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Frege on Dichtung and Elucidation

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

Abstract

In this paper, I identify an assumption at play in anti-semantic interpretative approaches to Frege: the notion that translatability to Frege’s concept script functions as a criterion for deciding whether a thought is expressed in a sentence or utterance. I question the viability of this assumption by pointing to Frege’s accounts of the aim and character of his logical language and scientific discourse more generally, and by looking at his remarks on poetic forms of language, literature and fiction (Dichtung). Since it seems clear that the sentences used in poetic and literary forms of language that Frege discusses, have Sinn and are possible to understand, in his view, I argue that the translatability criterion for thoughts is flawed. A discussion of Frege’s appeal to an approach of willingness to understand in a reader, and the relation between Frege’s use of elucidatory discourse and his conception of Dichtung is central to my exposition in this paper.

Keywords

Begriffschrift Elucidation Frege Logic “Meeting of minds” Poetry Rationality Science Thought Understanding 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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