more from Gottlob Frege

Single Idea 8446

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / a. Sentence meaning]

Full Idea

The possibility of our understanding propositions which we have never heard before rests on the fact that we construct the sense of a proposition out of parts that correspond to words.

Gist of Idea

We understand new propositions by constructing their sense from the words


Gottlob Frege (Letters to Jourdain [1910], p.43)

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.43

A Reaction

This is the classic statement of the principle of compositionality, which seems to me so obviously correct that I cannot understand anyone opposing it. Which comes first, the thought or the word, may be a futile debate.