Frege@Stirling II: Frege’s Conception of Sense

Frege’s Conception of Sense. Context, Content and Inference in a Fregean Framework

May 10-11, 2014

University of Stirling, Pathfoot Building – Room B2

Speakers: Patricia Blanchette (Notre Dame), Mike Beaney (York), Bob Hale (Sheffield), Peter Milne (Stirling), Walter Pedriali (Stirling), Michael Potter (Cambridge).

Topic: On one natural reading, Fregean thoughts are absolute, timeless, sharply bounded. They are not relativized to anything, not even worlds; they are radically de-contextualized. So construed, thoughts (i.e. the senses of declarative sentences) are entities of staggering (indeed, ungraspable) informational complexity. And yet senses are what competent speakers supposedly understand. Indeed, their content is what guides linguistically competent agents in their inferential activities. However, since senses contain all and only that which determines reference, imperfect grasp of any of their parts should by rights impair our ability to draw inferences correctly. There is thus a prima facie tension between two of the requirements that are constitutive of the notion of sense, namely, that senses be complete in every respect and that they determinedly guide inference. The aim of the workshop is to explore ways to resolve this tension within a Fregean framework. Questions to be considered at the workshop will include discussion of Frege’s various meaning-determining principles, the attendant indeterminacy issues, the role of definitions and elucidations in keeping such issues at bay and the notion(s) of content that Frege was working with.

Registration: £50 (including conference dinner, lunches and coffees); £30 (excluding conference dinner). Graduate Students: £25 (including dinner) and £15 (lunches and coffees only). Registration is free for those who will not be attending any meals.

For further information regarding the workshop and to register for the event, please contact the organisers, Philip Ebert and Walter Pedriali.