[FOM] The Irrelevance of definite descriptions in the Slingshot Argument?

kremer@uchicago.edu kremer at uchicago.edu
Sun Oct 1 14:28:46 EDT 2006

Hartley Slater's entire case for the attribution of the
slingshot to Frege appears to rest on the references to
Neale's article in his original post.  But the passages from
Neale's article don't establish that Frege gives the slingshot
argument.  As Richard Heck points out, Neale admits that is
pretty difficult to take any argument Frege actually gives as
a version of the slingshot.  The passages from Neale, if
anything, support the idea that the slingshot has been
misattributed to Frege.  I agree with Heck that Frege doesn't
actually give anything remotely resembling the slingshot.  The
only thing that is true is that Frege asserts the conclusion
of the slingshot.  But his argument for it is quite different
from the slingshot.  (The most common argument he gives for
taking sentences to refer to truth-values has to do with the
interest we take in truth when we are asking after the
references of our subsentential expressions.  There is an
excellent paper by Tyler Burge on this, reprinted in his
recent collection of essays on Frege.)

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