Synthese 195 (6):2677-2696 (2018)

Mark Textor
King's College London
According to Frege, we need a criterion for recognising when different sentences express the same thought to make progress in logic. He himself hedged his own equipollence criterion with a number of provisos. In the literature on Frege, little attention has been paid to the problems these provisos raise. In this paper, I will argue that Fregeans have ignored these provisos at their peril. For without these provisos, Frege’s criterion yields wrong results; but with the provisos in place, it is of no use for Frege’s purposes. This is connected to what Frege took to be the ‘greatest difficulty for philosophy’: natural language sentences don’t just express thoughts; they convey evaluations and communicative hints. Because of this, Frege’s recognition criterion for thoughts cannot be applied to them and we cannot make logical progress by ‘recognising a thought in different linguistic guises’.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1345-8
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Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Uber Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.

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