By Tyler Burge

ISBN-10: 0199278539

ISBN-13: 9780199278534

This can be a nice choice of readings from a good thinker. Burge deals many insights on Frege's philosophy between different issues.

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I will discuss these briefly. One source of animus is the assumption that Frege’s notions of sense and thought content stand or fall with his Ontological Platonism about them. Recall that Ontological Platonisim is the view that certain abstract entities’ existence, or being, and their natures are independent of relations to any entities that exist, or have being, in time. Few philosophers or linguists are comfortable with being as Platonistic about any notion of representational content as Frege is.

One thinks it. Even on a Platonist view, the thought contents should be regarded as playing a role in type-individuating mental events, states, and abilities. On any view, the contents should be regarded as abstract, in order to account for the multiplicity of instances of events that they type-individuate, to account for the shareability of kinds of thoughts, to account for compositionality, to account for the structure of inference and for various aspects of truth and justification. Most formulations of the problem of explaining how we grasp an abstract entity, like Frege’s formulation, present a pseudo-problem.

Metaphysics can inquire into the relation between attitudes, or individuals and representational contents. But science need not wait for the outcome of such inquiry. Fregean senses play the role of type-identifying linguistic usage, linguistic capacities (including understanding), psychological capacities, psychological states, and psychological events. They also play the role of typeidentifying idealized justifications or argument structures. The reason why they should be taken seriously is that they contribute to explanation and to structural insight into the nature of linguistic, psychological, and other phenomena.

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Truth, Thought, Reason: Essays on Frege by Tyler Burge


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