H. Sluga (Inquiry, Vol. 18 [1975], No. 4) has criticized me for representing Frege as a realist. He holds that, for Frege, abstract objects were not real: this rests on a mistranslation and a neglect of Frege's contextual principle. The latter has two aspects: as a thesis about sense, and as one about reference. It is only under the latter aspect that there is any tension between it and realism: Frege's later silence about the principle is due, not to his realism, but to his assimilating sentences to proper names. Contrary to what Sluga thinks, the conception of the Bedeutung of a name as its bearer is an indispensable ingredient of Frege's notion of Bedeutung, as also is the fact that it is in the stronger of two possible senses that Frege held that Sinn determines Bedeutung. The contextual principle is not to be understood as meaning that thoughts are not, in general, complex; Frege's idea that the sense of a sentence is compounded out of the senses of its component words is an essential component of his theory of sense. Frege's realism was not the most important ingredient in his philosophy: but the attempt to interpret him otherwise than as a realist leads only to misunderstanding and confusion
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201747608601806
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,268
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Frege's Alleged Realism.Hans D. Sluga - 1977 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 20 (1-4):227 – 242.
II. Frege as Idealist and Then Realist.Michael D. Resnik - 1979 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4):350-357.
Recent Work on Frege.Crispin Wright - 1983 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):363 – 381.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #167,898 of 2,444,891 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,287 of 2,444,891 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes