Recent Seminars and Lectures
Mike Beaney (York) - Frege's Instantiation of the Concept Hedgehog
Weekly Research Seminar
Please note that this seminar was held in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. Refreshments were served from 11am with the talk commencing at 11.30am.
Title: Frege's Instantiation of the Concept Hedgehog
Frege's Begriffsschrift of 1879 inaugurated the age of modern logic. Central to Frege's new logic was the employment of function-argument analysis, extended from its use in mathematics, and his philosophy essentially developed by thinking through the implications of this employment and attempting to justify it. Many of Frege's characteristic doctrines flow from this - most notably, his construal of concepts as functions, his distinction between function and object, his understanding of existential and number statements as assertions about concepts, and his conception of the Bedeutung of a sentence as a truth-value. In this talk I show just how fundamental was Frege's functional framework and carefully trace the development of his characteristic doctrines, focusing on his central claim that concepts are functions. In doing so my aim is to shed some light on philosophical methodology and on the role of historical understanding in philosophy. In short, I shall exhibit a foxy fascination for Frege's hedgehoggy habit.