The judgement-stroke as a truth-operator: A new interpretation of the logical form of sentences in Frege's scientific language

Erkenntnis 52 (2):213-238 (2000)
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The syntax of Frege's scientific language is commonly taken to be characterized by two oddities: the representation of the intended illocutionary role of sentences by a special sign, the judgement-stroke, and the treatment of sentences as a species of singular terms. In this paper, an alternative view is defended. The main theses are: the syntax of Frege's scientific language aims at an explication of the logical form of judgements; the judgement-stroke is, therefore, a truth-operator, not a pragmatic operator; in Frege's first system, '⊦ Δ' expresses that the circumstance Δ is a fact, and in his second system that the truth-value - Δ is the True; in both systems, the judgement-stroke is construed as a sign sui generis, not as a genuine predicate; its counterpart in natural language is the syntactic "form of assertoric sentences", not the truth-predicate; neither in Frege's first nor in his second system sentences are treated as singular terms.



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Dirk Greimann
Universidade Federal Fluminense