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concept and object


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

L ogic , philosophy of language A distinction based by Frege on an analogy between functional expressions in mathematics and subject-predicate propositions , according to which such propositions can be analyzed in terms of argument and function. Concepts are given through the functional aspect or the predicate part of a proposition. Predicate expressions are concept words. The argument of the function or the subject part of a proposition stands for an individual object. In the subject predicate formula, predicates are taken formally, referring not to an individual but to a form or essence. In mathematics, each function is incomplete and contains an empty space to be filled by the argument. Similarly, in propositions a concept is unsaturated, and can be completed by various objects picked out by subject terms. For Frege, this combination of predicate and subject terms to introduce concepts and to pick out objects to complete them is the way that language works. Frege also distinguished between first-order concepts (under which objects fall) and second-order concepts (under which concepts fall) and derived a corresponding distinction between first-order and second-order predicates. Frege claimed that the major fault in the ontological argument for the existence of God is that it treats existence as a first-order concept when it is actually a second-order concept. The distinction ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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