frege's priority-thesis (i.e., the assumption that judgeable contents are prior to concepts) does not imply that sentential logic is more basic than the logic of concepts in his thought.
This paper casts doubt on a recent criticism of Frege's theory of concepts and extensions by showing that it misses one of Frege's most important contributions: the derivation of the infinity of the natural numbers. We show how this result may be incorporated into the conceptual structure of Zermelo- Fraenkel Set Theory. The paper clarifies the bearing of the development of the notion of a real-valued function on Frege's theory of concepts; it concludes with a brief discussion of the claim (...) that the standard interpretation of second-order logic is necessary for the derivation of the Peano Postulates and the proof of their categoricity. (shrink)
En este articulo relaciono dos asuntos que no se relacionan comunmente en la literatura sobre Frege: el argumento de Frege sobre la interpretacion de las oraciones de identidad y su problema de referirse a las funciones. Primero expongo el argumento y concluyo que es plausible. Luego caracterizo las relaciones semanticas que el argumento le permite introducir. A continuacion trato el problema antes mencionado y muestro corno afecta a la semantica de Frege: esas relaciones semanticas se vuelven innominables y, por tanto, (...) su seolantica resulta ser inexpresable. Finalmente considero una solucion posible a este probierna.In this paper, I relate two items not commonly related in the literature on Frege: Frege’s argument on the interpretation of identity statements and his problem of referring to functions. First, I expound the argument and conclude that it is sound. Second, I characterize the semantical relations which the argument allows him to introduce. In what follows, I deal with the above mentioned problem and show how it affects Frege’s semantics: those semantical relations become unnameable and, therefore, his semantics turns out to be unexpressible. I consider a possible solution of this problem. (shrink)
This paper examines four arguments in support of Frege's theory of incomplete entities, the heart of his semantics and ontology. Two of these arguments are based upon Frege's contributions to the foundations of mathematics. These are shown to be question-begging. Two are based upon Frege's solution to the problem of the relation of language to thought and reality. They are metaphysical in nature and they force Frege to maintain a theory of types. The latter puts his theory of incomplete entities (...) in the paradoxical position of maintaining that it is no theory at all. Moreover, his metaphysics rules out well-known suggestions for avoiding this difficulty. (shrink)
Although the notion of logical object plays a key role in Frege's foundational project, it has hardly been analyzed in depth so far. I argue that Marco Ruffino's attempt to fill this gap by establishing a close link between Frege's treatment of expressions of the form ‘the concept F’ and the privileged status Frege assigns to extensions of concepts as logical objects is bound to fail. I argue, in particular, that Frege's principal motive for introducing extensions into his logical theory (...) is not to be able to make in-direct statements about concepts, but rather to define all numbers as logical objects of a fundamental kind in order to ensure that we have the right cognitive access to them qua logical objects via Axiom V. Contrary to what Ruffino claims, reducibility to extensions cannot be the ‘ultimate criterion’ for Frege of what is to be regarded as a logical object. (shrink)
This work addresses the critical discussion featured in the contemporary literature about two well-known paradoxes belonging to different philosophical traditions, namely Frege’s puzzling claim that “the concept horse is not a concept” and Gongsun Long’s “white horse is not horse”. We first present the source of Frege’s paradox and its different interpretations, which span from plain rejection to critical analysis, to conclude with a more general view of the role of philosophy as a fight against the misunderstandings that come from (...) the different uses of language (a point later developed by the “second” Wittgenstein). We then provide an overview of the ongoing discussions related to the Bai Ma Lun paradox, and we show that its major interpretations include—as in the case of Frege’s paradox—dismissive accounts that regard it as either useless or wrong, as well as attempts to interpret and repair the argument. Resting on our reading of Frege’s paradox as an example of the inescapability of language misunderstandings, we advance a similar line of interpretation for the paradox in the Bai Ma Lun: both the paradoxes, we suggest, can be regarded as different manifestations of similar concerns about language, and specifically about the difficulty of referring to concepts via language. (shrink)
This paper investigates the connection between two recent trends in philosophy: higher-orderism and conceptual engineering. Higher-orderists use higher-order quantifiers (in particular quantifiers binding variables that occupy the syntactic positions of predicates) to express certain key metaphysical doctrines, such as the claim that there are properties. I argue that, on a natural construal, the higher-orderist approach involves an engineering project concerning, among others, the concept of existence. I distinguish between a modest construal of this project, on which it aims at engineering (...) higher-order analogues of the familiar notion of first-order existence, and an ambitious construal, on which it additionally aims at engineering a broadened notion of existence that subsumes first-order and higher-order existence. After identifying a substantial problem for the ambitious project, I investigate a possible response which is based on adopting a cumulative type theory as the background higher-order logic. While effective against the problem at hand, this strategy turns out to undermine a major reason to embrace higher-orderism in the first place, namely the idea that higher-orderism dissolves a range of otherwise intractable debates in metaphysics. Higher-orderists are therefore best advised to pursue their engineering project on the modest variant and against the background of standard type theory. (shrink)
I offer an analysis of the sentence "the concept horse is a concept". It will be argued that the grammatical subject of this sentence, "the concept horse", indeed refers to a concept, and not to an object, as Frege once held. The argument is based on a criterion of proper-namehood according to which an expression is a proper name if it is so rendered in Frege's ideography. The predicate "is a concept", on the other hand, should not be thought of (...) as referring to a function. It will be argued that the analysis of sentences of the form "C is a concept" requires the introduction of a new form of statement. Such statements are not to be thought of as having function--argument form, but rather the structure subject--copula--predicate. (shrink)
It is a remarkable fact about the early history of the analytic tradition that its three most important protagonists all held, at least during significant intervals of their respective careers, that there are entities that cannot be named. This shared commitment on the part of Frege, Russell and the early Wittgenstein is the topic of this thesis. I first clarify the particular form this commitment takes in the work of these three authors. I also illustrate a distinctive cluster of philosophical (...) difficulties attending the view that there are unnameable entities, and explore the relationship between unnameability and inexpressibility. I then investigate what grounds there are for countenancing the unnameable, focussing in particular on the thesis that concepts cannot be named. I give a detailed hearing to four arguments for the unnameability of concepts discernible in, or suggested by, early analytic writings. The first and second arguments (chapters 3 and 4) are distinguishable in the locus classicus, Frege's 'On Concept and Object'. The first concerns the relationship between co-reference and intersubstitutability; the second concerns the unity of thought. The third argument (chapter 4) appeals to the alleged impossibility of expressing identities between objects and concepts, while the fourth (chapter 5) draws on considerations pertaining to diagonalization and Russell's paradox. I make the case that all four arguments fail to provide grounds for accepting the unnameable, contending that each argument can and should be resisted in defence of singular reference to concepts. In doing so I develop a novel defence of the view that absolutely any entity can be referred to with a singular term. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a conceptually tighter, quasi-Fregean solution to the concept horse paradox based on the idea that the unterfallen relation is asymmetrical. The solution is conceptually tighter in the sense that it retains the Fregean principle of separating sharply between concepts and objects, it retains Frege’s conclusion that the sentence ‘the concept horse is not a concept’ is true, but does not violate our intuitions on the matter. The solution is only ‘quasi’- Fregean in the sense that (...) it rejects Frege’s claims about the ontological import of natural language and his analysis thereof. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege sostuvo que las palabras-concepto sólo se refieren a conceptos no a objetos y que los términos singulares se refieren sólo a objetos no a conceptos. Estas tesis dan lugar a la paradoja del concepto, de acuerdo con la cual ‘el concepto F’ no se refiere a ningún concepto. Mark Textor sostiene que su principio del espejar explica el origen del problema. Sin embargo, argumento que su artículo no explica todas las consecuencias de las tesis de Frege y mi (...) supuesto semántico ontológico puede verse como una consecuencia del principio del espejar de Textor. (shrink)
In this essay, I respond to A. W. Moore’s instructive chapter on Frege. I respond by asking various questions, and I question particularly Moore’s claim that Frege, in reacting to Benno Kerry, falls into Hegelian excess. I toy with responding to my question by regarding Frege as anticipating a Wittgensteinian-Heideggerian exaction. It remains unclear whether this constitutes (much) progress.
In this paper, I seek to clarify an aspect of Frege's thought that has been only insufficiently explained in the literature, namely, his notion of logical objects. I adduce some elements of Frege's philosophy that elucidate why he saw extensions as natural candidates for paradigmatic cases of logical objects. Moreover, I argue (against the suggestion of some contemporary scholars, in particular, Wright and Boolos) that Frege could not have taken Hume's Principle instead of Axiom V as a fundamental law of (...) arithmetic. This would be inconsistent with his views on logical objects. Finally, I shall argue that there is a connection between Frege's view on this topic and the famous thesis first formulated in ‘Über Begriff und Gegenstand’ that ‘the concept horse is not a concept’. As far as I know, no due attention has been given to this connection in the scholarly literature so far. (shrink)
Frege’s rejection of singular reference to concepts is centrally implicated in his notorious paradox of the concept horse. I distinguish a number of claims in which that rejection might consist and detail the dialectical difficulties confronting the defense of several such claims. Arguably the least problematic such claim—that it is simply nonsense to say that a concept can be referred to with a singular term—has recently received a novel defense due to Robert Trueman. I set out Trueman’s argument for this (...) claim, identifying and remedying some omissions and errors of formulation therein. I then develop a response to the argument by showing, pace Trueman, that it is possible—and how it is possible—to express identities between objects and concepts. (shrink)
This paper uses the resources of higher-order logic to articulate a Fregean conception of predicate reference, and of word-world relations more generally, that is immune to the concept horse problem. The paper then addresses a prominent style of expressibility problem for views of broadly this kind, versions of which are due to Linnebo, Hale, and Wright.
In this paper I argue that Frege’s concept horse paradox is not easily avoided. I do so without appealing to Wright’s Reference Principle. I then use this result to show that Hale and Wright’s recent attempts to avoid this paradox by rejecting or otherwise defanging the Reference Principle are unsuccessful.
What Frege’s paradox on concept and object (FP) consists in and the manner in which Frege coped with it (the ladder strategy) are briefly reviewed (§ 1). An idea for solving FP inspired by Husserl’s semantics is presented; it results in failure, for it leads to a version of Russell’s paradox, the usual solution of which implies something like a resurgence of FP (§ 2). A generalized version of Frege’s paradox (GFP) and an idea for solving it inspired by Davidson’s (...) semantics are presented; three theorems about recursive definability of truth are put forward and used to determine whether this idea can be successfully applied to certain putative forms of the Language of Science (§ 3). Proofs of these three theorems, in particular of the third, which answers a question that does not seem to have drawn logicians’ attention, are then given (§ 4). Finally, it turns out that there is a tension between the proposed solution of GFP and the idea of Language of Science assumed so far in this paper, and a way of solving it is proposed (§ 5). (shrink)
Mucho se ha escrito sobre las dificultades que presentan algunas de las nociones claves de la filosofía de Frege. Sin embargo, no ha merecido suficiente atención lo “indecible” en la teoria fregeana. Es este precisamente el objetivo de mi estudio. Mostrar que hay “indecibles” en la teoria fregeana, es de especial interés no sólo por las paradojas que plantea el hecho de que la teoria se impida a si misma la formulación de algunas tesis generales que la constituyen, sino también (...) porque al exhibir la existencia de ciertos “indecibles” y los principios teóricos de los que se desprenden, podemos arrojar luz sobre la raíz de algunas dificultades entrelazadas, que han sido comentadas por diversos autores. (shrink)
The „Paradox of the Concept Horse" arises on the assumption of the Reference Principle: that co-referential expressions should be cross-substitutable salva veritate in extensional contexts and salva congruitate in all. Accordingly no singular term can co-refer with an unsaturated expression. The paper outlines a number of desiderata for a satisfactory response to the problem and argues that recent treatments by Dummett and Wiggins fall short by their lights. It is then pointed out that a more consistent perception of the requirements (...) of the Reference Principle leads not to the Paradox but to the result that Frege had no business extending the notion of Bedeutung to unsaturated expressions in the first place. Rather the relation between, e.g., predicates and the entities that comprise the range of higher-order logical variables must be logically unlike that between singular terms and their referents; the way is therefore opened for singular terms to refer to entities of the former kind after all. The Concept Horse is a concept (and a Fregean object too.). (shrink)
I argue that Frege's so-called "concept 'horse' problem" is not one problem but many. When these different sub-problems are distinguished, some emerge as more tractable than others. I argue that, contrary to a widespread scholarly assumption originating with Peter Geach, there is scant evidence that Frege engaged with the general problem of the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions in writings available to Wittgenstein. In consequence, Geach is mistaken in his claim that in the Tractatus Wittgenstein simply accepts from Frege certain (...) lessons about the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions and the say-show distinction. In truth, Wittgenstein drew his own morals about these matters, quite possibly as the result of reflecting on how the general problem of the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions arises in Frege's writings , but also, quite possibly, by discerning certain glimmerings of these doctrines in the writings of Russell. (shrink)
This paper provides a new solution to the concept horse paradox. Frege argued no name co-refers with a predicate because no name can be inter-substituted with a predicate. This led Frege to embrace the paradox of the concept horse. But Frege got it wrong because predicates are impurely referring expressions and we shouldn’t expect impurely referring expressions to be intersubstitutable even if they co-refer, because the contexts in which they occur are sensitive to the extra information they carry about their (...) referents. (shrink)
Frege held various views about language and its relation to non-linguistic things. These views led him to the paradoxical-sounding conclusion that "the concept horse is NOT a concept." A key assumption that led him to say this is the assumption that phrases beginning with the definite article "the" denote objects, not concepts. In sections I-III this issue is explained. In sections IV-V Frege's theory is articulated, and it is shown that he was incorrect in thinking that this theory led to (...) the conclusion that "the concept horse is not a concept." Section VI goes on to show that his strict theory about the functioning of ordinary language is inconsistent. Sections VII-VIII investigate Frege's reasons for thinking that "the concept horse" must denote an object; these reasons are not adequate on Frege's own grounds. Section IX sketches a systematic way to allow such phrases to denote concepts (not objects) within the framework of Frege's main views about language. Section X comments briefly on the consequences of this idea for his logistic program. (shrink)
The article raises an objection against michael dummett's defence of frege's thesis that incomplete expressions refer to concepts. Even if dummett has shown that predicates refer to concepts, He has not shown that the concepts referred to exist. Although dummett tries to justify the claim that concepts exist, The sense of 'exist' in this claim is not the customary one but is introduced by mere stipulation. Furthermore, Even if 'concepts exist' is true, It can be argued on fregean grounds that (...) it ascribes existence only to fregean objects, Not to concepts. (shrink)
After describing the philosophical background of Kerry's work, an account is given of the way Kerry proposed to supplement Bolzano's conception of logic with a psychological account of the mental acts underlying mathematical judgements.In his writings Kerry criticized Frege's work and Kerry's views were then attacked by Frege.The following two issues were central to this controversy: (a) the relation between the content of a concept and the object of a concept; (b) the logical roles of the definite article. Not only (...) did Frege in 1892 offer an unconvincing solution to Kerry's puzzle concerning 'the concept horse' but he also overlooked the many criticisms levelled by Kerry against the notion of an (indefinite) extension on which his own definition of number was based. (shrink)
The purpose of the article is to explain two curious doctrines maintained by frege and rejected by wittgenstein in the 'tractatus logico-philosophicus'. that a special assertion sign is necessary was maintained by frege because he wanted to apply his concept-writing to ordinary language, and it was rejected by wittgenstein because his concern in the 'tractatus' was with scientific assertions only. frege's paradoxical notion that 'the concept horse is not a concept' was a consequence of his symbolizing functions by 'unsaturated' expressions. (...) wittgenstein's picture theory eliminated expressions for relations and thereby avoided the fregean paradox. (shrink)