Why Is Frege’s Judgment Stroke Superfluous?

  • Martin GustafssonEmail author
Part of the Nordic Wittgenstein Studies book series (NRWS, volume 3)


Frege’s use of a judgment stroke in his conceptual notation has been a matter of controversy, at least since Wittgenstein rejected it as “logically quite meaningless” in the Tractatus. Recent defenders of Frege include Tyler Burge, Nicolas Smith and Wolfgang Künne, whereas critics include William Taschek and Edward Kanterian. Against the background of these defenses and criticisms, the present paper argues that Frege faces a dilemma the two horns of which are related to his early and later conceptions of asserted content respectively. On the one hand, if content is thought of as something that has propositional structure, then the judgment stroke is superfluous. On the other hand, if what is to the right of the judgment stroke is conceived as a sort of name designating a truth-value, then there is no consistent way to avoid construing the judgment stroke as a kind of predicate, and thereby fail to do justice to the act-character of judgment and assertion.


Assertion Content Frege Judgment Judgment stroke Wittgenstein 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Åbo Akademi UniversityTurku/ÅboFinland

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