Frege’s Theory of Sense and Reference: Some Exegetical Notes<sup>1</sup>

Saul A. Kripke

in Philosophical Troubles

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730155
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918430 | DOI:
Frege’s Theory of Sense and Reference: Some Exegetical Notes1

Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes Frege's theory of sense and reference. There is in a sense a “backward road” from references to senses. For everyone who specifies a reference must do so in some way. Then, by her awareness of how she has specified the reference, she is aware of the way the reference is fixed, and hence is aware of the sense. Frege's most explicit use of this is in the beginning of the Grundgesetze (1893), where, after concluding that every term has a unique referent, and every sentence a truth-value, he concludes that every sentence of the system expresses a thought given by the way the truth-conditions are specified. Linguistic rules, and the Fregean thoughts involved, can normally be given by general directions exemplified by (α) and (β). But to apply these rules, and indeed to understand them, a user of the language or a thinker must have something very like Russellian acquaintance with directly or indirectly quoted material, senses, times, subjects, and inner mental states.

Keywords: Frege; sense; reference; linguistic rules

Chapter.  21804 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.