1848-1925 AD Gottlob Frege [WMQ]

Wikipedia link

Interview by Bryan Magee

Quotes from Gottlob Frege

  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 22
    “This view is grounded in the same confusion of form and content, sign and thing signified… Difference of sign cannot by itself be a sufficient ground for difference of the thing signified.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, pp. 22-23
    “…; but no definition is creative in the sense of being able to endow a thing with properties that it has not already got — apart from the one property of expressing and signifying something in virtue of the definition.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 24
    “I am concerned to show that the argument does not belong with a function, but goes together with the function to make up a complete whole; for a function by itself must be incomplete, in need of supplementationm or `unsaturated`.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 29
    “We must distinguish between sense and meaning.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 30
    “…, we may say at once: a concept is a function whose value is always a truth-value.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 31
    “Statements in general, just like equations or inequalities or expressions in analysis, can be imagined split up into two parts; one complete in itself, and the other in need of supplementation, or `unsaturated`.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 32
    “When we have thus admitted objects without restriction as arguments and values of functions, the question ariss what it is that we are here calling an object. I regard a regular definition as impossible, since we have here something too simple to admit of logical analysis.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 32
    “A statement contains no empty space, and therefore we must take what it means to be an object. But what a statement means is a truth value. Thus the two truth-values are objects.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 32
    “It seems to be demanded by scientific rigour that we should have provisos against an expression`s possibly coming to have no meaning; we must see to it that we never perform calculations with empty signs in the belief that we are dealing with objects.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 33
    “This involves the requirement as regards concepts, that, for any argument, they shall have a truth-value as their value; that it shall be determinate, for any object, whether iit falls under the concept or not.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, pp. 42-43
    “One cannot require that everything shall be defined, any more than one can require that a chemist shall decompose every substance. What is simple cannot be decomposed, and what is logically simple cannot have a proper definition. Now something logically simple is no more given us at the outset than most of the chemical elements are; it is reached only by means of scientific work. If something has been discovered that is simple, or at least must count as simple fot the time being, we shall have to coin a term for it, since language will not originally contain an expression that exactly answers. On the introducion o a name for something logically simple, a definition is not possible; there is nothing for it but to lead the reader or hearer, by means of hints, to understand the words as is intended.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 43
    “A concept (as I understand the word) is predicative. On the other hand, a name of an object, a proper name, is quite incapable of being used as a grammatical predicate.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 44
    “An equation is reversible; an object`s falling under a concept is an irreversible relation.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 45
    “… that the singular definite article always indicates an object, whereas the indefnite article accompanies a concept-word.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 46
    “In logical discussions, one quite often needs to say something about a concept, and to express this in the form usual for such predications — viz. to make what is said about the concept into the content of the grammatical predicate. Consequently, one would expect that what is meant by the grammatical subject would be the concept; but the concept as such cannot play this part, in view of its predicative nature; it must first be converted into an object, or, more precisely an object must go proxy for it.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, pp. 47-48
    “A concept is what is meant by a predicate; an object is something that can never be the total meaning of a predicate, but can be what a subject means. It must here be remarked that the words `all`, `any`, `no`, `some`, are prefixed to concept words.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 53
    “The definite article in front of `result` is here logically justified only if it is known (i) that there is such a result; (ii) that there is not more than one. In that case, the phrase designates an object, and is to be regarded as a proper name.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 56
    “Equality gives rise to challenging questions which are not altogether easy to answer. Is it a relation? A relation between objects, or between names or signs of objects?”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 56
    “What we apparently want to state by a=b is that the signs or names `a` and `b` designate the same thing, so that those signs themselves would br under discussion; a relation between them would be asserted.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 57
    “It is natural, now, to think of there being connected with a sign (name, combination of words, written mark), besides that which the sign designates, which may be called the meaning of the sign, also what I should like to call the sense of the sign, wherein the mode of presentation is contained…. The meaning of `evening star` would be the same as that of `morning star`, but not the sense”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 58
    “The regular connexion between a sign, its sense, and what it means is of such a kind that to the sign there corresponds a definite sense and to that in turn a definite thing meant, while to a given thing meant (an object) there does not belong only a single sign.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 59
    “The same sense is not always connected, even in the same man, with the same idea.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 60
    “In light of this, one need have no scrupples in speaking of the sense, whereas in the cases of an idea one must, strictly speaking, add whom it belongs to and at what time.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 60
    “The meaning of a proper name is the object itself which we designate bu using it; the idea which we have in that case is wholly subjective; in between lies the sense, which is indeed no longer subjective like the idea, but is yet not the object itself.”
  • Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, p. 61
    “A proper name (word, sign, sign combination, expression) expresses its sense, means or designates its meaning. By employing a sign we express its sense and designate its meaning.”