16 de dezembro de 2011

Frege on Singular Thoughts

Marco Ruffino (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)

19 de Dezembro de 2011, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In this paper I investigate how, according to Frege, a
thought can be singular (in the sense of being about a particular
object, not in the sense of being something like a Russellian
proposition, which Frege famously rejects). This is closely related to
the question of the nature of singular senses, i.e., senses of what we
might call Fregean proper names (which include not only ordinary
proper names, but also definite descriptions and indexicals). I shall
try to show that Frege does not have a unique explanation of singular
senses. On the contrary, we can find elements of two conflicting views
in his writings: the first considers singular senses as resulting from
a peculiar kind of speech act. The second sees singular senses as
resulting from the combination of the sense of quantifiers with
conceptual senses. None of these views is entirely compatible with the
rest of Frege’s semantics. I conclude that Frege has no coherent
alternative to Russellian singular thoughts.

Sponsored by: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Faculdade de Letras
da Universidade de Lisboa

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