From Plato to Frege: Paradigms of Predication in the History of Ideas [Book Review]

Metaphysica 10 (2):199-214 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

One of the perennial questions of philosophy concerns the simple statements which say that an object is so and so or that such and such objects are so and so related: simple predicative statements. Do such statements have an ontological basis, and if so, what is that basis? The answer to this question determines—or in any case, is expressive of—a specific fundamental outlook on the world. In the course of the history of Western philosophy, various philosophers have given various answers to the question of predication. This essay presents the main, crucial answers: the paradigms and theories of predication of the Sophists (and of all later radical relativists), of Plato, of Aristotle, of the Aristotelian-minded non-nominalists, of Leibniz, and of Frege. In addition, the essay follows (to some extent) the most influential—the Aristotelian or mereological—paradigm of predication in its continuity and modification through the many centuries of its reign. However, the essay is not content to adopt the merely historical point of view; it also poses the question of adequacy. Prior to Frege, there was no philosophically adequate theory of predication, and the essay points out the shortcomings (besides aspects that can be viewed as advantages) of each pre-Fregean predication theory considered in it. Frege, in the nineteenth century, brought the philosophy of predication on the right track, but his own theory of predication has its own deficits. The essay ends with the presentation of a theory of predication that the author himself considers adequate.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,252

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Self-Predication in the Sophist.Robert Heinaman - 1981 - Phronesis 26 (1):55 - 66.
The structure of predication.Alessandro Lenci - 1998 - Synthese 114 (2):233-276.
Davidson on predication.Jeff Speaks - 2013 - In A Companion to Davidson. pp. 328-338.
A Subject-Comment Account of Predication.Bo Mou - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:167-191.
Predication in Conceptual Realism.Nino B. Cocchiarella - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):301-321.
To be and not to be.William J. Rapaport - 1985 - Noûs 19 (2):255-271.
Kant and Frege on Existence and the Ontological Argument.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (4):337-354.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-09-13

Downloads
183 (#103,485)

6 months
13 (#169,369)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?