Chapter

Thoughts

Patricia A. Blanchette

in Frege’s Conception of Logic

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891610
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933211 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891610.003.0002
Thoughts

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The purpose of this chapter is to explain Frege’s understanding of thoughts, the non-linguistic propositions expressed by declarative sentences. It is stressed that thoughts form the contents of judgment and of theories, and that they are the things that logically entail one another. Difficulties in pinning down Frege’s view of the conditions under which two sentences express the same thought are discussed, along with tensions between the different roles he assigned to thoughts. Frege’s view that a given thought can be decomposed in multiple ways into simpler components is explained and defended (as against Dummett). Finally, the role of Frege’s formal languages in expressing thoughts, and some important differences between formal and natural languages, are laid out.

Keywords: thoughts; formal systems; natural language; sense; reference

Chapter.  13451 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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