Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Frege’s Criterion in Context

Date: 17 October 2018

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB


In the recent literature on the first person, it has been suggested that thoughts expressed in ordinary ‘I’/‘you’-exchanges may be the same while holding on to Frege’s Criterion for the distinctness of thought. In this brief piece, I argue that this compatibility claim can only be sustained at the price of relativising the result of Frege’s Criterion to contexts in ways that render it unprincipled or idle for the discrimination of thought. This is so in spite of the fact that the application of Frege’s Criterion is uncontroversially relativised to subjects in a context or time. The result bears on any approach committed to interpersonal shareability of first person thought and on any account willing to contextualise the notion of ‘same thought’ as delivered by Frege’s Criterion. It does not itself, however, threaten the individuation of thought expressible with indexicals at the level of cognitive significance.