Truth, assertion, and the horizontal: Frege on "the essence of logic"

Mind 117 (466):375-401 (2008)
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In the opening to his late essay, Der Gedanke, Frege asserts without qualification that the word "true" points the way for logic. But in a short piece from his Nachlass entitled "My Basic Logical Insights", Frege writes that the word true makes an unsuccessful attempt to point to the essence of logic, asserting instead that "what really pertains to logic lies not in the word "true" but in the assertoric force with which the sentence is uttered". Properly understanding what Frege takes to be at issue here is crucial for understanding his conception of logic and, in particular, what he takes to be its normative status vis-à-vis judgement, assertion, and inference. In this paper, I focus my attention on clarifying the latter claim and Frege's motivations for making it, exposing what I take to be a fundamental tension in Frege's conception of logic. Finally, I discuss whether Frege's deployment of the horizontal in his mature Begriffsschrift helps to resolve this tension.



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William Taschek
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

Is Logic Distinctively Normative?Ivar Labukt - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):1025-1043.
The Normativity of Kant's Logical Laws.Jessica Leech - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (4).
The Logical Significance of Assertion: Frege on the Essence of Logic.Walter B. Pedriali - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (8).

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References found in this work

Uber Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.
The Frege Reader.Gottlob Frege & Michael Beaney (eds.) - 1997 - Oxford, England: Blackwell.
What The Tortoise Said To Achilles.Lewis Carroll - 1895 - Mind 104 (416):691-693.

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