The Bad Company Objection and the Extensionality of Frege’s Logic

Vincenzo Ciccarelli


According to the Bad Company objection, the fact that Frege’s infamous Basic Law V instantiates the general definitional pattern of higher-order abs-traction principles is a good reason to doubt the soundness of this sort of definitions. In this paper I argue against this objection by showing that the defi-nitional pattern of abstraction principles – as extrapolated from §64 of Frege’s Grundlagen– includes an additional requirement (which I call the specificity condition) that is not satisfied by the Basic Law V while is satisfied by other higher-order abstractions such as Hume’s Principle. I also show that the failure of this additional requirement in the case of Basic Law V is engendered by an essential feature of Frege’s conception of logic and thus that Frege himself should not have regarded the Basic Law V as a definition by abstraction.


Abstraction Principles. Bad Company. Content Recarving. Frege’s Logic.

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Direitos autorais 2020 Vincenzo Ciccarelli