A Problem in the Frege–Church Theory of Sense and Denotation (1993)

Nathan Salmon

in Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284719
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603235 | DOI:
 A Problem in the Frege–Church Theory of Sense and Denotation (1993)

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An inconsistent triad to which Fregean theory, as expounded by Church, seems committed is exposed: (i) Frege’s assertion that the sense that a sentence like ‘Holmes has an older brother’ expresses when it occurs within a propositional-attitude attribution — its indirect sense — is the customary sense of ‘the proposition that Holmes has an older brother’; (ii) a Fregean solution, suggested by Church, to the traditional Paradox of Analysis; and (iii) Church’s observation that ‘Holmes has an older brother’ and ‘Holmes has an older male sibling’, even when expressing their indirect senses, can both be correctly translated by means of a single sentence of another language (expressing its own indirect sense). It is argued that the solution to this problem threatens the very heart for the Frege-Church theory.

Keywords: analysis; Church; denotation; Frege; sense; translation

Chapter.  5409 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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