Analysis and Metaphysics 15:20–35 (2016)

Karen Green
University of Melbourne
In his late fragment, ‘Sources of Knowledge of Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Frege laments the tendency to confuse functions with objects and says, ‘It is here that the tendency of language by its use of the definite article to stamp as an object what is a function and hence a non-object, proves itself to be the source of inaccurate and misleading expressions and also of errors of thought. Probably most of the impurities that contaminate the logical source of knowledge have their origins in this.’ This paper applies Frege’s logical insights to a series of influential modal arguments for the existence of souls or minds, in order to demonstrate that they hinge on the error of treating functions as objects. Related arguments have also resulted in the claim that identity statements are necessary, and that apparent identities ‘really’ involve relations of constitution. Here it is argued that once we recognise that all these arguments involve the assimilation of objects and concepts (which Frege identifies with functions) they can be seen to be defective.
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Foundations of Arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1953 - Evanston: Ill., Northwestern University Press.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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