Theoria 81 (4):293-310 (2015)

Karen Green
University of Melbourne
Despite its importance for early analytic philosophy, Gottlob Frege's account of existence statements, according to which they classify concepts, has been thought to succumb to a number of well-worn criticisms. This article does two things. First, it argues that, by remaining faithful to the letter of Frege's claim that concepts are functions, the Fregean account can be saved from many of the standard criticisms. Second, it examines the problem that Frege's account fails to generalize to cases which involve definite descriptions and proper names. To deal with this the proffered analysis deviates from the letter of Frege's views, while remaining within its spirit. It proposes, in opposition to Frege, that expressions which grammatically look like singular terms should not always be read as referring to objects, but are sometimes best analysed as indicating functions.
Keywords empty names  non‐existence  Gottlob Frege  existence
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DOI 10.1111/theo.12066
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1953 - Evanston: Ill., Northwestern University Press.
A Puzzle About Belief.Saul A. Kripke - 1979 - In A. Margalit (ed.), Meaning and Use. Reidel. pp. 239--83.

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Notions of Existence in Frege.Dolf Rami - 2021 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 9 (8).

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