Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference

Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference : Its Origin and Scope

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Gottlob Frege has exerted an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth-century philosophy, yet the real significance of that influence is still very much a matter of debate. This book provides a completely new and systematic account of Frege's philosophy by focusing on its cornerstone: the theory of sense and reference. Two features distinguish this study from other books on Frege. First, sense and reference are placed absolutely at the core of Frege's work; the author shows that no adequate account of the theory can avoid analysing the notion of thought that underpins it, or explaining how it has clarified our concept of judgement. Second, the theory is situated within the development of Frege's thought; the author reveals how the theory caused Frege to alter many of his fundamental views. In doing so the author presents a clearer picture of the problems the theory was intended to solve, and delineates more sharply the characteristic features of Frege's more

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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Frege's logic; 2. The separation of the psychological from the logical; 3. To break the power of words over the human mind; 4. The thought; a) the objectivity of thought b) sense and thought; 5. The reference of sentences; 6. Judgement and knowledge; 7. The reference and sense of names; 8. Frege's contributions to epistemology; a) Frege's account of empirical knowledge b) the refutation of idealism; Bibliography; more