Discussing Gottlob Frege’s “Sense and Reference,” “Concept and Object” (both from 1892) and “The Thought” (1918).
What is it about sentences that make them true or false? Frege, the father of analytic philosophy who invented modern symbolic logic, attempted to codify language in a way that would make this obvious, which would ground mathematics and science. Applying his symbolic system to natural language forced him to invent strange entities like “thoughts” and “senses” that are neither physical nor psychological, and we pretty much spend this episode kvetching about the metaphysical implications of this and the fact that Frege didn’t care about them.
Featuring guest podcaster Matt Teichman, who also hosts Elucidations.
Read along: “The Thought,” “On Sense and Reference,” “On Concept and Object,” and we also read
Frege’s introduction (p. 12-25) to his book The Basic Laws of Arithmetic: Exposition of the System (1904), or just buy this book.
End song: “The Great Forgotten Lover,” from the 2011 New People album, Impossible Things.