Frege's alleged realism

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 20 (1-4):227 – 242 (1977)
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Abstract

Michael Dummett, following an established line of reasoning, has interpreted Frege as a realist. But his claim that Frege was arguing against a dominant idealism is untenable. While there are passages in Frege's writings that seem to support a realistic interpretation, others are irreconcilable with it. The issue can be resolved only by examining the historical context. Frege's thought is, in fact, related to the philosophy of Hermann Lotze. Frege is best regarded as a transcendental idealist in the Lotze-Kant tradition. His contextual principle is a linguistic version of Kant's principle of the transcendental unity of judgment. By ignoring the historical context Dummett has been led to misinterpret the precise role of the contextual principle in Frege's thought.

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Hans Sluga
University of California, Berkeley

Citations of this work

Did Frege believe Frege's principle?Francis Jeffry Pelletier - 2001 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (1):87-114.
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Indicating a Translation for ‘Bedeutung’.Karen Green - 2019 - History and Philosophy of Logic 41 (2):114-127.
Frege and Kant on geometry.Michael Dummett - 1982 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):233 – 254.

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References found in this work

The Encyclopedia of philosophy.Paul Edwards (ed.) - 1967 - New York,: Macmillan.
I. Frege as a Realist.Michael Dummett - 1976 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 19 (1-4):455-468.

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