In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS 569 contribution to modern mathematical logic is overrated. Of these two, I will comment, however briefly, only on the first. I agree that it is wrong to ascribe to Frege a semantics of natural language and it is no more tenable to ascribe to him a truth-conditional theory of meaning. I also agree that the or/g/ns of the sense-reference distinction lie in Frege's attempt to remedy technical weakness of the Begriffsschrift and to complete the logicist program. But this account of the genesis of that distinction does not imply that the distinction, as expounded in the famed essay of 189~ and in "The Thought," does not, or cannot, form the foundation of a philosophical theory of meaning. The distinction was not introduced, to be sure, to account for our understanding of an identity statement without knowing its truth values. But once the distinction was available, it provided an account of what it is that we grasp in understanding, and so far Dummett's interpretation is not far from the truth. And since at least one of the modes of introduction of that distinction is to account for the difference in the cognitive values of trivial and non-trivial identity statements, i.e., for the possibility of cognitively non-trivial identity statements , that does indeed suggest that the concept of sense was after all intended--at least in part--to play a cognitive role. Even if the excesses of some modern neo-Fregeans are rightly exposed to be un-Fregean, it is equally un-Fregean to suggest that Frege did not have a theory of understanding (as grasping of sense) at all. On the whole, the book is a sustained and informed critique of Frege, and should make all of us who admire Frege re-think and re-examine our understanding and our assessment of his various well-known doctrines. In this regard, it is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Frege---by not being a eulogy. If it has a fault, it lies in just the opposite direction--a lack of charity for so genial a thinker. J. N. MOHANTY Temple University Michael Allen Gillespie. Hegel, Heidegger, and the Ground of HistoO. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. Pp. xv + 217. $22.00. According to Gillespie, nihilism is our problem; we have no conception of history that sustains human dignity, no cosmology or theo$ogy to give meaning (23). We freely choose our goals; nature no longer guides. To avoid nihilism "history must either be transcended or given a rational ground" (23). Hegel and Heidegger do not succeed in this task. Gillespie works within oppositions such as ancients/moderns, eternity/time, nature/history, by-nature/by-convention. He asks: can we find a ground in what history is, if it is more than collected human actions? He mentions his own "true basis for a solution in terms of a retrieval of the thought of antiquity," the distinction between public and secret teachings, a more aporetic understanding of Plato, and myth to cloak nihilism for the common man 066-68, 133). These Straussian presuppositions guide Gillespie's interpretations of Hegel and Heidegger. Hegel loses the "What" of history in a "logical illusion" and Heidegger "abandons the categorial reason of metaphysics for something approaching a pure intuitionism" (174). 57~ JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 24:4 OCTOBER 1986 Gillespie discusses well the Introduction to Hegel's Phenomeno~ffy. He is influenced but not dominated by Heidegger's essay on that subject. He does not see Hegel studying shapes of consciousness and structures of mutual recognition, but asjoining history to "scientific" development, to the parousia of the absolute. Without going deeply into the pattern of negation and self-reflection, he suggests that the dialectic makes history and consciousness play together to establish a ground. He does not see a transition from egocentric consciousness to a more relational notion of spirit; Hegel 's "pure knowing" is sdii described as subjectivity. Gillespie discusses contradiction, the being-nothing transition, and negativity as the core motion of consciousness. He treats a series of objections to Hegel's project and dismisses many of them. But the "decisive question...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 569-571
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.