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Frege: Two theses, two senses. (English) Zbl 1047.03006

Frege defines the concept of thought as the sense of a sentence. This evokes tensions with two other of Frege’s views, namely the opinion that (1) structurally different sentences can express the same thought, and (2) that the structure of a sentence uniquely reflects the structure of the thought it expresses (p.87).
The author tries to overcome these tensions by distinguishing two different notions of sense, the first regarding sense as truth condition with the criteria of identity of thought based on logical equivalence (p.99), the second regarding sense as epistemic value, with identity as substitutability in indirect speech (p.101). According to the author, Frege oscillated between these two different senses and criteria of identity, never becoming aware of their contrast. As possible reasons, the antipsychologism problem and the choice of truth values as Bedeutung of sentences are discussed. In concluding the author suggests a ‘Fregean solution’ of the tension in terms of a computational theory of thought saying that “truth conditions and the way to get at them are both part of the objective structure of the thought” (p.106).

MSC:

03A05 Philosophical and critical aspects of logic and foundations
03-03 History of mathematical logic and foundations
01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
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