When we did the Frege episode, we read “The Thought”, which was a new text to me and I found it quite interesting. Even though we were supposed to be talking about other things, we got caught up on Frege’s notion of ‘The True’. Specifically, we were asking ourselves what kind of ontological status ‘The True’ or ‘Truth’ had for Frege and why he didn’t seem to care.
To walk myself through his reasoning, I did my usual note taking and then tried to recreate his argument. As I am a visual person and a corporate tool, I did so in PowerPoint. Please to enjoy:
Basically, Frege gives a pretty good critique of a correspondence theory of truth, and then makes Truth linguistic: that is, he claims that truth is always referring to a sentence, not to things. In fact, he says, Truth is the truth of the sense of a sentence, which is what he calls a thought. I’ll skip to the punchline and tell you that thoughts are not wholly subjective (like ideas), but also not part of the material, external world. They are, however, how meaning gets conveyed through language in that two people can share one thought, which is expressed linguistically. Check out the PPT, which I now realize has way more text than I remember, but uses colors and big fonts so it’s not too bad.