Frege: Philosophy of Language

Frege: Philosophy of Language

Cover of the first edition
Author Michael Dummett
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject Gottlob Frege
Published 1973
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 752 (1993 Harvard University Press edition)
ISBN 978-0674319318

Frege: Philosophy of Language (1973; second edition 1981) is a book about Gottlob Frege by the British philosopher Michael Dummett.[1]


Dummett explains and champions Frege's philosophy.[2] Discussing Frege's view that the sense of a term is the route to its reference, and therefore cannot be specified in such a way that the reference becomes irrelevant to its use, Dummett interprets the idea of a route to reference in epistemological terms, as a procedure for discovering the reference of a term. Dummett also provides a rival way of arguing for conclusions about names similar to Saul Kripke's view of them as "rigid designators".[3]

Scholarly reception

Frege: Philosophy of Language has been highly influential. Together with Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics (1991), it is Dummett's chief contribution to Frege scholarship.[2] However, Dummett's epistemological interpretation of the idea of a route to reference has been seen as unnecessary by Daniel Dennett. Philosopher Roger Scruton, in his Sexual Desire (1986), follows Dennett's view.[4]



  1. Lowe 2005. p. 222.
  2. 1 2 Lowe 1999. p. 247.
  3. Scruton 1994. pp. 370, 397, 416.
  4. Scruton 1994. p. 416.


  • Lowe, E. J. (1999). Audi, Robert, ed. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63722-8. 
  • Lowe, E. J. (2005). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. 
  • Scruton, Roger (1994). Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation. London: Phoenix. ISBN 1-85799-100-1. 
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