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Freges The Thought Meaning of true –Grammatically appears as an adjective –So a thing cannot be true, but a picture or idea about it might be The thing.

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Presentation on theme: "Freges The Thought Meaning of true –Grammatically appears as an adjective –So a thing cannot be true, but a picture or idea about it might be The thing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Freges The Thought Meaning of true –Grammatically appears as an adjective –So a thing cannot be true, but a picture or idea about it might be The thing cannot be true A picture or idea about it can be It looks like Truth requires a relation between two things and is determined by whether they correspond

2 Freges The Thought So you assume truth has something to do with correspondence, its a relation between two things But true is not a relation word, its an adjective. It contains no reference to anything else two which something must correspond –If you dont know what the picture or idea is meant to represent, you dont know to what you should compare it to determine truth –Strictly speaking, for two things to correspond, they would need to be identical, and thus be the same thing

3 Freges The Thought What we want to say is that our ideas correspond to reality in some way and are true –Not that they are identical, but that they correspond in some respect or other –But looking at any particular respect, youd have to define characteristics and the same criticisms above would apply Correspondence theory collapses

4 Freges The Thought So Truth isnt about the correspondence of things and pictures or ideas Any time the question of truth comes up, one refers to a sentence My idea corresponds to the Cathedral = = Picture/IdeaSentence What we mean when we say the truth of an idea or picture is really the truth of a sentence

5 Freges The Thought A sentence is just a series of sounds (or marks) with a sense When we talk about the truth of a sentence, we really mean the truth of its sense Big point: The truth of the sense of a sentence doesnt consist in correspondence to anything else (or else endless regression) Written sentence Spoken sentence Sense of sentence Picture/Idea Truth

6 Freges The Thought Frege uses the term thought to describe the sense of a sentence It is not material, but clothed in the material and perceptible (which are excluded from sphere of truth) Truth is not a property of things, though properties of things are joined to truth in the property of a thought –I smell violets = It is true that I smell violets

7 Freges The Thought Not all sentences have senses which are thoughts in Freges meaning: –Imperative = no –Declarative = yes –Exclamatory = maybe If they communicate something agreed upon = yes Venting feelings = no –Interrogative = maybe Word questions = no Why?, When? Yes/No questions = yes Are you daft?

8 Freges The Thought In sentences that express thoughts, there are two components: the content and the assertion –The content = the thought –The assertion = laying the thought out as true So [kind of a jump here] –Apprehension of a thought = thinking –Recognition of the truth of a thought = judgment –Manifestation of this judgment = assertion Side note: sentences can also contain a third component that acts on the feelings, which isnt part of content, but somehow relates to assertive style

9 Freges The Thought Language is complicated –Stress during assertion can aid understanding (emphasis, word order, etc.) without altering thought –He says content can go beyond thought, but I think he means assertion can go beyond thought –Sometimes assertion isnt sufficient to convey thought –Sometimes thought is different for same assertion coming from different people

10 Freges The Thought People have their own inner world of sense- impressions, imagination, sensations, moods, inclinations, etc. Frege calls these ideas. Wholly interior & subjective, not part of independent, external world –Ideas cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, touched, heard –Ideas are had –Ideas need a bearer (same as #2?) –Every idea has only one bearer Question: is a thought an idea? (you should know the answer, but see the next slide…)

11 Freges The Thought Thoughts Ideas –Two people can have the same thought, e.g. Pythagorean Theorem: x 2 + y 2 = z 2 –If every thought needed one and only one bearer, then there could be no shared thoughts, i.e. science, knowledge, etc. Freges conclusion: thoughts are not ideas, nor are they part of the material, external world Oooooohhh, snap!

12 Freges The Thought Guess what this distinction gets you? –Defeat of idealism: ideas are not the only objects for consciousness –Defeat of radical skepticism: if you can apprehend something of which you are not the bearer or producer, then there is something outside you –Problem of identity: if there were only ideas, the I would be an idea only. Thoughts allow one to distinguish between my thought of myself and the thing having the thought –Problem of solipsism: if I can identify myself as a bearer of independent thought, I can recognize others as the same Was für ein Gedanke!

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