Consider a perceptual activity such as seeing a colour, hearing a tone, tasting a flavour. How are these activities related to one’s awareness of them? I will use Brentano’s struggle with this question to guide the reader through the development of his view on consciousness. My starting point will be Brentano’s book Die Psychologie des Aristoteles (Brentano 1867), in which he developed an inner sense view of consciousness (§§1-2). Brentano’s early view is underexplored in the literature, but crucial for understanding (...) the development of his thought on the matter. In his major work Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkt (1874) he rejected the existence of an inner sense: the exercises of our five senses yield awareness of the world (or at least of intentional objects) as well as awareness of these perceptions. This same-level view of consciousness has been explored and developed by contemporary philosophers of mind. I will discuss the arguments that moved Brentano to change his mind, outline the view and, finally, respond to Husserl’s influential criticism of Brentano’s view (§§3-5). (shrink)
Michael Devitt has argued that a satisfactory explanation of the authority of linguistic intuitions need not assume that they are derived from tacit knowledge of principles of grammar. Devitt’s Modest Explanation is based on a controversial construal of linguistic intuitions as meta-linguistic central-processor judgements. I will argue that there are non-judgemental responses to linguistic strings, linguistic seemings, which are evidence for linguistic theories. Devitt cannot account for their epistemic authority. This spoils his ‘modest explanation’. Devitt’s opponent, the Voice of Competence (...) View, is back in business. (shrink)
Frege held that singular terms can refer only to objects, not to concepts. I argue that the counter-intuitive consequences of this claim ('the concept paradox') arise from Frege's mirroring principle that an incomplete expression can only express an incomplete sense and stand for an incomplete reference. This is not, as is sometimes thought, merely because predicates and singular terms cannot be intersubstituted salva veritate ( congruitate ). The concept paradox, properly understood, poses therefore a different, harder, challenge. An investigation of (...) the foundations of the mirroring principle also sheds light on the role which language plays in Frege's epistemology of logic. (shrink)
Common sense takes the physical world to be populated by mind-independent particulars. Why and with what right do we hold this view? Early phenomenologists argue that the common sense view is our natural starting point because we experience objects as mind-independent. While it seems unsurprising that one can perceive an object being red or square, the claim that one can experience an object as mind-independent is controversial. In this paper I will articulate and defend the claim that we can experience (...) mind-independence by mainly drawing on the work of the Gestalt psychologist Karl Duncker who, in turn, built on Husserl’s work. In the development of this claim the notion of a limit – either a maximum or minimum – of perception will play an important role. (shrink)
Brentano held that every mental phenomenon has an object and is conscious (the dual relation thesis). The dual relation thesis faces a number of well-known problems. The paper explores how Brentano tried to overcome these problems. In considering Brentano's responses, the paper sheds light on Brentano's theory of judgement that underpins his philosophy of mind.
According to Frege, neither demonstratives nor indexicals are singular terms; only a demonstrative together with ‘circumstances accompanying its utterance’ has sense and singular reference. While this view seems defensible for demonstratives, where demonstrations serve as non-verbal signs, indexicals, especially pure indexicals like ‘I’, ‘here’, and ‘now’, seem not to be in need of completion by circumstances of utterance. In this paper I argue on the basis of independent reasons that indexicals are in fact in need of completion; I identify the (...) completers as uses of circumstances of utterance by the speaker; and I show how these uses together with the utterance of indexical sentences express thoughts. The starting point of the paper is a criticism of Kripke’s and Künne’s alternative treatment of indexicals in Frege’s framework. (shrink)
Self-representational theories of consciousness hold that a mental phenomenon is conscious if, and only if, it presents, among other things, itself. But in conscious perception one may lose oneself in the object perceived and not be aware of one’s perceiving. The paper develops a Brentano-inspired response to this objection. He follows Aristotle in holding that one is aware of one’s perceiving only ‘on the side’: when one perceives something one’s perception neither is nor can become observation of itself. I argue (...) that the arguments Brentano gave for this claim in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint are wanting. However, a promising argument emerges if one takes Brentano’s conception of noticing into account. (shrink)
We criticize attempts to define hope in terms of other psychological states and argue that hope is a primitive mental state whose nature can be illuminated by specifying key aspects of its functional profile.
Does the English demonstrative pronoun 'that' (including complex demonstratives of the form 'that F') have sense and reference? Unlike many other philosophers of language, Frege answers with a resounding 'No'. He held that the bearer of sense and reference is a so-called 'hybrid proper name' (Künne) that contains the demonstrative pronoun and specific circumstances of utterance such as glances and acts of pointing. In this paper I provide arguments for the thesis that demonstratives are hybrid proper names. After outlining why (...) Frege held the hybrid proper name view, I will defend it against recent criticism, and argue that it is superior to views that take demonstrative pronouns to be the bearer of semantic properties. (shrink)
Frege’s writings contain arguments for the thesis (i) that a thought expressed by a sentence S is a structured object whose composition pictures the composition of S, and for the thesis (ii) that a thought is an unstructured object. I will argue that Frege’s reasons for both (i) and (ii) are strong. Frege’s explanation of the difference in sense between logically equivalent sentences rests on assumption (i), while Frege’s claim that the same thought can be decomposed differently makes (ii) plausible. (...) Thoughts are supposed to do work that requires that they be structured and work that requires that they be unstructured. But this cannot be! While the standard response to this problem is to reject either (i) or (ii), I propose a charitable repair in the spirit of Frege’s theory that accepts both. The key idea can be found in Frege’s Basic Laws of Arithmetic(BL, GGA). Frege argues that the thought expressed by a sentence is determined by the truth-conditions that can be derived from the semantic axioms for the sentence constituents. The fact that the same axiomatic truth-condition can be derived in different ways from different semantic axioms suggests a Fregean solution of the dilemma: A thought is a type that is instantiated by all sequences of senses (decomposed thoughts) that have the same axiomatic truth-conditions. This allows for multiple decomposability of the same thought (for different decomposed thoughts can have the same axiomatic truth-conditions) and for a notion of containment (the decomposed thought contains those senses whose semantic axioms are needed in the derivation of the truth-conditions). My proposal combines the virtues of (i) and (ii) without inheriting their vices. (shrink)
Brentano's Thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental is central to analytic philosophy of mind as well as phenomenology. The contemporary discussion assumes that it is a formulation of an analytic definition of the mental. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. According to Brentano, many philosophical concepts can only be elucidated by perceiving their instances because these concepts are abstracted from perception. The concept of the mental is one of these concepts. We need to understand Brentano's Thesis (...) accordingly: It is a piece of advice on how to become introspectively aware of the distinctive feature of mental phenomena. On this understanding of Brentano's Thesis standard objections to it no longer arise. (shrink)
The paper presents an account of the concept of existence that is based on Brentano’s work. In contrast to Frege and Russell, Brentano took ‘exists’ to express a that subsumes objects and explained it with recourse to the non-propositional attitude of acknowledgment. I argue that the core of Brentano’s view can be developed to a defensible alternative to the Frege-Russell view of existence.
Bolzano incorporated Kant's distinction between intuitions and concepts into the doctrine of propositions by distinguishing between conceptual (Begriffssätze an sich) and intuitive propositions (Anschauungssätze an sich). An intuitive proposition contains at least one objective intuition, that is, a simple idea that represents exactly one object; a conceptual proposition contains no objective intuition. After Bolzano, philosophers dispensed with the distinction between conceptual and intuitive propositions. So why did Bolzano attach philosophical importance to it? I will argue that, ultimately, the value of (...) the distinction lies in the fact that conceptual and intuitive truths have different objective grounds: if a conceptual truth is grounded at all, its ground is a conceptual truth. The difference in grounds between conceptual and intuitive truths motivates Bolzano's criticism of Kant's view that intuition plays the fundamental role in mathematics, a conceptual science by Bolzano's lights. (shrink)
Michael Dummett holds that the sense of a natural language proper name is part of its linguistic meaning. I argue that this view sits uncomfortably with Frege's observation that the sense of a natural language proper name varies from speaker to speaker. Moreover, the thesis under discussion is not supported by Frege's views on communication. Recently Richard Heck has tried to develop an argument which is intended to show that assertoric communication with sentences containing proper names is only possible if (...) Dummett's thesis or a version of it is true. I will challenge this argument and argue that it does not support Dummett's thesis. (shrink)
The truth-conditional theory of sense holds that a theory of truth for a natural language can serve as a theory of sense: if knowledge of a theory of truth for a language L is sufficient for understanding utterance of L-sentences, the T-sentences of the theory 'show' the sense of the uttered object-language sentences. In this paper I aim to show that indexicals create a serious problem for this prima facie attractive theoretical option. The so-called 'instantiation problem' is that a truth-theory (...) for indexical languages needs to contain universal statements that show how the reference of indexicals depends on features of the utterance context. Now one can deduce from such statements T-sentences that do not show the sense of an indexical sentence on an occasion of use. I survey proposed solutions to the instantiation problem by Evans and Sainsbury and, unfortunately, find them all wanting. Perhaps there is nothing like the sense-giving truth-condition for an indexical sentence. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) is considered the father of modern logic and one of the founding figures of analytic philosophy. He was first and foremost a mathematician, but his major works also made important contributions to the philosophy of language. Frege’s writings are difficult and deal with technical, abstract concepts. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Frege On Sense and Reference helps the student to get to grips with Frege’s thought, and introduces and assesses: the background of Frege’s philosophical work Frege’s main (...) papers and arguments, focussing on his distinction between sense and reference the continuing importance of Frege’s work to philosophy of logic and language. Ideal for those coming to Frege for the first time, and containing fresh insights for anyone interested in his philosophy, this Guidebook is essential reading for all students of philosophy of language, philosophical logic and the history of analytic philosophy.  . (shrink)
I explore Frege's thesis that fictional proper names are supposed to have only sense and no reference. How can one make this thesis compatible with Frege's view that sense determines reference? By holding that fictional proper names are introduced in a particular kind of speech act. Or so I argue.
L'auteur expose la tentative faite par Bolzano de définir le concept de proposition en soi analytique à l'aide du concept de variation de représentation. Puis, il discute les difficultés qui résultent de ce modèle quant à la définition bolzanienne du concept étroit de vérité logiquement analytique ou de vérité logique. En conclusion, il compare la définition bolzanienne du concept de proposition en soi analytique et la définition husserlienne: celle-ci se découvre être une application de l'idée fondamentale de Bolzano — employer (...) la variation de représentation pour définir les concepts logiques fondamentaux. The author tries to outline Bolzano's proposal to define the concept of an analytic proposition by using the concept of idea variation. He discusses the problems that arise for Bolzano's attempt to define the concept of a logical truth on the same lines. He ends by comparing Bolzano's and Husserl's definition of the concept of an analytical proposition: Husserl's definition can be seen as an original application of Bolzano's basic idea to define basic logical notions with recourse to the concept of idea variation. (shrink)
Most discussions of Kripke's Naming and Necessity focus either on Kripke's so-called "historical theory of reference" or his thesis that names are rigid designators. But in response to problems of the rigidity thesis Kripke later points out that his thesis about proper names is a stronger one: proper names are de jure rigid. This sets the agenda for my paper. Certain problems raised for Kripke's view show that the notion of de jure rigidity is in need of clarification. I will (...) try to clarify the notion of de jure rigidity by analyzing characterizations of it given in the literature. I will argue in particular that Kripke can count descriptive names as de jure rigid and that the concept of de jure rigidity should not be explained with recourse to the concept of a semantical rule. The second part of the paper is a critical discussion of arguments intended to show that proper names are not de jure rigid. I will show that these arguments are unconvincing by using Dummett's distinction between assertoric content and ingredient sense. (shrink)
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’. (shrink)
Proper names play an important role in our understanding of linguistic ‘aboutness’ or reference. For instance, the name-bearer relation is a good candidate for the paradigm of the reference relation: it provides us with our initial grip on this relation and controls our thinking about it. For this and other reasons proper names have been at the center of philosophical attention. However, proper names are as controversial as they are conceptually fundamental. Since Kripke’s seminal lectures Naming and Necessity the controversy (...) about proper names has taken the form of a debate between two main camps, descriptivists and non-descriptivists like Kripke himself.The lectures were given in Princeton in 1970 and published in book form as Naming and Necessity .Descriptivists hold that there is a close connection between proper names and definite descriptions: the meaning or sense of a proper name can be given by a definite description. Th .. (shrink)
Empty proper names give rise to intriguing questions. Frege, Moore and Russell stand at the beginning of analytic philosophy's engagement with these questions. In this paper I will therefore introduce and assess their views on the topic of empty names and draw connections to recent work.
Keith Hossack argues in his The Metaphysics of Knowledge(2007) that knowledge is a simple and metaphysically fundamental relation between a thinker and a fact: knowledge is uptake of fact. Facts are conceived as combinations of particulars and universals, distinct from true propositions. Hossacks's general argument is, roughly, that one can define central philosophical concepts (belief, content, justification, etc.) if one assumes that knowledge is primitive, but that knowledge cannot be defined in terms of such concepts. In this paper, I will (...) question Hossack's view of knowledge and his use of knowledge in the theory of content. To anticipate one of the main points: there is knowledge that cannot be uptake of a fact, because there is no fact to be taken up. The conclusion is that Hossack needs either to revise his theory of facts or his metaphysics of knowledge. Something has to give. (shrink)
We argue against the dominant view in the literature that concepts are modulated in lexical modulation. We also argue against the alternative view that ‘grab bags’ of information that don’t determine extensions are the starting point for lexical modulation. In response to the problems with these views we outline a new model for lexical modulation that dispenses with the assumption that there is a standing meaning of a general term that is modified in the cases under consideration. In applying general (...) terms we intend to conform with our linguistic ancestors and in doing so we take facts about the referents of these terms for granted. In cases of lexical modulation we become aware of facts we took for granted and we need to change the facts we take for granted in order to see ourselves as continuing in a practice. These changes result in utterances of the general term referring to different properties. In general, concepts are neither the starting point for lexical modulation nor the standing meanings of words. (shrink)
Frege holds the distinction between complete (saturated) and incomplete (unsaturated) things to be a basic distinction of logic. Many disagree. In this paper I will argue that one can defend Frege's distinction against criticism if one takes, inspired by Frege, a wh -question to be the paradigm incomplete expression.
Hector-Neri Castaneda claimed in several papers that a proposition expressed by an indexical sentence can be re-expressed by means of an oratio obliqua clause that contains a quasi-indicator. Robert M. Adams and Rogers Albritton have presented a counter-argument that is accepted by Castaneda himself. I will argue that the Adams/Albritton argument is not convincing: The argument uses several assumptions which could be disputed. The paper tries to develop a more direct argument against Castaneda’s central claim. If Castaneda’s thesis is false, (...) what then is achieved by quasi-indexicals in oratio obliqua? Adams and Castaneda answer this question with a picture: the quasi-indexical clause portrays an indexical proposition. I use Perry’s idea that quasi-indicators could be seen as expressions that bind special sense variables to give a less metaphorical account of the functioning of quasi-indicators. Finally, I explore the consequences of this account for iterated knowledge-ascriptions with quasi-indicators and for truth-conditional theories of meaning. (shrink)
Bolzano holds that every sentence can be paraphrased into a sentence of the form "A has b". Bolzano's arguments for this claim are reconstructed and discussed. Since they crucially rely on Bolzano's notion of paraphrase, this notion is investigated in detail. Bolzano has usually been taken to require that in a correct paraphrase the sentence to be paraphrased and the paraphrasing sentence express the same proposition. In view of Bolzano's texts and systematical considerations this interpretation is rejected: Bolzano only holds (...) that the sentence to be paraphrased and the paraphrasing sentence must be equipollent ("gleichgeltend"). It is shown that even this modest view of paraphrase does not help Bolzano in sustaining his claim that all sentences have the form "A has b". (shrink)
Inhaltsverzeichnis/Table of Contents: Vorbemerkung/Preface. Dagfin FØLLESDAL: Bolzano's Legacy. Jan BERG: Bolzano, the Prescient Encyclopedist. Jan SEBESTIK: Bolzano, Exner and the Origins of Analytical Philosophy. Paul RUSNOCK: Bolzano and the Traditions of Analysis. Peter SIMONS: Bolzano on Collections. Ali BEHBOUD: Remarks on Bolzano's Collections. Mark SIEBEL: Variation, Derivability and Necessity. Edgar MORSCHER: Bolzano's Method of Variation: Three Puzzles. Rolf GEORGE: Bolzano's Programme andObjects. Mark TEXTOR: Bolzano's Sententialism. Wolfgang KÜNNE: Propositions in Bolzano and Frege. Michael DUMMETT: Comments on Wolfgang Künne's Paper. Carsten (...) Uwe GIESKE: Bolzano's Notion of Testifying. (shrink)
According to Horwich’s use theory of meaning, the meaning of a word W is engendered by the underived acceptance of certain sentences containing W. Horwich applies this theory to provide an account of semantic stipulation: Semantic stipulation proceeds by deciding to accept sentences containing an as yet meaningless word W. Thereby one brings it about that W gets an underived acceptance property. Since a word’s meaning is constituted by its (basic) underived acceptance property, this decision endows the word with a (...) meaning. The use-theoretic account of semantic stipulation contrasts with the standard view that semantic stipulation proceeds by assigning the meaning (reference) to W that makes a certain set of sentences express true propositions. In this paper I will argue that the use-theoretic account does not work. I take Frege to have already made the crucial point: "a definition does not assert anything but lays down something ["etwas festsetzt"]” (Frege 1899, 36). A semantic stipulation for W cannot be the decision to accept a sentence containing W or be explained in terms of such an acceptance. Semantic stipulation constitutes a problem for Horwich's use theory of meaning, especially his basic notion of acceptance. (shrink)
In his Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt Brentano proposed a view of consciousness that neither has room nor need for a subject of mental acts, a soul. Later he changed his mind: there is a soul that appears in consciousness. In this paper I will argue that Brentano’s change of view is not justified. The subjectless view of consciousness can be defended against Brentano’s argument and it is superior to its predecessor.
Nelson Goodman and, following him, Catherine Z. Elgin and Keith Lehrer have claimed that sometimes a sample is a symbol that stands for the property it is a sample of. The relation between the sample and the property it stands for is called 'exemplification' (Goodman, Elgin) or 'exemplarisation' (Lehrer). Goodman and Lehrer argue that the notion of exemplification sheds light on central problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of mind. However, while there seems to be a phenomenon to be captured, (...) Goodman's account of exemplification has several flaws. In this paper I will offer an alternative account of exemplification that is inspired by Grice's idea that one can communicate something by providing one's audience with intention-independent evidence and letting them draw the obvious conclusion for themselves. This explication of exemplification will solve the problems that arose for Goodman's theory in the spirit of his approach.1. (shrink)
Arguments for and against the existence of demonstrative concepts of shades and shapes turn on the assumption that demonstrative concepts must be recognitional capacities. The standard argument for this assumption is based on the widely held view that concepts are those constituents of propositional attitudes that account for an attitude's inferential potential. Only if demonstrative concepts of shades are recognitional capacities, the standard argument goes, can they account for the inferential potential of demonstrative judgements about shades. Shades are conceived as (...) colour universals. Shade a is different from shade b iff it is possible to distinguish a from b visually. In this paper I will argue that the standard argument is based on a mistaken view of inference. We can correctly draw inferences from a demonstrative judgement about something x , even if we are not able to recognise or re-identify the previously demonstrated x during our reasoning. We are prima facie entitled to rely on our preservative memory as retaining our initial demonstrative apprehension of x . The fact that preservative memory entitles us to assume sameness of referent over time is linguistically manifest in the use of anaphoric pronouns: if we can no longer recognise and demonstrate our original demonstratum, we can use anaphoric expressions to pick it up, thereby ensuring sameness of reference. ('That is a nice bird. Now it has vanished. So there is a nice bird that has just vanished.') Since preservation of the initial episode of apprehending x grounds our reasoning from demonstrative judgements, there is no longer a reason to require demonstrative concepts to be recognitional capacities. The standard argument does not get off the ground. 1. (shrink)
Bolzano holds that every sentence can be paraphrased into a sentence of the form "A has b". Bolzano's arguments for this claim are reconstructed and discussed. Since they crucially rely on Bolzano's notion of paraphrase, this notion is investigated in detail. Bolzano has usually been taken to require that in a correct paraphrase the sentence to be paraphrased and the paraphrasing sentence express the same proposition. In view of Bolzano's texts and systematical considerations this interpretation is rejected: Bolzano only holds (...) that the sentence to be paraphrased and the paraphrasing sentence must be equipollent. It is shown that even this modest view of paraphrase does not help Bolzano in sustaining his claim that all sentences have the form "A has b". (shrink)
In his Foundations of Arithmetic, Frege aims to extend our a priori arithmetical knowledge by answering the question what a natural number is. He rejects conceptual analysis as a method to acquire a priori knowledge . Later he unsuccessfully tried to solve the problems that beset conceptual analysis . If these problems remain unsolved, which rational method can he use to extend our a priori knowledge about numbers? I will argue that his fundamental arithmetical insight that numbers belong to concepts (...) is based on the recognition that different sentences express the same thought. In Frege's philosophy of arithmetic, propositional analysis does the main work. How it can do this work will be discussed in sections 3, 4 and 5. Sections 6 and 7 explore this approach further. (shrink)
Does (affirmative) judgement have a logical dual, negative judgement? Whether there is such a logical dualism was hotly debated at the beginning of the twentieth century. Frege argued in ?Negation? (1918/9) that logic can dispense with negative judgement. Frege's arguments shaped the views of later generations of analytic philosophers, but they will not have convinced such opponents as Brentano or Windelband. These philosophers believed in negative judgement for psychological, not logical, reasons. Reinach's ?On the Theory of Negative Judgement? (1911) spoke (...) to the concerns of these philosophers. While Frege took the distinction between affirmative and negative judgement to be logically redundant, Reinach argued that it is the result of confusing judgement with a different mental act. In this article, I present Reinach's arguments against the ?old logical dualism? in context, analyse them and discuss Reinach's innovative use of the notion of focus in the theory of judgement. Recently, there has been a revival of the view that sentential negation is grounded in a prior mental act of rejection. In the final section, I argue that Reinach's analysis of rejection poses a challenge for the revivalists. (shrink)