Formality of logic and Frege’s Begriffsschrift

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper challenges a standard interpretation according to which Frege’s conception of logic (early and late) is at odds with the contemporary one, because on the latter’s view logic is formal, while on Frege’s view it is not, given that logic’s subject matter is reality’s most general features. I argue that Frege–in Begriffsschrift–retained the idea that logic is formal; Frege sees logic as providing the ‘logical cement’ that ties up together the contentful concepts of specific sciences, not the most general truths. Finally, I discuss how Frege conceives of the application of Begriffsschrift, and of its status as a ‘lingua characteristica’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-207
Number of pages26
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2019


  • Begriffsschrift
  • Frege
  • formality
  • logic
  • universalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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