#
The Significance of Gottlob Frege's Language for Science

#### FAIN: FA-232797-16

## Joan Weiner

Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)

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A book reinterpreting Gottlob Frege's philosophy for application to epistemology, logic, and the sciences.

It is difficult to overstate Frege’s importance for contemporary analytic philosophy. He is widely taken to be among the first to see the importance of giving a theory of the workings of language and his work is the source of fundamental contributions to this project. But, I have argued, something is amiss in this story: it attributes views to Frege that conflict with many of his actual statements. I have argued that Frege’s writings on language were meant as contributions to a different project: that of showing that the truths of arithmetic belong to logic. And, I have argued, it follows that his actual views about language are different from those typically attributed to him. But are these unfamiliar views of purely antiquarian interest? I think they are not. I propose to argue that these views cast new light on a number of contemporary issues, including puzzles about mathematical knowledge and numbers, puzzles about vagueness and problems with the notion of natural kinds.

## Associated Products

*The Epistemological Project of the Grundgesetze (Conference Paper/Presentation)***Title**: The Epistemological Project of the Grundgesetze

**Author**: Joan Weiner

**Abstract**: Frege tells us that his Grundgesetze proofs are designed to show us the epistemological nature of the truths of arithmetic – that these truths are analytic. And he tells us that in order to establish this we need gapless proofs of the basic truths of arithmetic from logical laws. But are the basic Begriffsschrift laws – the laws from which he attempts to prove truth of arithmetic – laws of logic? Frege himself expressed doubt about Basic Law V, even in the preface to volume i of Grundgesetze. Why, then, did Frege think it was a logical law and what did he think he needed to do to convince his readers of this? Richard Heck thinks the answer is obvious: Frege thought that he had a semantic proof of Basic Law V and he expected this proof to convince his readers that it was a logical law. In his recent book, Reading Frege's Grundgesetze, Heck argues for this view and attempts to explain the semantic proof. I shall argue that Heck is mistaken. Frege does not give a semantic proof of Basic Law V. Indeed, Heck's assumption – that a semantic proof can show us that a basic law belongs to logic – is incompatible with Frege’s explicit statements. Moreover, there is no mystery about why it is that Frege took Basic Law V to be a logical law.

**Date**: 06/17/17

*Taking Frege at his Word (Book)***Title**: Taking Frege at his Word

**Author**: Joan Weiner

**Year**: 2021

**Primary URL**:

https://academic.oup.com/book/32078?login=false**Primary URL Description**: Publisher website

**Publisher**: Oxford University Press

**Type**: Single author monograph

**ISBN**: 9780191897832