Frege claims that the laws of logic are characterized by their “generality,” but it is hard to see how this could identify a special feature of those laws. I argue that we must understand this talk of generality in normative terms, but that what Frege says provides a normative demarcation of the logical laws only once we connect it with his thinking about truth and science. He means to be identifying the laws of logic as those that appear in every (...) one of the scientific systems whose construction is the ultimate aim of science, and in which all truths have a place. Though an account of logic in terms of scientific systems might seem hopelessly antiquated, I argue that it is not: a basically Fregean account of the nature of logic still looks quite promising. (shrink)
Why does Frege claim that logical axioms are ‘self‐evident,’ to be recognized as true ‘independently of other truths,’ and then offer arguments for those axioms? I argue that he thinks the arguments provide us with the justification that we need for accepting the axioms and that this is compatible with his remarks about self‐evidence. This compatibility depends on philosophical considerations connected with the ‘critical method’: an interesting approach to the justification of axioms endorsed by leading philosophers at the time.
Commentators regularly attribute to Frege realist, idealist, and quietist responses to metaphysical questions concerning the abstract objects he calls ‘thoughts’. But despite decades of effort, the evidence offered on behalf of these attributions remains unconvincing. I argue that Frege deliberately avoids commitment to any of these positions, as part of a metaphysical separatist policy motivated by the fact that logic is epistemologically autonomous from metaphysics. Frege’s views and arguments prove relevant to current attempts to argue for epistemological autonomy, particularly that (...) of ethics. (shrink)
In recent discussions of the so-called “value of truth,” it is assumed that what is valuable in the relevant way is not the things that are true, but only various states and activities associated with those things: knowing them, investigating them, etc. I consider all the arguments I know of for this assumption, and argue that none provide good reason to accept it. By examining these arguments, we gain a better appreciation of what the value of the things that are (...) true would be, and why it would matter. We also encounter three indications that what is true really is valuable, each of which provides a promising starting point for a serious argument with that conclusion. (shrink)