[SydPhil] Special Seminar on Frege presented by Prof. Charles Travis at USYD, April­May, 2013

David Macarthur david.macarthur at sydney.edu.au
Thu Feb 28 14:02:04 AEDT 2013

The Philosophy Department at Sydney University is delighted to announce a special seminar on Frege to be presented by Professor Charles Travis (King’s College, London; Philosophy Dept, University of Porto). Travis has authored many important articles in leading journals some of which are collected in the following books: Perception: Essays after Frege. OUP, forthcoming. Objectivity and The Parochial. OUP, 2011; Occasion-Sensitivity. OUP, 2008. Staff webpage: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/philosophy/people/staff/academic/travis/index.aspx

Seminar Title: “Frege: The Invisible Realm”

The aim of this project is to develop and unfold four core ideas in Frege. These are less current common coin than—though they predate—Frege’s two famous distinctions, Sinn-Bedeutung and concept-object, or his idea that truth is an identity under predication. They, and their significance—for these famous ideas, and for philosophy in general—are yet to be appreciated. They form a framework within which alone one can make the proper sense of these more well-known ideas of Frege. It is, moreover, a highly illuminating framework for discussing issues of representation in general—e.g., of the place of representing in perceptual experience, or of the sort of representing involved in our ‘propositional’ attitudes. The ideas thus matter, in ways yet untreated in the literature, not just to understanding Frege, but to philosophy of psychology, and of mind, more generally.

The ideas I have in mind are: 1. The essential invisibility of thoughts. 2. The essential generality of thoughts, and of what thoughts are of.  3. The essential shareability, or publicity, or social nature, of thought. 4. There is an idea which goes along with invisibility which can be put by saying: whole thoughts come first; one gets to concepts (or whatever thought-elements may be) by decomposing whole thoughts.

These four ideas are constants throughout Frege’s work. They form Frege’s conception of (the general case of) representing something as something. Such notions as Sinn and Bedeutung, and such doctrines as Frege’s anti-psychologism, or his conception of logic, can only be understood rightly in terms of these more fundamental ones. It is through them, too, that one can make out Frege’s full significance for philosophy of psychology and of mind. This project aims to say just how these things are so. In doing so it covers as yet untrodden ground.

Place: The Refectory, Main Quad, USYD

Time: every Friday 4 – 6pm throughout April & May, 2013

For further information please contact David Macarthur <david.macarthur at sydney.edu.au>

Dr. David Macarthur
Senior Lecturer & UG Coordinator
Philosophy Department
University of Sydney, 2006, Australia
Ph: +61-2-9351-3193

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