Frege on Multiple Analyses and the Essential Articulatedness of Thought
Frege appears to hold both (a) that thoughts are internally articulated, in a way that mirrors the semantic articulation of the sentences that express them, and (b) that the same thought can be analyzed in different ways, none of which has to be more fundamental than the others. Commentators have often taken these theses to be mutually incompatible and have tended to polarize into two camps, each of which attributes to Frege one of the theses, but maintains that he is only apparently committed to the other. This paper argues (i) that there are good exegetical and philosophical reasons for reconciling the two theses; (ii) that this reconciliation can be achieved by rejecting an assumption shared by the two opposite camps of the exegetical debate, i.e., the assumption that essential articulatedness implies unique articulation; and finally (iii), that this crucial assumption can be resisted by appreciating Frege’s anti-atomistic and ‘organic’ conception of the internal complexity of thoughts.
This paper (i) offers an interpretation of some central aspects of Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of language, (ii) challenges the received view of its relation to analytic philosophy, and (iii) seeks to show that this investigation into the prehistory of analytic philosophy sheds light on its history proper. It has been often maintained, most notably by Quine, that Bentham anticipated Frege’s context principle and the use of contextual definition. On these bases, Bentham has been presented as one of the initiators of a tradition that shares a common commitment to the “semantic priority of sentences” and that includes authors as otherwise diverse as Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein. In opposition to this narrative, I argue that Bentham did indeed anticipate the use of contextual definition, but was not a forerunner of Frege’s context principle. The two issues should be sharply distinguished. I show that Bentham’s philosophy of language is informed by a set of empiricist assumptions that Frege’s contextualism was centrally meant to oppose. I conclude that with respect to the question of the relation between propositional and sub-propositional meaning, we should distinguish two opposed strands in the history of analytic philosophy: an empiricist strand anticipated by Bentham, represented most notably by Russell, and an anti-empiricist strand, represented most notably by Frege and Wittgenstein.
This chapter aims to show that the Tractatus can be coherently committed, at one and the same time, to a strong version of the context principle (sufficiently strong to entail the austere conception of nonsense) and to a version of the principle of compositionality. It is quite natural to interpret these two semantic principles in a manner that renders them mutually incompatible. Taking his cue from some remarks in the Tractatus, the author tries to develop alternative understandings of the two principles according to which they are compatible with one another and indeed positively interdependent. He hopes to show that (1) there is good reason to attribute to the Tractatus the alternative understandings of each of these principles that he develops in the chapter, and that (2) these alternative ways of understanding the two principles are philosophically superior to those that render them mutually incompatible.
This volume presents different conceptions of logic and mathematics and discuss their philosophical foundations and consequences. This concerns first of all topics of Wittgenstein's ideas on logic and mathematics; questions about the structural complexity of propositions; the more recent debate about Neo-Logicism and Neo-Fregeanism; the comparison and translatability of different logics; the foundations of mathematics: intuitionism, mathematical realism, and formalism.
The contributing authors are Matthias Baaz, Francesco Berto, Jean-Yves Beziau, Elena Dragalina-Chernya, Günther Eder, Susan Edwards-McKie, Oliver Feldmann, Juliet Floyd, Norbert Gratzl, Richard Heinrich, Janusz Kaczmarek, Wolfgang Kienzler, Timm Lampert, Itala Maria Loffredo D'Ottaviano, Paolo Mancosu, Matthieu Marion, Felix Mühlhölzer, Charles Parsons, Edi Pavlovic, Christoph Pfisterer, Michael Potter, Richard Raatzsch, Esther Ramharter, Stefan Riegelnik, Gabriel Sandu, Georg Schiemer, Gerhard Schurz, Dana Scott, Stewart Shapiro, Karl Sigmund, William W. Tait, Mark van Atten, Maria van der Schaar, Vladimir Vasyukov, Jan von Plato, Jan Woleński and Richard Zach.
“Let's be Logical” is a double invitation. Although logic often refers to a disposition of mind that we all share, this disposition might be confused once its theoretical sources are questioned. The present volume offers thirteen articles that address various aspects of the discipline of logic and its methods, notably formalism, the theory of opposition, mathematical truth, and history of logic. This volume has been prepared with the pedagogical concern of making it accessible to a wide audience of logic and philosophy readers.
The main claim of this paper is one that many readers will find surprising, namely that some central aspects of the Tractatus’ conception of language can be illuminated with the help of the philosophy of Stanley Cavell. One reason such a claim will seem surprising is that the Tractatus as standardly read is advancing an atomistic conception of language. The author rejects such a reading. He begins with an overview of the Tractatus’ contextualism and of the atomistic conception of language that it opposes. Then he shows how some Cavellian ideas can help us to make good sense of the Tractarian view. He shows (a) that according to Tractarian contextualism, language requires our personal contribution, i.e. the exercise of our own judgment. He suggests (b) that a desire to evade the need of this contribution is at least part of what explains why we are naturally attracted to the atomistic approach and find the Tractarian view disappointing. And finally (c), he spells out the sense in which such a conception of what is involved in the use of language reveals it to be characterized by a pervasive ethical dimension.
La position résolument extensionaliste de Quine a été appuyée par des arguments de nature différente, dans ses multiples articles destinés à rejeter le projet de logique modale. On peut classer ces arguments en trois catégories : un argument naturaliste, où l’auteur tente de baser le langage scientifique sur une notation tâchée de décrire la “structure ultime de la réalité” ; un argument esthétique, où Quine fait allusion à des raisons de clarté et d’efficacité démonstrative pour privilégier la théorie des fonctions de vérité ; un argument pratique, dans la mesure où Quine défend la logique classique sur la base du “principe de mutilation minimum”. A travers une étude de ses écrits relatifs aux attitudes propositionnelles, nous montrerons que la philosophie de la logique de Quine a prolongé la partie épistémologique de son oeuvre, optant finalement pour une stratégie de réduction naturaliste des intensions, à l’image du mouvement engagé par Word and Object et prolongé par From Stimulus to Science. Ce projet se soldera par un échec relatif, et Quine résumera cette désillusion par un fossé entre les structures du langage et du monde : la thèse du “monisme anomal” de Davidson sera le dernier mot, amer, du défenseur acharné de la logique classique.