FOM: Philosophy and platonism (Frege references)

Stephen Ferguson srf1 at
Mon Jan 24 10:51:56 EST 2000

> Michael Zeleny writes:
>  > As Gottlob Frege has taught us, logic is a branch of ethics. 

And SS replied:
>Could you supply a reference to where Frege says this?

Try this: from Frege: *Posthumous Writings* (Blackwells 1979)

p. 4 Logic has a closer affinity with ethics. The property 'good' hasa
significance for the latter analogous to that which the property 'true'
has for the former. 

p. 128 Like ethics, logic can also be called a normative science. How must
I think in order to reach the goal, truth? We expect logic to give us the
answer to this question, but we do not demand of it that it should go into
what is peculiar to each branch of knowledge and its subject matter.

My basic logical insights
For there is no doubt that the word 'beautiful' actually does indicate the
essence of aesthetics, as does 'good' that of ethics, whereas 'true' only
makes an abortive attempt to indicate the essence of logic, since what
logic is really concerned with is not contained in the word 'true' at all,
but in the assertoric force with which a sentence is uttered.

So while Frege does favourably compare logic and ethics, it is an
oversimplification to say that he taught logic to be a branch of ethics.



Stephen Ferguson 

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