PHIL 285 -- Frege
Fall 2009

Instructor:    Clinton Tolley
   office:   HSS 8061
   hours:   Tues, 2pm-4pm
   phone:  2-2686
   email:   ctolley [at]

Teaching Assistant:   {to be determined}
   office:   ---
   hours:   ---
   phone:  ---
   email:   ---


Time:         Thursdays, 2:00-4:50pm
Location:  Philosophy Seminar Room [H&SS 7077] [map]

Required textbooks

{available at UCSD Bookstore (Price Center)}

Frege, The Frege Reader
Frege, The Foundations of Arithmetic
Frege, Posthumous Writings

** additional required readings to be made available on WebCT

Recommended textbooks

{also available at UCSD Bookstore}
Michael Dummett, Frege: Philosophy of Language

{not ordered but also recommended for introductory overviews}
Anthony Kenny, Frege: an introduction
Joan Weiner, Frege Explained

Course description

We'll work through most of Frege's major published writings, and several of his more substantial unpublished manuscripts, in (roughly) chronological order, with a goal of tracing the development of his views on the foundations of logic and his theory of meaning, though we will touch upon many other topics along the way (see below).  We will also discuss some of the more influential articles by more recent writers dealing with Frege's views and/or 'Fregean' topics or puzzles (e.g., Russell, Quine, Geach, Dummett, Burge, Sluga, Kripke).

Topics to be covered include:

* the distinction between the traditional (Aristotelian) logic and modern logic
* the relationship between logic and arithmetic
* the nature of logical generality (concepts, functions, quantifiers)
* the logical concept of an object (individual, extension)
* the nature of truth
* the relation between logic, grammar, and ontology
* the distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung
* the question of what the language of 'symbolic' logic expresses, refers to
* the question of how logical forms and laws are apprehended, communicated, validated
* the place of subjectivity and objectivity in logic and semantics
* the relationship between psychology and logic

Course requirements

* two reading-responses on the readings for two different weeks, circulated electronically the previous Tues night
* seminar paper proposal (300 words); due Sunday night, 9th week
* seminar paper (3500 words); due 5pm, Thurs, exam week
* attendance(!)

Schedule of readings

{TBD: syllabus will be posted on WebCT}

Reference links

  A good number of original editions of Frege's texts are available online.  I've collected some of them here.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries (requires sign-in)
Gottlob Frege
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries
Gottlob Frege
the relation between Frege's logic and arithmetic
Frege's concept of analysis

Course URL

last updated: September 16th, 2009