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Frege, the identity of Sinn and Carnap's intension

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The paper analyses Frege's approach to the identity conditions for the entity labelled by him as Sinn . It starts with a brief characterization of the main principles of Frege's semantics and lists his remarks on the identity conditions for Sinn . They are subject to a detailed scrutiny, and it is shown that, with the exception of the criterion of intersubstitutability in oratio obliqua , all other criteria have to be discarded. Finally, by comparing Frege's views on Sinn with Carnap's method of extension and intension and the method of intensional isomorphism, it is proved that these methods do not provide a criterion for the identity of Frege's Sinn , even for extensional contexts, that the concept of intension does not coincide, as stated by Carnap, in these contexts, with Frege's concept of Sinn , and that Carnap's claim that in oratio obliqua Frege's semantics leads to an infinite hierarchy of Sinn entities can be questioned at least hypothetically in the light of certain new historical facts.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Loras College, Department of Philosophy, 1450 Alta Vista, Dubuque, IA, 52001, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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