On the Links between Language and Thinking

Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 55:17-22 (2018)
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Abstract

Historically, George Boole’s philosophy of logic has been regarded as the very opposite of Gottlob Frege’s, insofar as Frege is characterized as a strong logical anti-psychologist. Although there are significant differences between Frege’s and Boole’s views on logic, there are also significant similarities, which provide support for our representation of Frege’s philosophy of logic as weakly psychologistic. Both Boole and Frege aspire to capture the essence of a pure and ideally perfect language that may faithfully express correct reasoning, but Boole’s trust in the power of natural language is stronger than Frege’s. Although we cannot adequately defend this claim, we submit that a thorough examination of the differences between Frege’s and Boole’s views on symbolic and natural languages may lead to a more interesting comparison of their stances on logic and thinking than the often repeated contrast in their attitudes toward psychologism.

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Nicla Vassallo
University of Genoa

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