more from Gottlob Frege

Single Idea 9180

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Language holism]

Full Idea

Frege thought of a language as a game played with fixed rules, there being all the difference in the world between a move in the game and an alteration of the rules; but, if holism is correct, every move in the game changes the rules.

Gist of Idea

Holism says all language use is also a change in the rules of language


Gottlob Frege (On Sense and Reference [1892]), quoted by Michael Dummett - Frege's Distinction of Sense and Reference p.248

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.248

A Reaction

Rules do shift over time, so there must be some mechanism for that - the rules can't sit in sacrosanct isolation. People play games with the language itself, as well as using it to play other games.