Frege on Definitions : A Case Study of Semantic Content (Paperback)

Author: Horty, John

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Product Overview

In this monograph, John Horty explores the difficulties presented for Gottlob Frege's semantic theory, as well as its modern descendents, by defined expressions.

The book begins by focusing on the psychological constraints governing Frege's notion of sense and argues that, given these constraints, even the treatment of simple stipulative definitions led Frege to important difficulties. Horty suggests a way out of these difficulties that is both plausible and consistent with Frege's project. The discussion is then connected to more familiar topics, such as indexicality and the treatment of concepts in recent theories of language and mind.

In the latter part of the book, after introducing a model of senses as procedures, Horty considers the problems that definitions present for Frege's idea that the sense of an expression should mirror its grammatical structure. The requirement can be satisfied, he argues, only if defined expressions---and incomplete expressions as well---are assigned senses of their own, rather than treated contextually. He then explores one way in which these senses might be reified, drawing on ideas from the semantics of programming languages.

With its combination of technical semantics and history of philosophy, Horty's book tackles some of the hardest questions in the philosophy of language. It should interest philosophers, logicians, and linguists.

"I think Horty's book is really excellent in every way. Horty's insights about Frege and his astute grasp of the philosophical and logical issues involved bear on almost every issue in Frege scholarship. His interpretation of Frege is quite charitable and plausible at the same time, showing how Frege's insights and intentions led him to important difficulties. Horty is then able to suggest ways out of those difficulties that are both philosophically and logically plausible and Fregean in spirit if not in letter. I think the book will be widely used in seminars, will be a must purchase for all research libraries, and will be quite influential. A wonderful book."---John Perry, Stanford University


Publisher Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
Mfg Part# 9780199732715
SKU 211281313
Format Paperback
ISBN10 019973271X
Release Date 11/1/2009
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0159
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
$106.92 + $5.98 shipping
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