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Frege and the Logic of Sense and Reference|Views: 1,322|Likes: 92

Published by kevinklement

This book aims to develop certain aspects of Gottlob Frege's theory of meaning, especially those relevant to intensional logic. It offers a new interpretation of the nature of senses, and attempts to devise a logical calculus for the theory of sense and reference that captures as closely as possible the views of the historical Frege. (The approach is contrasted with the less historically-minded Logic of Sense and Denotation of Alonzo Church.) Comparisons of Frege's theory with those of Russell and others are given. It is in the end shown that developing Frege's theory in these ways reveals serious problems hitherto largely unnoticed,

including those possibly rendering a Fregean intensional logic inconsistent even if his naive class theory is excluded.

including those possibly rendering a Fregean intensional logic inconsistent even if his naive class theory is excluded.

This book aims to develop certain aspects of Gottlob Frege's theory of meaning, especially those relevant to intensional logic. It offers a new interpretation of the nature of senses, and attempts to devise a logical calculus for the theory of sense and reference that captures as closely as possible the views of the historical Frege. (The approach is contrasted with the less historically-minded Logic of Sense and Denotation of Alonzo Church.) Comparisons of Frege's theory with those of Russell and others are given. It is in the end shown that developing Frege's theory in these ways reveals serious problems hitherto largely unnoticed,

including those possibly rendering a Fregean intensional logic inconsistent even if his naive class theory is excluded.

including those possibly rendering a Fregean intensional logic inconsistent even if his naive class theory is excluded.

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https://www.scribd.com/doc/17078549/Frege-and-the-Logic-of-Sense-and-Reference

04/15/2013

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Because Frege was blind to these sorts of contradictions in his philosophy, he

never attempted to formulate solutions for them. Russell, however, was not so

blind. Despite the differences in formulation, in beginning to look for a broadly

Fregean solution to these problems, it is worthwhile to ask whether Frege could

have accepted any solution considered by Russell.

Russell’s first worked out solution to the *Principles* Appendix B paradox is

that of “Les paradoxes de la logique,” wherein Russell denied the existence of

general propositions. General *Gedanken* are involved in both the formulation of

the Appendix B paradox given above and the contradiction discussed in the

previous chapter used to prove the inconsistency of system FC+SB

. Could Frege

hope to eliminate these antinomies in his philosophy by denying the existence of

general *Gedanken*? Perhaps, but what would be the philosophical justification

for such a move? We noted above that after abandoning the theory of denoting

concepts, Russell was left in the dark about the constituents of general

propositions. But the constituents of general *Gedanken* are in no way mysterious

to Frege. *Gedanken* are composed of the *Sinne* of the expressions making up the

propositions expressing the *Gedanken*. Frege understands quantifiers as having

higher-level functions as their *Bedeutungen*; the *Sinne* of quantifiers are

incomplete *Sinne* picking out these functions. They are no more mysterious than

any other incomplete *Sinne*. Without abandoning his theory of quantification as

involving higher-level functions, it is not clear what philosophical grounds

Frege could have for denying general *Gedanken*. We do not want to make such a

move simply as an artificial dodge of the contradictions; we want some

philosophical insight into what goes wrong in their deduction. In the context of

Fregean philosophy, this solution cannot do this.

The other Russellian solution to the “paradoxes of propositions” mentioned

above is the adoption of a ramified type hierarchy. In Chapter 4 we already

discussed why orders would be difficult to justify from a Fregean standpoint.

Frege’s ontology of *Gedanken* as third-realm entities makes it difficult to defend

the claim that some version of Poincaré’s vicious-circle principle applies to their

truth-conditions. Indeed, as we have seen, orders only became justified to

Russell when he radically changed his ontology of propositions. In the

*Principles*, where Russell’s ontology of propositions is perhaps closest to

Frege’s ontology of *Gedanken*, Russell found the suggestion that propositions

come in different orders as “harsh and highly artificial.”25

However, we shall

discuss this in more detail in the next chapter, where we focus more specifically

on possible alterations of Frege’s philosophy in light of the difficulties discussed

here.

25

Russell, *Principles of Mathematics*, §500.

*190
*

*Frege and the Logic of Sense and Reference
*

Thus, we might not be able to find an adequately Fregean solution to the

difficulties discussed here by examining Russell’s own proposed solutions. But

this does not mean that there are no lessons to learn from Russell relevant to a

Fregean diagnosis of the antinomies. Perhaps most importantly, from the very

beginning, Russell was aware of the Cantorian origins of such contradictions.

Cantor had shown that the cardinal number of classes of entities of some domain

must always be larger than the number of entities in that domain. Thus, the

number of classes of propositions must be greater than the number of

propositions. However, Russell was committed to a proposition for every class

of propositions, such as the proposition stating its logical product. Thus, for

Russell, the cardinal number of propositions was as great as the number of

classes of propositions, in violation of Cantor’s result. The case is similar with

Frege. Frege is committed to as many *Gedanken* as classes of *Gedanken*.

It can be concluded that any logical system that contains ontological

commitment to intensional entities such as Russell’s propositions or Frege’s

*Gedanken* must be very careful regarding the cardinal number of intensions

posited. If the number is sufficiently great, so as to form a 1-1 mapping with

classes or functions, contradiction can easily result. This issue is taken up in

greater detail in the next chapter.

For both Russell and Frege, the number of intensions to which their systems

are committed is great. For Russell, for any formula α, the system is committed

to a proposition {α}. As we have seen, Frege is committed to something similar

through the process of “*Sinn*-transformation” described earlier. For any

expression of the system FC, we can form a name of the *Sinn* it expresses using

our *Sinn* constants. Axioms FC+SB

35, FC+SB

36 and FC+SB

37 similarly commit

the system to *Sinne* for everything nameable even in the expanded language. It

should be noted that the commitment to an intensional entity for every

expression is not in and of itself problematic. It is only problematic if the

identity conditions of such intensions are very strict. The stricter the identity

conditions of intensions, the more intensions are posited. The *Principles
*Appendix B paradox would not arise for Russell if it were possible for

“{(

without

were possible for “(Π

class. Frege and Russell require rather strict identity conditions for

systems differ by anything more than the choice of letters for bound variables,

the intensions posited for the expressions are non-identical.

It might be thought, then, that the sorts of difficulties discussed here might

be solved by loosening the identity conditions of the intensional entities posited.

*Comparison with Russell and Other Thinkers
*

*191
*

The problem is that very strict identity conditions for intensions are required if

those intensions are to be viewed as relata in belief and other inten*t*ional states.

Frege needs strict identity conditions for his *Gedanken* if he is to understand

belief states as relations between a believer and a *Gedanke* believed. In previous

chapters, we discussed the interpretation that propositions can be understood as

expressing the same *Gedanke* when they necessarily have the same truth-value

or are logically equivalent. This was concluded to conflict with Frege’s doctrine

of indirect *Bedeutung*, since it is not true that if A and B are logically equivalent

that anyone who believes A must also believe B. The identity conditions for

*Gedanken* must be more stringent than logical necessity. One of the very

purposes of our development of a logical calculus for the theory of *Sinn* and

*Bedeutung* was to allow for the transcription of statements of propositional

attitudes and related inferences. If we make the identity criteria for *Gedanken
*too weak, then our logical calculus would become incapable of doing so

adequately. These issues are taken up in greater detail in the next chapter.

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