Review of Metaphysics 38 (1):116-117 (1984)

The author compares Frege's theory of sense and reference with Wittgenstein's Tractatus theory of "logical picturing through language." The aim of Frege's theory, according to Carl, is to arrive at a concept of judgment suitable for his logic and at a satisfactory account of the relation between thought and truth. In all this, Frege uses both linguistic and epistemological reflections. Wittgenstein's interest is different: his theory is concerned with the relation between language and reality, his concept of truth is one of correspondence. The words "Sinn" and "Bedeutung" stand, in Tractatus, for the objective "correlates" of sentence and name respectively. The Sinn of a sentence is a function of the Bedeutung of the names occurring in it. Sentences have Sinn, words have Bedeutung. According to Carl, Frege and Wittgenstein ask different questions and pursue different explanatory goals. Frege's problem, unlike Wittgenstein's, is oriented by a Kantian understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge. That for Frege the Sinn is the fact that is represented in a sentence, points on the one hand to Frege's basically epistemological interest and, on the other, to Wittgenstein's linguistic-ontological concern. Tractatus gives a version of correspondence theory, which Frege explicitly rejects; just as Frege's concern with assertion and judgment are rejected by Wittgenstein as being of no logical importance. In spite of these fundamental differences in orientation, they do have, according to Carl, common theories and thematic interconnections. Both connect the idea of Sinn with understanding of linguistic expressions, both have a functional interpretation of the sense or the reference of complex expressions. Both accord centrality to the concept of truth.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph198438167
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