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Frege: Philosophy of Language

London: Duckworth (1973)

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  1. Does the Truth-Conditional Theory of Sense Work for Indexicals?Mark Textor - 2010 - Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 6 (2):119-137.
    The truth-conditional theory of sense holds that a theory of truth for a natural language can serve as a theory of sense: if knowledge of a theory of truth for a language L is sufficient for understanding utterance of L-sentences, the T-sentences of the theory 'show' the sense of the uttered object-language sentences. In this paper I aim to show that indexicals create a serious problem for this prima facie attractive theoretical option. The so-called 'instantiation problem' is that a truth-theory (...)
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  • Interface Transparency and the Psychosemantics of Most.Jeffrey Lidz, Paul Pietroski, Tim Hunter & Justin Halberda - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (3):227-256.
    This paper proposes an Interface Transparency Thesis concerning how linguistic meanings are related to the cognitive systems that are used to evaluate sentences for truth/falsity: a declarative sentence S is semantically associated with a canonical procedure for determining whether S is true; while this procedure need not be used as a verification strategy, competent speakers are biased towards strategies that directly reflect canonical specifications of truth conditions. Evidence in favor of this hypothesis comes from a psycholinguistic experiment examining adult judgments (...)
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  • From Linguistic Contextualism to Situated Cognition: The Case of Ad Hoc Concepts.Jérôme Dokic - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):309 – 328.
    Our utterances are typically if not always "situated," in the sense that they are true or false relative to unarticulated parameters of the extra-linguistic context. The problem is to explain how these parameters are determined, given that nothing in the uttered sentences indicates them. It is tempting to claim that they must be determined at the level of thought or intention. However, as many philosophers have observed, thoughts themselves are no less situated than utterances. Unarticulated parameters need not be mentally (...)
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  • Indexicals: A Problem for Gottlob Frege's Semantic.Ángela Rocío Bejarano Chaves - 2010 - Discusiones Filosóficas 11 (17):139-149.
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  • McDowell's Identity Conception of Truth: A Reply to Fish and MacDonald.Julian Dodd - 2008 - Analysis 68 (1):76–85.
  • Dummett's Critique of Wright's Attempt to Resuscitate Frege.Bob Hale - 1994 - Philosophia Mathematica 2 (2):122-147.
    Michael Dummett mounts, in Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics, a concerted attack on the attempt, led by Crispin Wright, to salvage defensible versions of Frege's platonism and logicism in which Frege's criterion of numerical identity plays a leading role. I discern four main strands in this attack—that Wright's solution to the Caesar problem fails; that explaining number words contextually cannot justify treating them as enjoying robust reference; that Wright has no effective counter to ontological reductionism; and that the attempt is vitiated (...)
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  • Inferentialism, Representationalism and Derogatory Words.Daniel Whiting - 2007 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (2):191 – 205.
    In a recent paper, after outlining various distinguishing features of derogatory words, Jennifer Hornsby suggests that the phenomenon raises serious difficulties for inferentialism. Against Hornsby, I claim that derogatory words do not pose any insuperable problems for inferentialism, so long as it is supplemented with apparatus borrowed from Grice and Hare. Moreover, I argue, derogatory expressions pose difficulties for Hornsby's favoured alternative theory of meaning, representationalism, unless it too is conjoined with a similar Grice/Hare mechanism. So, the upshot of the (...)
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  • Conservatives and Racists: Inferential Role Semantics and Pejoratives.Daniel J. Whiting - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (3):375-388.
    According to inferential role semantics, for any given expression to possess a particular meaning one must be disposed to make or, alternatively, acknowledge as correct certain inferential transitions involving it. As Williamson points out, pejoratives such as ‘Boche’ seem to provide a counter-example to IRS. Many speakers are neither disposed to use such expressions nor consider it proper to do so. But it does not follow, as IRS appears to entail, that such speakers do not understand pejoratives or that they (...)
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  • Ambiguity, Generality, and Indeterminacy: Tests and Definitions. [REVIEW]Brendan S. Gillon - 1990 - Synthese 85 (3):391 - 416.
    The problem addressed is that of finding a sound characterization of ambiguity. Two kinds of characterizations are distinguished: tests and definitions. Various definitions of ambiguity are critically examined and contrasted with definitions of generality and indeterminacy, concepts with which ambiguity is sometimes confused. One definition of ambiguity is defended as being more theoretically adequate than others which have been suggested by both philosophers and linguists. It is also shown how this definition of ambiguity obviates a problem thought to be posed (...)
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  • The Inferential Significance of Frege's Assertion Sign.Mitchell S. Green - 2002 - Facta Philosophica 4 (2).
  • Monsters in Kaplan's Logic of Demonstratives.Brian Rabern - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):393-404.
    Kaplan (1989a) insists that natural languages do not contain displacing devices that operate on character—such displacing devices are called monsters. This thesis has recently faced various empirical challenges (e.g., Schlenker 2003; Anand and Nevins 2004). In this note, the thesis is challenged on grounds of a more theoretical nature. It is argued that the standard compositional semantics of variable binding employs monstrous operations. As a dramatic first example, Kaplan’s formal language, the Logic of Demonstratives, is shown to contain monsters. For (...)
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  • The Significance of Schiffer's Meaning-Intention Problem.Mark Lovas - 1998 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 5 (2):112-131.
    Schifferś \'meaning-intention\' problem is aimed at \'hidden-indexical\' theories of belief ascription. Without defending such theories the author raises several questions about the assumptions behind Schifferś objection. Perhaps hidden-indexical theories don\'t tell us enough about how we can refer to modes of presentation, but Schifferś skepticism about our ability to know modes of presentation is unwarranted. The author sketches an account of the role of modes of presentation in ordinary psychological talk which is designed to answer Schifferś skeptical worries.
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  • A Pinch of Salt for Frege.Karen Green - 2006 - Synthese 150 (2):209-228.
    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 (...)
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  • Inference and Rational Commitment.James Trafford - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (1):5-20.
    This peer-reviewed paper intervenes in debates relating to overarching themes that impact upon mass media studies, communication theory and theories of cognition more generally. In particular, the paper discusses issues involving how our ordinary psychological thinking relates to norms of rationality (and how these latter are conceived). In essence, I argue against a dominant approach taken by Christopher Peacocke, that rationality can be grounded in the possession of certain concepts. The article makes a new contribution to the field by arguing (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions Again: Singular Reference, Quantification and Truth-Evaluation.Petr Koťátko - 2009 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 16 (4):552-568.
    The author defends a combination of Strawson’s account of definite descriptions as devices of singular reference par excellence with the Russellian truth-evaluation of utterances of sentences with descriptions. The complex Russellian proposition is, according to the author’s view, introduced by such utterances into communication as a by-product of the instrumental side of an attempt to make a singular statement. This, precisely like the instrumental aspects of similar attempts exploiting names or demonstratives has to be reflected by analysis but should not (...)
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  • Framework for Formal Ontology.Barry Smith & Kevin Mulligan - 1983 - Topoi 2 (1):73-85.
    The discussions which follow rest on a distinction, first expounded by Husserl, between formal logic and formal ontology. The former concerns itself with (formal) meaning-structures; the latter with formal structures amongst objects and their parts. The paper attempts to show how, when formal ontological considerations are brought into play, contemporary extensionalist theories of part and whole, and above all the mereology of Leniewski, can be generalised to embrace not only relations between concrete objects and object-pieces, but also relations between what (...)
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  • Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Arithmetic.Marc A. Joseph - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (1):83-.
    It is argued that the finitist interpretation of wittgenstein fails to take seriously his claim that philosophy is a descriptive activity. Wittgenstein's concentration on relatively simple mathematical examples is not to be explained in terms of finitism, But rather in terms of the fact that with them the central philosophical task of a clear 'ubersicht' of its subject matter is more tractable than with more complex mathematics. Other aspects of wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics are touched on: his view that mathematical (...)
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  • La Logique Peut-Elle Mouvoir L'Esprit?Pascal Engel - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (1):35-.
    This paper attempts to take a new look at the famous Lewis Carroll paradox about Achilles and the Tortoise. It examines in particular the connections between Lewis Carroll's regress argument for logical inferences and a similar regress for practical inferences. The Tortoise's point of view is espoused: no norm of reasoning or of conduct can in itself only the brute force of belief can. This conclusion is a Humean one. But it does not imply that we renounce altogether the normative (...)
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  • Washing Away Original Sinn.Eros Corazza - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (4):743-.
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  • Une Défense Hétérodoxe de la Conception Inférentialiste de I’Introspection.Pascal Ludwig - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (1):123-144.
    Le but de cet article est de défendre une conception inférentialiste de l’introspection des qualia contre une série d’objections apparemment décisives. Selon la theorie inférentialiste, une auto-attribution d’un état qualitatifest la conclusion d’un raisonnement, plutôt que le résultat d’une expérience d’un type spécifique. Contre cela, il a été remarqué qu'il ne semble pas exister de raisonnements déductifs formellement corrects permettant d’arriver à une conclusion introspective. Je concède que toute tentative visant à construire de tels raisonnements est à coup sûr vouée (...)
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  • Gardiner on Anti-Realism: A Defence of Dummett.Darragh Byrne - 2004 - Dialogue 43 (1):3-.
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  • The Modest Account of Truth Reconsidered: With a Postscript on Metaphysical Categories.Wolfgang Künne - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (3):563-596.
  • A New Puzzle About Believed Fallibility.Yitzhak Benbaji - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (4):679-696.
    I shall consider the phenomenon of believing ourselves to have at least one false belief: a phenomenon I call believed fallibility I shall first present a paradoxical argument which appears to show that believed fallibility is incoherent; second, note that this argument assumes that we are committed to the conjunction of all our beliefs; third, sketch a more intuitive notion of commitment in which we are not committed to the conjunction of all our beliefs and argue that the original paradoxical (...)
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  • Hegel's Dialectics as a Semantic Theory: An Analytic Reading.Francesco Berto - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):19–39.
  • The Concept Horse with No Name.Robert Trueman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1889-1906.
    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.
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  • The Reference Principle.Alex Oliver - 2005 - Analysis 65 (3):177–187.
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  • Impure Reference: A Way Around the Concept Horse Paradox.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):297-312.
    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 (...)
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  • Benacerraf’s Dilemma and Informal Mathematics.Gregory Lavers - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (4):769-785.
    This paper puts forward and defends an account of mathematical truth, and in particular an account of the truth of mathematical axioms. The proposal attempts to be completely nonrevisionist. In this connection, it seeks to satisfy simultaneously both horns of Benacerrafs work on informal rigour. Kreisel defends the view that axioms are arrived at by a rigorous examination of our informal notions, as opposed to being stipulated or arrived at by trial and error. This view is then supplemented by a (...)
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  • Animal Concepts: Content and Discontent.Nick Chater & Cecilia Heyes - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (3):209-246.
  • Nonconceptual Demonstrative Reference.Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):251-285.
    The paper argues that the reference of perceptual demonstratives is fixed in a causal nondescriptive way through the nonconceptual content of perception. That content consists first in spatiotemporal information establishing the existence of a separate persistent object retrieved from a visual scene by the perceptual object segmentation processes that open an object-file for that object. Nonconceptual content also consists in other transducable information, that is, information that is retrieved directly in a bottom-up way from the scene (motion, shape, etc). The (...)
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  • Mereological Commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283–305.
    We tend to talk about (refer to, quantify over) parts in the same way in which we talk about whole objects. Yet a part is not something to be included in an inventory of the world over and above the whole to which it belongs, and a whole is not something to be included in the inventory over and above its constituent parts. This paper is an attempt to clarify a way of dealing with this tension which may be labeled (...)
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  • Is There a Problem About Propositional Unity?Howard Peacock - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):393-418.
    The problem of the ‘Unity of the Proposition’ is the problem of explaining the difference between a content-expressing declarative sentence and a ‘mere list’ of referents. The prevailing view is that such a problem is to be solved metaphysically, either by reducing our ontology to exclude propositions or universals, or by explaining how it is possible for a certain kind of complex entity – the ‘proposition’– to ‘unify’ its constituents. I argue that these metaphysical approaches cannot succeed; instead the only (...)
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Caesar Invictus.William Stirton - 2003 - Philosophia Mathematica 11 (3):285-304.
    The main purpose of this article is to argue that Crispin Wright and Bob Hale have not succeeded in overcoming the well-known ‘Julius Caesar objection’ to their proposed definition of the phrase ‘the number of’. It is hoped that the article will also help to clarify what would actually be needed in order to overcome this objection.
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  • Principles of Composition and Criteria of Identity.Katherine Hawley - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):481 – 493.
    I argue that, despite van Inwagen’s pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or ‘principles of composition’ tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the (...)
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  • The Particular–Universal Distinction: A Dogma of Metaphysics?Fraser MacBride - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):565-614.
    Is the assumption of a fundamental distinction between particulars and universals another unsupported dogma of metaphysics? F. P. Ramsey famously rejected the particular – universal distinction but neglected to consider the many different conceptions of the distinction that have been advanced. As a contribution to the piecemeal investigation of this issue three interrelated conceptions of the particular – universal distinction are examined: universals, by contrast to particulars, are unigrade; particulars are related to universals by an asymmetric tie of exemplification; universals (...)
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  • Proper Names and Their Fictional Uses.Heidi Tiedke - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):707 - 726.
    Fictional names present unique challenges for semantic theories of proper names, challenges strong enough to warrant an account of names different from the standard treatment. The theory developed in this paper is motivated by a puzzle that depends on four assumptions: our intuitive assessment of the truth values of certain sentences, the most straightforward treatment of their syntactic structure, semantic compositionality, and metaphysical scruples strong enough to rule out fictional entities, at least. It is shown that these four assumptions, taken (...)
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  • Solving the Caesar Problem Without Categorical Sortals.Nikolaj Jang Pedersen - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (2):141-155.
    The neo-Fregean account of arithmetical knowledge is centered around the abstraction principle known as Hume’s Principle: for any concepts X and Y , the number of X ’s is the same as the number of Y ’s just in case there is a 1–1 correspondence between X and Y . The Caesar Problem, originally raised by Frege in §56 of Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik , emerges in the context of the neo-Fregean programme, because, though Hume’s Principle provides a criterion of (...)
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  • Meaning and Justification: The Case of Modus Ponens.Joshua Schechter & David Enoch - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):687 - 715.
    In virtue of what are we justified in employing the rule of inference Modus Ponens? One tempting approach to answering this question is to claim that we are justified in employing Modus Ponens purely in virtue of facts concerning meaning or concept-possession. In this paper, we argue that such meaning-based accounts cannot be accepted as the fundamental account of our justification.
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  • The Reliability Challenge and the Epistemology of Logic.Joshua Schechter - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):437-464.
    We think of logic as objective. We also think that we are reliable about logic. These views jointly generate a puzzle: How is it that we are reliable about logic? How is it that our logical beliefs match an objective domain of logical fact? This is an instance of a more general challenge to explain our reliability about a priori domains. In this paper, I argue that the nature of this challenge has not been properly understood. I explicate the challenge (...)
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  • Carnap’s Dream: Gödel, Wittgenstein, and Logical, Syntax.S. Awodey & A. W. Carus - 2007 - Synthese 159 (1):23-45.
    In Carnap’s autobiography, he tells the story how one night in January 1931, “the whole theory of language structure” in all its ramifications “came to [him] like a vision”. The shorthand manuscript he produced immediately thereafter, he says, “was the first version” of Logical Syntax of Language. This document, which has never been examined since Carnap’s death, turns out not to resemble Logical Syntax at all, at least on the surface. Wherein, then, did the momentous insight of 21 January 1931 (...)
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  • Biscuit Conditionals: Quantification Over Potential Literal Acts. [REVIEW]Muffy E. A. Siegel - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (2):167 - 203.
    In biscuit conditionals (BCs) such as If you’re hungry, there’s pizza in the fridge, the if clause appears to apply to the illocutionary act performed in uttering the main clause, rather than to its propositional content. Accordingly, previous analyses of BCs have focused on illocutionary acts, and, this, I argue, leads them to yield incorrect paraphrases. I propose, instead, that BCs involve existential quantification over potential literal acts such as assertions, questions, commands, and exclamations, the semantic objects associated with declarative, (...)
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  • Frege on Vagueness and Ordinary Language.Stephen Puryear - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):120-140.
    Frege is widely thought to believe that vague predicates have no referent (Bedeutung). But given other things he evidently believes, such a position would seem to commit him to a suspect nihilism according to which assertoric sentences containing vague predicates are neither true nor false. I argue that we have good reason to resist ascribing to Frege the view that vague predicates have no Bedeutung and thus good reason to resist seeing him as committed to the suspect nihilism. In the (...)
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  • Externalism, Internalism, and Logical Truth.Corine Besson - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (1):1-29.
    The aim of this paper is to show what sorts of logics are required by externalist and internalist accounts of the meanings of natural kind nouns. These logics give us a new perspective from which to evaluate the respective positions in the externalist-internalist debate about the meanings of such nouns. The two main claims of the paper are the following: first, that adequate logics for internalism and externalism about natural kind nouns are second-order logics; second, that an internalist second-order logic (...)
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  • Ways of Branching Quantifers.Gila Sher - 1990 - Linguistics and Philosophy 13 (4):393 - 422.
    Branching quantifiers were first introduced by L. Henkin in his 1959 paper ‘Some Remarks on Infmitely Long Formulas’. By ‘branching quantifiers’ Henkin meant a new, non-linearly structured quantiiier-prefix whose discovery was triggered by the problem of interpreting infinitistic formulas of a certain form} The branching (or partially-ordered) quantifier-prefix is, however, not essentially infinitistic, and the issues it raises have largely been discussed in the literature in the context of finitistic logic, as they will be here. Our discussion transcends, however, the (...)
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  • Undecidability, Epistemology and Anti-Realist Intuitionism.Sanford Shieh - 1997 - Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 2:55-67.
  • Frege's Judgement Stroke and the Conception of Logic as the Study of Inference Not Consequence.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (4):639-665.
    One of the most striking differences between Frege's Begriffsschrift (logical system) and standard contemporary systems of logic is the inclusion in the former of the judgement stroke: a symbol which marks those propositions which are being asserted , that is, which are being used to express judgements . There has been considerable controversy regarding both the exact purpose of the judgement stroke, and whether a system of logic should include such a symbol. This paper explains the intended role of the (...)
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  • Proper Names and Relational Modality.Peter Pagin & Kathrin Glüer - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):507 - 535.
    Saul Kripke's thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like (a) Aristotle might have been fond of dogs, (b) Concerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite (...)
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  • Indeterminacy and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinctions: A Survey.Peter Pagin - 2008 - Synthese 164 (1):1-18.
    It is often assumed that there is a close connection between Quine's criticism of the analytic/synthetic distinction, in 'Two dogmas of empiricism' and onwards, and his thesis of the indeterminacy of translation, in Word and Object and onwards. Often, the claim that the distinction is unsound (in some way or other) is taken to follow from the indeterminacy thesis, and sometimes the indeterminacy thesis is supported by such a claim. However, a careful scrutiny of the indeterminacy thesis as stated by (...)
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  • A Deflationary Theory of Reference.Arvid Båve - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):51 - 73.
    The article first rehearses three deflationary theories of reference, (1) disquotationalism, (2) propositionalism (Horwich), and (3) the anaphoric theory (Brandom), and raises a number of objections against them. It turns out that each corresponds to a closely related theory of truth, and that these are subject to analogous criticisms to a surprisingly high extent. I then present a theory of my own, according to which the schema “That S(t) is about t” and the biconditional “S refers to x iff S (...)
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