SVIBOR - Project code: 6-01-161


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Project code: 6-01-161

Frege's Logic and Philosophy of Language

Main researcher: ŠVOB, GORAN (48810)

Type of research: basic
Duration from: 01/01/91. to 10/01/94.

Papers on project (total): 12
Institution name: Filozofski fakultet - Humanističke znanosti, Zagreb (130)
Department/Institute: Department of Philosophy
Address: Ivana Lučića 3
City: 10000 - Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: 385 (0)1 6-120-175
Fax: 385 (0)513634

Summary: This research is dealing with Frege's philosophy of language taken as a whole. Frege's philosophy of language was partly derived from his earlier formulation of the conceptual notation, i.e. the language of logic, and partly it is itself a background for further development of logic in works of Frege and later logicians. The problems which are discussed here can be sorted in three main groups. First group present the fundamental Frege's notions and distinctions. The analysis begins with Frege's theory of meaning for proper names, from which were derived his distinctions between sense and reference, and between function and object. These considerations lead to some problems of more specific logical or "technical" nature. Especially important is Frege's heirarchy of function-levels, as well the later ordering of predicate calculi. Historically, this is connected with Frege's notion of the course of values of function. A special problem of Frege's philosophy of language is presented by questions which would today be considered as a part of a logical pragmatics, such as Frege's analysis of assertion. The second main topic is the destiny of Frege's ideas in the later tradition. Especially important is the work of those philosophers who have mediated some Frege's ideas and have incorporated them in modern discussions, giving them at the same time interpretations of their own: Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein and Church. Wittgenstein's relationship with Frege is especially important and interesting. So called early Wittgenstein developed some theses of Frege's and opposed some others, but later Wittgenstein's philosophy developed out of radical abandonment of the Fregean idea of a logical language which represents a structure of various possible natural languages. The third group of questions deals with two domains of logical investigations which Frege more or less explicitly excluded from the realm of logic proper, but which were nevertheless extensively developed after Frege: modal logic and the logic of natural languages.

Keywords: Frege, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Russell, Church, logic, philosophy of language, sense, reference, object, function, course of values, modal logic, predicate, natural languages.

Research goals: Modern, symbolic or mathematical logic was founded in Frege's works. It is today a part of fundaments of mathematics and of many special and applied disciplines. In this sense it is an important part of modern civilisation. On the other hand, the general philosophical background of modern logic is a controversial domain of philosophy, and Frege's thought itself still hasn't been investigated fully. The goul of this investigation is the analysis of Frege's philosophy of language, especially of those aspects that are determining moderno logico-philosophical discussions. The work on this project should contribute to solving some of these problems, and at the same time it should eliminate some of the obscurities due, among other reasons, to received and uncritically accepted opinions about Frege which can be found in today's discussions. Also, the work on the project has shown the possibilities of a more efficient communication among the members of the scientific community in a discussion about Frege. Therefore, among the results of this project, a discussion should be expected with some modern interpretations of Frege from the communities which were little or not at all present in the western logico-philosophical literature. The first result of this project is, of course, the monography about Frege's philosophy of language. The task of the monography is not only the analysis of Frege's philosophy as the basis for modern logic, but also to present the main modern controversies in the philosophy of language which can be considered a part of Frege's legacy. The second important result would be founding of a regular international school or symposium on Frege in Croatia. During the work on the project, some important preparations were made in contacts with foreign logicians, but the wartime circumstances prevented the realisation. Finally, the monography on Frege's philosophy of language, follows the book on Frege's founding of modern logic, by the same author. In the next three or four year's period, the third book, on Frege's philosophy of mathematics should follow. These three monographies on Frege should give a unique and complete picture and review of Frege's thought, and this achievement, if completed, might be considered as significant not only in Croatian proportion and circumstances.

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Last update: 10/20/95