Frege’s views on vagueness


  • Marco Ruffino Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


Vagueness. Sharp delimitation. Supervaluationism


The purpose of this paper is to discuss Frege’s view on vagueness, and to draw some relevant consequences of it. By examining what exactly Frege has in mind each time he complains about vagueness and advocates the sharpness requirement, I argue that he shows preoccupation with different kinds of vagueness in different periods of his thought. I also discuss the scope of the sharpness requirement, and argue that it is intended as applying primarily to mathematics and logic. Finally, I try and argue that some of Frege’s remarks on incomplete functions suggest a view that is close in spirit to the contemporary supervaluationist approach to vagueness.


Não há dados estatísticos.

Biografia do Autor

Marco Ruffino, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Department of Philosophy Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ BRAZIL


BURGE, T. “Frege on Sense and Linguistic Meaning”. In: Bell, D. and Cooper, N. (eds.). The Analytic Tradition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 30-60, 1991.

DUMMETT, M. “Wang’s Paradox”. Synthese, 30, pp. 301-24, 1975. Reprinted in his Truth and Other Enigmas. London: Duckworth, pp. 248-68, 1978.

FREGE, G. Begriffsschrift. Eine der arithmetischen nachgebildete Formelsprache des reinen Denkens (BS). Halle: Verlag von Louis Nebert, 1879. Reprinted in Begriffsschrift und andere Aufsätze. 2nded. Edited by I. Angelelli. Hildesheim: George Olms Verlag, 1988. Conceptual Notation and Related Articles (CN), 1879. Edited and translated by Terrell Bynum. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972.

FREGE, G. Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Eine logisch mathematische Untersuchung über den Begriff der Zahl (GLA). Breslau: W. Koebner, 1884. The Foundations of Arithmetic. Translated by J. Austin. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1980.

———. Grundgesezte der Arithmetik, vol. I (GGA). Jena: Pohle, 1893. Reprinted, Hildesheim: George Olms Verlag, 1962. Partially translated by Montgomerry Furth in The Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1967.

———. Grundgesezte der Arithmetik, vol. II (GGA). Jena: Pohle, 1903. Reprinted, Hildesheim: George Olms Verlag, 1962. Partially translated by Montgomerry Furth in The Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

———. Kleine Schriften (KS). Edited by I. Angelelli. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1967.

———. Nachgelassene Schriften (NS). Edited by H. Hermes, F. Kambartel and F. Kaulbach, with the assistance of G. Gabriel and W. Rödding. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1969. Posthumous Writings (PW). Translated by P. Long and R. White. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1979.

———. Wissenschaftlicher Briefwechsel (WB). Edited by G. Gabriel et al. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1976. Philosophical and Mathematical Correspondence (PMC), translated by H. Kaal, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980.

———. Collected Papers on Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy (CP). Edited and translated by Max Black et al. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984.

RUSSELL, B. “Vagueness”. Australasian Journal of Philosophy and Psychology, 1, pp. 84-92, 1923. VAN HEIJENOORT, J. “Frege on Vagueness”. In: L. Haaparanta and J. Hintikka (eds.). Frege Synthesized. Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Co., pp. 31-45, 1986.

WEINER, J. Frege in Perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986.




Como Citar

RUFFINO, M. Frege’s views on vagueness. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 26, n. 2, p. 253–277, 2016. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 dez. 2022.