Sunday, May 10, 2009

76a Gottlob Frege

Let me quote Gottlob Frege:

" The same word is used to indicate a concept and a singular object, which is comprised in this concept. There isn't any distinction between concept and individual object.

'The horse' can refer to a singular object, but also to the species, like in the statement: 'The horse is a herbivorous animal.'Horse finally can refer to a concept like in the statement:'This is a horse.'

Language is not controled by laws of logic in such a way, that observing correct grammar already guarantees the formal correctness of the flow of thoughts."

This is Frege. He was so concerned with the limitations of language. The socalled "linguistic turn", the idea that ontological and metaphysical speculations are only possible after an analysis of how these ideas are represented in language, is greatly due to Frege.

He created in the theory of logic something , which was amazing. After a two thousand years of no change at all: Aristotelian, syllogistic logic was the rule, he developed completely new approach in logic.

It is evident that some branches of philosophy are logically prior to others. Questions which are the subject matter of the prior branche have to be answered before any advance can be made in the subordiante one.

Thus, metaphysics is prior to natural theology and philosophy of mind to ethics. Philoslophers have differed , however, in what they take to be the starting point of philosophy, that branch that is prior to all others.

Perhaps the most far-reaching aspect of Descartes's revolution on philosophy was to give this place to the theory of knowledge, which had never occupied it before.

From the time of Descartes until recently the first question for philosophy was what we can know and how we can justify our claim to this knowledge, and the fundamental philosophical problem how far skepticism can be refuted and how far it must be admitted.

Frege was the first philosopher after Descartes totally to reject this perspective and in this respect he looked beyond Descartes to Aristotle and the Scholastics. For Frege, as for them, logic was the beginning of philosophy. If we don't get logic right , we shall get nothing else right.

Epistemology, on the other hand, is not prior to any other brance of philosophy. We can get on with philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, or whatever interests us without first having undertaken any epistemological inquiry at all, as long as logic is our starting point and foundation.

That is why is was possible to spend our time on phenomenology and existentialism. A way of philosophizing so different from what we are heading at now.

I must admit that although I knew Frege, he is a kind of discovery for me. Never knew how important he was for the development of that school of philosophy I belong to.

So in the next lecture I will go into detail regarding Frege's innovative thoughts and I'll show you how he replaced a 2000 year old syllogistic logic by Aristotle by a completely new and exciting system.

The Discussion

[13:34] Herman Bergson: A kind of introductory....I understand...nothing debatable..:-)
[13:34] Herman Bergson: but if you have a question or remark...feel free..:-)
[13:34] Laila Schuman: is there a difference in the way logic treats things with essence than things that are abstract and do not have that kind of essence... or is the approach identical
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: hi rodney
[13:35] Herman Bergson: Hey Rodney..:-)
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: Rodney, hello
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: hi rod
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Hi Mick
[13:35] Laila Schuman: or is that the dumbest question you have ever heard
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Hi Herman
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: not dumb laila
[13:35] Herman Bergson: Laila..your question is rather cryptic
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Hi Gemma
[13:36] Vladimir Apparatchik: can you give an example of each Laila?
[13:36] Herman Bergson: logic has nothing to do with essences
[13:36] Rodney Handrick: Hi Ari
[13:36] Laila Schuman: you mentioned the horse
[13:36] Laila Schuman: and the essence of the horse
[13:36] Samuel Okelly: i was wondering how it was possible to develop "logic"
[13:36] Mickorod Renard: I think its dificult to ask questions at this stage,,but I am glad somerone has
[13:36] Herman Bergson: No......let me explain
[13:37] Rodney Handrick: Hi Qwark'
[13:37] Qwark Allen: hi hi
[13:37] Qwark Allen: crashed
[13:37] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:37] Herman Bergson: What Frege observed was that the word "the horse" can mean a lot of things
[13:37] Herman Bergson: it can mean the individual object
[13:37] Herman Bergson: it can mean the species
[13:38] Herman Bergson: it can mean the concept
[13:39] Samuel Okelly: in highlighting this ambiguity of meaning - what did he prove?
[13:39] Laila Schuman: so it is a matter of semantics...not an approach of thinking...philosophically
[13:39] Herman Bergson: so when you use the word 'the horse' in a statement it can imply object and language is unclear
[13:39] Vladimir Apparatchik: Putting "horse" into a formal representation in modern logic can help sort out what it is you mean
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: so, the first stage of logic is to determine through grammer what context the word is being used?
[13:39] Herman Bergson: indeed laila
[13:39] Laila Schuman: thank you
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: gramma
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: grammar
[13:40] Herman Bergson: No Mickorod..not your grandma..:-)
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol
[13:40] Mickorod Renard: grin
[13:41] Samuel Okelly: why was identifying this ambiguity so significant herman?
[13:41] Herman Bergson: the next lexture I will explain what was Frege's new contribution to philosophy
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: in the wiki they used the function of x
[13:41] Mickorod Renard: dont we just take it for granted?
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: y
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: etc
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: made some sense
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: anxions?
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: he was really mathmatical
[13:42] Herman Bergson: Frege's concern was that the natural language is not exact enough
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:43] Vladimir Apparatchik: I studied logic a long time ago - and I remember it was very useful in getting you to really think about the questions you were asking - whether they made any sense or not
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:43] Vladimir Apparatchik: by trying to state them in logic
[13:43] Mickorod Renard: I would love to become more logical,,at times
[13:44] Herman Bergson: well...I was in love with propositional and quantified logic
[13:44] Laila Schuman: ???
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: have you got anymore examples of his applied logic Herman
[13:44] Vladimir Apparatchik: and whether there were hidden contradictions etc etc
[13:45] Herman Bergson: I'll explain that in the next lecture is a story in itself
[13:45] Mickorod Renard: ok,,ty
[13:45] Mickorod Renard: I read that he had some good teachers
[13:46] Vladimir Apparatchik: Herman I wonder why Frege is not better known considering his importance to the development of 20C philosophy?
[13:47] Herman Bergson: Yes Vladimir...I agree...but in among philosophers he is apreciated grreatly
[13:47] Gudrun Odriscoll: yes, and what nationality was he? just interested
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: Frege sounds like a librarian, does thought need an external language
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: German
[13:47] Herman Bergson: Frege was German
[13:47] Gudrun Odriscoll: thanks
[13:48] Samuel Okelly: why was highlighting the lack of exactitude in language so important?
[13:48] Herman Bergson: What amazes me is that just this one man wrote something that changed the face of philosophy
[13:48] Herman Bergson: and more amazing...NOT continental philosophy
[13:49] Herman Bergson: but the Anglo-american school
[13:49] Mickorod Renard: Frege's work wasnt apreciated until Russel and Whitehead took it on board,,,,i think there was reference to his ideas being too complicated
[13:49] Rodney Handrick: interessting...I wasn't aware of that
[13:49] Herman Bergson: That is what I mean Mickorod...
[13:49] Herman Bergson: it was Bertrand Russell who saw the real value of Frege
[13:49] Mickorod Renard: ok
[13:51] Vladimir Apparatchik: Makes you wonder whether there are hidden gems elsewhere in the history of philosophy that have not been recognised because they didnt get a Russell or Wittgenstein to pick them up and run
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: or a herman
[13:52] Vladimir Apparatchik: :)
[13:52] Mickorod Renard: yes,,good point Vlad
[13:52] Herman Bergson: (^_^)
[13:52] Herman Bergson: Yes Gemma I am making
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:52] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:52] Qwark Allen: nice
[13:53] Herman Bergson: Well...I would suggest to wait for the next lecture..
[13:53] Mickorod Renard: do you think there is still room for new innovations in the realm of philosophy Herman?
[13:54] Herman Bergson: If I would say yes..I would be a genius
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: of course Herman
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: i believe there wil be for sure
[13:54] Qwark Allen: yes for sure
[13:54] Qwark Allen: or it will be dead
[13:54] Qwark Allen: it`s evolution
[13:55] Herman Bergson: no.Qwark...never
[13:55] Vladimir Apparatchik: Maybe someone will make some great step that eluded eveyone that solves the problem of consciousness
[13:55] Qwark Allen: allways new quests to explore
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: its so amazing that philosophy has been around so long yet there are so many great philos with different ideas
[13:55] Qwark Allen: and new ones to be born
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: new insights
[13:56] Herman Bergson: yes Mickorod, I is amazing and intellectually breath taking
[13:56] Laila Schuman: well, we as a people, society, even our scientific changes... if WE change then our opinions will have to accomodate that
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: and it has always been so
[13:57] Laila Schuman: i think of life when global warming really takes effect... and i believe there will be great changes in philosophy
[13:57] Vladimir Apparatchik: I agree Lialia - some things that were pilosophical problems were solved by science and were no lnger philosophy - but as science develops new philosophical problems may emerge
[13:57] Mickorod Renard: yes I can see that. I wonder if it will change us as a species,,through greater thoughts
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Well..I think it is time to thank you for your participation
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: there are those who believe the opposite that technology has slowed the development of our species
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: despite the advance of science ..., i think all the big questions remain
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Class dismissed..:-)
[13:58] Laila Schuman: my own opinion is that we will not have greater thoughts... we will be too frightened... and holding on for dear life.
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: we do not have to evolve
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: more
[13:58] Qwark Allen: that`s what u think
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you, Herman
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: thanks Herman
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: thank you Herman
[13:59] Qwark Allen: but we are still evolving as species
[13:59] Laila Schuman: wars over soil that will raise crops... over water, food..
[13:59] Herman Bergson: no..Gemma
[13:59] Qwark Allen: look at evolution of esphenoid bone
[13:59] Laila Schuman: who starves and who lives
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: i said there are THOSE
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: not me
[13:59] Qwark Allen: and now more issues at jaw, cause it`s becoming tinier
[14:00] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes, Laila, there will be a return to a more fundemental philosophy
[14:00] Laila Schuman: yes
[14:00] Qwark Allen: got to go
[14:00] Jarapanda Snook: We may not evolve physically, because technology has eliminated the drivers of evolution.
[14:00] Qwark Allen: cya later
[14:00] Qwark Allen: ty herman
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: be right there
[14:00] Laila Schuman: you are not aesoteric when you are hungry or afraid
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: right laila :-)
[14:00] Mickorod Renard: do you think our power of ,,,inteligence ,,is greater than it was in the time of ancient greece?
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: i will head off now too - thanks again herman :) tc every1 :)
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: All the philosophers that have just added baggage will fall into disfavor
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: i will miss Sunday i think
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: bye Sam
[14:01] Herman Bergson: Bye Samuel
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: and tuesday too
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: !!
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: oh derarr
[14:01] Rodney Handrick: Bye Sam
[14:01] Vladimir Apparatchik: Disagree Jara - techology just cahnges the drivers
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: bye all
[14:01] Rodney Handrick: Bye Gemma
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: bye Gemma
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-06-16 10:30:46

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