History and Philosophy of Logic 21 (3):195-205 (2000)

Authors
Charles Sayward
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Abstract
The idea underlying the Begriffsschrift account of identities was that the content of a sentence is a function of the things it is about. If so, then if an identity a=b is about the content of its contained terms and is true, then a=a and a=b have the same content. But they do not have the same content; so, Frege concluded, identities are not about the contents of their contained terms. The way Frege regarded the matter is that in an identity the terms flanking the symbol for identity do not have their ordinary contents, but instead have themselves as their contents. In ?Uber Sinn und Bedeutung? Frege became convinced that if an identity a=bis about the signs aand b, then it expresses no proper knowledge. So, since it is evident that many such identities do express proper knowledge, Frege concluded that identities are not about their contained signs. So he became convinced that his Begriffsschrift account was incorrect. What was the error in the argument that led Frege to that account? It was thinking that the content of a sentence is a function of the contents of its constituent signs, that is, the things it is about
Keywords Frege  Dummett  identity
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DOI 10.1080/01445340051095810
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References found in this work BETA

Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
Über Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.
Frege.Michael Dummett - 1973 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):149-188.
Über Sinn Und Bedeutung.G. Frege - 1892 - Philosophical Review 1:574.

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