Philosophical Studies

, Volume 137, Issue 2, pp 159–181 | Cite as

Frege and the Paradox of Analysis

  • Michael Nelson


In an unpublished manuscript of 1914 titled ‘Logic in mathematics’, Gottlob Frege offered a rich account of the paradox of analysis. I argue that Frege there claims that the explicandum and explicans of a successful analysis express the same sense and that he furthermore appreciated that this requires that one cannot conclude that two sentences differ in sense simply because it is possible for a (minimally) competent speaker to accept one without accepting the other. I claim that this is shown by Frege’s suggestive remarks about a cloudy grasp of a sense. I then argue that this fact calls into question a key assumption behind Frege’s master argument for the sense/reference distinction.


Conceptual Analysis Complex Expression Successful Analysis Linguistic Meaning Competent Speaker 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUC RiversideRiverside

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