Why is that morning star and evening star have different senses? What is the sense of morning star and what is the sense of evening star? I understand they refer to the same object, so they have the same reference, but what are sense?

  • 4
    I don't think this question is necessarily opinion-based. "Sense" is a commonly-used piece of terminology in formal semantics.
    – Draconis
    Dec 17 '21 at 17:54
  • If one is going to distinguish Sinn from Bedeutung, one needs better examples.
    – jlawler
    Dec 17 '21 at 22:23
  • 2
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_and_reference this is a good place to start
    – prash
    Dec 18 '21 at 23:35

Sense is abstract conceptual content, essentially the dictionary definition and perhaps also involving aspects like what features the described concept has and how it is related to the meaning of other expressions such as synonymy, as opposed to reference, which is the concrete objects in the outside world comprised by the expression. E.g. the sense of the word "digit" is something like "single symbol representing a whole number", whereas its reference is {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}.

"Morning star" and "evening star" have different senses because one means a planet observable in the morning and the other means a planet observable in the evening, and these per se are different ideas, even though they may happen to come out as the same thing due to what our world looks like.

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