Thoughts about Thoughts: The Structure of Fregean Propositions

Dissertation, Columbia University (2019)
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This dissertation is about the structure of thought. Following Gottlob Frege, I define a thought as the sort of content relevant to determining whether an assertion is true or false. The historical component of the dissertation involves interpreting Frege’s actual views on the structure of thought. I argue that Frege did not think that a thought has a unique decomposition into its component senses, but rather the same thought can be decomposed into senses in a variety of distinct ways. I extend Frege’s position and use it to develop an account of the hierarchy of senses, the senses expressed by indexicals and demonstratives, and the distinction between logical and non-logical structure. I also discuss various connections with the nature of meta-representation, our capacity for reflective judgment, some aspects of the structure of conscious experience, the way we perceive regions of space and durations of time, and our conscious awareness of our own perceptions and events of thinking.



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Nathan Bice
Columbia University (PhD)

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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