• marcolobo8
    Hello everyone!

    Frege has this model of Designation/Sense/Reference.
    The designation is the word itself, i.e “chair”.
    The Reference is the actual thing which the Designation(word) refers to, i.e an actual chair.
    The sense is the Way in which the Reference is presented to us/given to us, i.e we Think of a chair as something to sit on.

    This model is pretty straight forward regarding actual physical objects... but what about “concept words”?
    Words which doesnt represent any actual physical thing out there in the World.

    Im particular interested in the word “God” since im writing a text about it.
    How do i apply Freges model on the word “God”? Is there even a definite reference to the word “God”? If so, is it as an object or a concept?

  • I like sushi
    “God” is more like the word “and,” “or” or “thought” than the word “chair”.

    In my experience people just as much difficultly in expressing what they mean by “God” as they do with “and”.
  • fresco
    It is my understanding that Wittgenstein's 'meaning is use' was a later rejection of Frege's support for 'a picture theory of language'.
    From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. 'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.
  • T Clark
    'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.fresco

    I am not a systematic student of either philosophy in general or the philosophers you reference specifically, so maybe my take is naive. But that's never stopped me before.

    Doesn't it all come back to definitions? If we can define a word well, clearly, enough and if the people in the discussion can agree on that definition, can't we point to love just as well as we can point to the moon?

    There was a recent discussion on the forum of the meaning of "reification," which means "when you treat something immaterial — like happiness, fear, or evil — as a material thing." In that discussion, I wrote that everything we can talk about is a reification, "moon" as much as "love." Others disagreed.
  • Brainglitch

    In theologese the "actual thing" referenced, though not a physical thing like a chair, is a mysterious spiritual thing, like choirs of angels and legions of demons and grace and holiness and such.

  • fresco
    No. IMO, definitions merely suggest potential usage contexts, and 'materiality' tends to imply 'of focal concern', not an allusion to 'physicality' as such (although 'to be of concern' is not without its biological connotations which are also 'physical events') As suggested on another thread, what 'matters' in social agreement is 'what happens hext', not some abstract state we call 'agreed meaning'. Reification, is the process of reinforcing the functional social value for a concept which lacks immediate 'physicality' by associating it with a physical 'object'. Thus, for example, 'recycling' is reified by designated disposal bins, or 'nationhood' is reified by a flag.
    Now we could perhaps stretch the reification argument to a claim that the physicality of 'words' is itself responsible for reification of any concept, but that could be a step too far.
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