“…a certain softness and mutability of language which, on the other hand, is a precondition of its ability to develop and of its versatility. In this respect, language can be compared to the hand …”
The mathematician, logician and philosopher Gottlob Frege made an interesting statement about language in one of his articles, “Ueber die wissenschaftliche Berechtigung einer Begriffsschrift” (“About the Scientific Justification of a Concept Script”). After writing about the deficits of natural language, especially its ambiguity and vagueness, he states:
The highlighted shortcomings are due to a certain softness and mutability of language. On the other hand, it is precisely this softness and mutability that gives language its versatility and its ability to develop. In this respect, language can be compared to our hands’ ability to adapt themselves to diverse tasks. However, our hands are insufficient for us, so we created artificial hands—tools for special purposes—and these allow us to do the precise and detailed work which our hands would not be able to do.
The topic of the article is the justification of the introduction of a Frege’s “Begriffsschrift”, or concept…
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