Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy
Thursday 27 May 2010
4th International Lauener Symposium
on Analytical Philosophy
In Honour of Professor Sir Michael Dummett
Prof. Dr. Dale Jacquette
Dummett on Truth-Makers, Frege’s Analysis of Sentence Meaning, and the Slingshot Argument
Michael Dummett interprets Frege as committed to the proposition that each thought admits of a unique ultimate analysis. Dummett’s interpretation has been alleged nevertheless to conflict with Frege’s criticism of synonymous meaning, according o which any two sentences with the same truth value express the same thought in the sense of designating the same objectified truth value, the True or the False. Frege’s theory of sentence meaning and synonymy opens the door to slingshot arguments, reducing truth-maker semantics to an absurdity. I defend Dummett’s account of Frege, emphasizing the ultimacy of unique semantic analyses of sentence meaning, and blunting the force of slingshot arguments in several ways in an account of truth-making states of affairs for the truth values of propositions that vindicates Dummett’s clarification of Frege’s theory of sentence meaning and the individuation of Gedanken.