Fregean Senses, Modes of Presentation, and Concepts
Edward N. Zalta
Philosophical Perspectives, 15 (2001): 335-359
Many philosophers, including direct reference theorists, appeal to
naively to `modes of presentation' in the analysis of belief reports.
I show that a variety of such appeals can be analyzed in terms of a
precise theory of modes of presentation. The objects that serve as
modes are identified intrinsically, in a noncircular way, and it is
shown that they can function in the required way. It is a consequence
of the intrinsic characterization that some objects are well-suited to
serve as modes that present individuals and while others are
well-suited to serve as modes that present properties (though such
modes do not `determine' the objects they present---there is no
necessary connection between a mode m and the individual
x or property F that it presents). Moreover, it is
also a consequence that the modes for properties and individuals can
be organized into complexes that are structurally identical to
Russellian propositions having the represented properties and
individuals as constituents.
Not only is the relationship between modes and Fregean senses
and modes of presentation explored in the paper, but also the
idea that the theory of modes of presentation developed in the paper
can serve as a theory of concepts.
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