SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Not a matter of what happens but of what is: One Hundred Years from Frege's ''Der Gedanke''
(History of Philosophy, English)

The editors of Frege Synthesized (1986), a classic of Fregean scholarship, recall that ''[s]omeone - it was probably Burton Dreben - once said that the worst-known period in the history of philosophy is always the time fifty to a hundred years ago''. This year, Frege's ''Der Gedanke'' reaches its hundred year anniversary, so, following (probably) Dreben, it is about time that we get to know it better.
Even if Frege is now regarded as one of the founding fathers of analytic philosophy and his work has been thoroughly studied in the last century, we are yet to reach an agreement concerning some of Frege's views on the central topics of his philosophy. One of these is his conception of logic and its relation with rationality. For instance, one the one hand, Field quotes from the preface to Grundgesetze and writes that ''[t]he quotation may suggest that something is a law of logic if and only if it is a law of rational thought'' (Field 2009, p. 251; Field's emphasis), attributing to Frege the extreme view that logic is essentially tied with rationality. On the other hand, Goldfarb reckons that, for Frege, ''[l]ogical laws are as descriptive as physical laws, but they are more general'' (Goldfarb 2010, p. 68).
Starting from these conflicting attributions of views to Frege, I follow his writings on logic from the mature period of his work (as identified by Sluga 2002), especially the Logik manuscript of 1897, part of Frege's project of writing a logic textbook and the essay ''Der Gedanke'', the first of what we now know as his Logical Investigations. In doing so, I highlight his criticism of psychologism and physicalism about logic and I put an emphasis on his doctrine of thoughts. What I regard as a good question on elucidating Frege's conception of logic is whether ''laws of logic'' are thoughts themselves. I claim that the introductory paragraphs of ''Der Gedanke'' and the arguments of the aforementioned writings offer important suggestions for framing an answer to this question.

Chair: Petter Sandstad
Time: 19:00-19:30, 12 September 2018 (Wednesday)
Location: SR 1.003

Rareș Fogaș 
(University of Bucharest, Romania)

Currently, my main areas of interest are early analytic philosophy (especially Frege and Wittgenstein), logic and philosophy of logic (especially logical pluralism and the relation between logic and rationality) and philosophy of mathematics. I also did some work on Kripke's puzzle about belief, which I intend to outline in a published paper soon enough.

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