Summer 2019 Colloquium - May 24
William Taschek, The Ohio State University :: Frege on The Normativity of Logic and the Individuation of Sense
Friday, May 24 2019
Abstract: My aim is to bring into contact two central commitments of Frege’s thinking. The first is his commitment to the view that nothing is relevant to the individuation of thoughts—and so, likewise, to the individuation of the senses of subsentential expressions—except, as he often puts it, what is “of concern to logic”. But for this to be very illuminating, we need to understand just what Frege took to be “of concern to logic”. Which brings me to the second commitment—namely, Frege’s commitment to the fundamentally normative status of logic. I will argue that a proper appreciation of the fundamentally normative status that logic has for Frege can provide significant insight into what Frege took to be “of concern to logic” in a way that will, in turn, shed light on how he understood the individuation of thought—and, so, of sense more generally. I will propose a criterion for thought identity that Frege would endorse. I will then test this proposal by how well it allows us to make sense of some notoriously puzzling remarks that Frege makes late in his career about what he calls equipollent sentences.