Trang Ho PHIL 460 Midterm

Trang Ho PHIL 460 Midterm - Trang Ho PHIL 460 Professor...

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Trang Ho PHIL 460 Professor Willard Midterm 1. In his paper On Sense and Reference , Frege established the concepts of signs, sense , reference and ideas. Sign is a word, sense is its meaning, and reference is the object “sign” refers to. These are all external, according to Frege. On the other hand, he thinks the idea is an internal thought within a human’s mind. An idea is always unique. Throughout his paper, Frege suggests many ways in which identity and difference can involve each other contextually One sign with two different meanings, such as the word “tear.” It can mean “fluid appearing in the eye as a result of emotion, especially grief” or “o pull something apart in pieces by force.” Two different signs associated with two different meanings but both refer to only one object. This is evident in the example of the “morning star” and “evening star.” These are two different signs, each means totally different things. (“Morning star” suggests a star in the morning while “evening star” alludes to a star appearing at night.) But in reality, these two signs have only one reference because they both refer to one object, planet Venus. Same sign, same sense, same reference yet different ideas. According to Frege, no one idea is the same. For example, two people talk about Osama Bin Laden (one sign and same sense), they both refer to the same person (same reference) and think the same thing: “He’s a dangerous terrorist.” Yet they have two separate and different ideas (thoughts) because those two ideas are evoked in two different human minds. Proper names, I would assume, are a special case in Frege’s theory. Paris can mean and refer to Paris Hilton or Paris the city , but in this case, it seems like the definitions of sign and sense are blurred into each other. Would Frege suppose sign and sense in the case of proper names are one in the same? In his book Logic , W. E. Johnson dedicated a chapter to the relation of identity. Johnson suggests that the relation between difference and identity is a “co-opponency.” A cannot be both identical with and other than B; A can only be either identical or other than B. Therefore, Johnson does not think that difference and identity can logically imply one another: difference can only logically imply non-identity, and identity can imply non-difference. Johnson argues that identity and difference may imply one another when the terms imply or identity are used loosely: A is identical to B in some respect and different from B in others. For example, we have a red circle and a red triangle. One may argue that there is identity between these two objects in the color redness, but there is difference in their shapes. But Johnson rejects this view, affirming that this is in fact not identity at all. Johnson stated that even in a very elementary usage of identity “x=x,” identity and difference involve
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course PHIL 460 at USC.

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Trang Ho PHIL 460 Midterm - Trang Ho PHIL 460 Professor...

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