The Unsatisfactoriness of Unsaturatedness

In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Philosophy and Logic of Predication. Peter Lang (2017)
Frege proposed his doctrine of unsaturatedness as a solution to the problems of the unity of the proposition and the unity of the sentence. I show that Frege’s theory is mystical, ad hoc, ineffective, paradoxical and entails that singular terms cannot be predicates. I explain the traditional solution to the problem of the unity of the sentence, as expounded by Mill, which invokes a syncategorematic sign of predication and the connotation and denotation of terms. I streamline this solution, bring it up to date and contrast the resulting conventionalist account with Frege’s unsaturatedness account. I argue that the conventionalist account provides a clear and intelligible solution to the problem of the unity of the sentence which is free of the defects of Frege’s account. I suggest that the problem of the unity of the proposition is spurious. I recommend that the notion of unsaturatedness be extruded from serious debate.
Keywords unity of the proposition  unity of the sentence  unsaturatedness  Gottlob Frege  J S Mill  syncategorematic  paradox  predication  conventionalist  singular term
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