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Thoughts in writing the letter , Gustave Léonard de Jonghe

A thought is what has been thought or the thinking of something; an opinion, a point of view or an idea or a term or idea . The thought is a result and a basic component in the process of thinking. The thought, a product of the thought process in the form of a judgment, a concept or a combination of both, which in the ideal case reflects the general in the mass of individual things or fixes the essential , the lawful in the variety of appearances of the world around us. After Frege Psychologism criticism in the 19th century and after Husserl is science linguistically distinguish systematically between the thoughts in the subjective-psychological and the thought in the objective sense.

Thoughts as thought operations, i.e. as conscious psychological action , i.e. thoughts in the subjective sense, are the subject of cognitive psychology . In contrast, (modern) logic deals with thoughts in the objective sense. The thought in the subjective sense concerns the actual emergence (in Frege: the grasping ) of a thought. The thought in the objective sense concerns its validity.

For a person seeking advice it is certainly of some value to find out how the person who gave the information came up with the idea that he shared with him. On this he will make its credibility dependent. However, whether the statement is not only credible, but also valid, i.e. true, is not found out in this way, but only by checking it against the facts. In the case of a thought, a distinction must therefore be made between its genesis and its validity . Both can be interesting, both are acceptable perspectives - but they are two different things. If one disregards this difference, then one or the other aspect is absolute. Such unilateral positions are:

  • the rationality (excluding the Genesis)
  • psychologism (exclusion of validity).

The expression "thought" served as a translation of mens , dianoea and sententia until the 16th century , later only for dianoea in the sense of the activity of the mind (such as Descartes or Hamilton ) or for sententia in the sense of the result of thinking, e.g. B. as a statement ( propositio , sententia ) or as "what is thought in the statement ( verbum mentis, noema )". Also currently, the expression “thought” is understood in particular as “a sub-process of thinking or also its result”.

Thank God Frege

In his critique of empirical psychologism in logic, Frege, as well as Husserl and ultimately the whole of modern logic, separated the thought as a subjective, psychological and individual event (in Frege: "imagination") from the thought in the objective sense as the actual object of logic; this distinction is fundamental to Frege. Instead of a thought in the objective Frege sense, one also speaks of a proposition or fact .

While the negative delimitation of thoughts from ideas is catchy - ideas as only individual, psychological, not communicable, etc. - the positive determination of ontological status is controversial. For Frege: “Thoughts are neither things of the outside world nor representations. A third kingdom must be recognized ”.

Frege defines the thought as “something about which truth can come into question at all”, as that “what sense of a question sentence can be. I call it thoughts ”. "But a thought is something of which the following applies: true or false, there is no third". “But it is also said here that the thought is nothing subjective, not a product of our mental activity; for the thought that we have in the Pythagorean theorem is the same for everyone, and its truth is entirely independent of whether it is thought by this or that person or not. Thinking is not to be seen as the production of the thought, but as the apprehension of it ”.

The thought is timeless in an essential sense, even if a thinker grasps it in time. Frege gives as examples:

  • The astronomer can ascertain events that took place “when at least no one on earth had yet recognized that truth”.
  • The Pythagorean theorem is timelessly true.

Correspondingly, the tense of the present in "is true" is "a tense of untimely".

Thinking - judging - asserting

Frege distinguishes thought from asserting and judging: "We therefore differentiate 1. the grasping of the thought - the thinking, 2. the recognition of the truth of a thought - the judging, 3. the manifestation of this judgment - the assertion". According to this, thinking is grasping a thought, judging is recognizing the truth of a thought, and asserting is giving a judgment.

Synonym discussion

The thoughts in Frege's sense are sometimes seen as synonymous with the lecta in the Stoic sense . Defined as “the general, objective meaning that is expressed in a sentence and is either true or false”, the thought in the sense of Frege is identified with the concept of proposition. The thought is the propositional core of a statement. The thought is "the matter alleged by a statement". The fact is spoken of as a true state of affairs, which corresponds to the fact that Frege called the fact "true thoughts".

The shape of the thought

The thought that is perceptible in consciousness occurs essentially in the linguistic form (e.g. in the quiet, inner formulation of a letter or in pondering ) or in the pictorial form (e.g. in the imagination of an object or as a sequence of images in daydreams) , see also modes of representation and imagination . These forms can be tested in your own consciousness.

See also


Web links

Commons : Thinking  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Thought  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Thought  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden. German universal dictionary. 5th edition 2003. ISBN 3-411-05505-7 .
  2. ^ A b c d e Albert Veraart, Christiane Schildknecht: Thought. in: Mittelstraß (Hrsg.): Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. 2nd edition, Vol. 3, 2008. ISBN 978-3-476-02102-1 .
  3. a b Tugendhat, Wolf: Logical-semantic propaedeutics . 1983. p. 223.
  4. Schischkoff: Philosophical Dictionary. 22nd edition 1991. ISBN 3-520-01322-3 .
  5. a b c d e f g Gottlob Frege: The thought: a logical investigation. in: Contributions to the philosophy of German idealism I. 2. 1918. in: Gottlob Frege: Logical investigations. 3rd edition 1986. ISBN 3-525-33518-0 .
  6. Gottlob Frege: The negation: a logical investigation . in: Contributions to Philosophy of German Idealism I . 3/4. 1919. pp. 143ff. in: Gottlob Frege: Logical Investigations . 3rd edition 1986. ISBN 3-525-33518-0 , pp. 54ff.
  7. Gottlob Frege: Logical investigations. Third part: Thought structure . in: Contributions to the Philosophy of German Idealism III . 1. 1923. p. 36ff. in: Gottlob Frege: Logical Investigations . 3rd ed. 1986. pp. 72ff. ISBN 3-525-33518-0 .
  8. Gottlob Frege: About logic and mathematics . P. 5. quoted from: Bocheński: Formal Logic 2nd ed. 1962. P. 336.
  9. ^ Bocheński: Formal Logic . 2nd ed. 1962, p. 335
  10. Kuno Lorenz: true / the true . in: Mittelstraß (Hrsg.): Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. 1996. p. 580.