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ProtoSociology

Volume 30, 2013

Concepts - Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Jacob Beck
Pages 29-48
DOI: 10.5840/protosociology2013302

Sense, Mentalese, and Ontology

Modes of presentation are often posited to accommodate Frege’s puzzle. Philosophers differ, however, in whether they follow Frege in identifying modes of presentation with Fregean senses, or instead take them to be formally individuated symbols of “Mentalese”. Building on Fodor (1990; 1998), Margolis and Laurence (2007) defend the latter view by arguing that the mind-independence of Fregean senses renders them ontologically suspect in a way that Mentalese symbols are not. This paper shows how Fregeans can withstand this objection. Along the way, a clearer understanding emerges of what senses must be to serve as an ontologically benign alternative to symbols of Mentalese.

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