Chapter

Two Fundamental Problems: Frege's Classical Approach

Howard Wettstein

in The Magic Prism

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195160529
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195160525.003.0002
 Two Fundamental Problems: Frege's Classical Approach

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The problem of the nature of propositions, the things we assert, is introduced. Frege’s doctrine that a proposition is the sense of a sentence, a thoroughly conceptual entity, is set out and named the “classical account of propositions”. Frege’s doctrine must be understood in the light of his distinction between sense and reference, which is explained and which gives rise to a second fundamental problem: the relation between language and world. Frege’s solution, that the reference of a linguistic expression is derivative from its associated mode of presentation, is discussed. It is suggested that Frege’s views on the subject are mistaken and that Russell’s remarks point the way forward.

Keywords: Frege; modes of presentation; propositions; Russell; sense-reference distinction

Chapter.  6483 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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