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Additional info for Frege on Absolute and Relative Truth: An Introduction to the Practice of Interpreting Philosophical Texts
If we quote the third and fourth arguments in isolation from the first and second arguments, as is usually done, then we are compelled to refer the expression ‘this attempt’ to the third argument, because in that case there is no other, alternative argument (in the quotation) to which we could refer the expression. As a result of this way of quoting we will understand the sentences (A’) So this attempt breaks down, Frege’s Text and Its Argumentative Structure 23 (B’) But likewise, any other attempt breaks down.
As pointed out earlier, the close connection between question and answer is clearly indicated by the similarity in wording (see the italicized phrases in the quotations above). Question and answer together fuse the third and fourth paragraphs into one argumentative unit. Without the fourth paragraph, which has not been considered at all in previous interpretations, we could not properly understand the third one, either. 1 Frege’s refutation of the correspondence theory in the third paragraph is limited by the assumption that I-truth may be scientific truth and by the conclusion of the related indirect proof.
The third objection: scientific truth is independent. [(vi)] Or does it? Could we not maintain that there is truth when there is correspondence in a certain respect? But which respect? And what would we then have to do so as to decide whether something were true? We should have to inquire whether it were true that, for example, an idea and something real correspond in the specified respect. And with that we should be confronted again by a question of the same kind, and the game could start all over.