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Does Frege Use a Truth-Predicate in His 'Justification' of the Laws of Logic? A Comment on Weiner

Dirk Greimann
Mind
New Series, Vol. 117, No. 466 (Apr., 2008), pp. 403-425
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30163469
Page Count: 23
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Does Frege Use a Truth-Predicate in His 'Justification' of the Laws of Logic? A Comment on Weiner
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Abstract

Joan Weiner has recently claimed that Frege neither uses, nor has any need to use, a truth-predicate in his justification of the logical laws. She argues that because of the assimilation of sentences to proper names in his system, Frege does not need to make use of the Quinean device of semantic ascent in order to formulate the logical laws, and that the predicate 'is the True', which is used in Frege's justification, is not to be considered as a truth-predicate, because it does not apply to true sentences or true thoughts. The present paper aims to show that Frege needs to use, and does use, a truth-predicate in this context. It is argued, first, that Frege needs to use a truth-predicate in order to show that the truth of the logical laws is evident from the senses of the sentences by means of which they are formulated, and second, that the predicate that he actually uses, 'is the True', must be considered as a truth-predicate in the relevant sense, because it can be used and is actually used by Frege to explain the truth-conditions of thoughts. To defend this interpretation, it is discussed whether the explanatory use of 'is the True' in Frege's system is compatible with his deflationary analysis of 'true'. The paper's conclusion is that there is indeed a conflict here; but, from Frege's point of view, this conflict is due merely to the logical imperfection of natural language and does not affect the proper system but only its propaedeutic.

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