David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This is an essay in compositional semantics: the project of understanding how the meanings of sentences depend systematically on the meanings of their parts, and the way those meanings are combined. One way to model this process is to adapt tools from the study of modal or other intensional logics (see eg (Montague, 2002), (Gamut, 1991), (von Fintel and Heim, 2007)), and that’s the method I’ll be pursuing here. My particular task in this essay is to use data about sentences with embedded clauses to provide evidence for theories of what those clauses denote. Call whatever clauses denote, according to a particular theory, that theory’s ‘propositions’; then this essay tries to adduce some evidence about what propositions are like. Here’s the plan: in §1, I’ll discuss a traditional idea—that propositions are sets of possible worlds—and point out some familiar problems with such an approach. In §2, I briefly outline two possible improvements on possible-worlds propositions that solve these familiar problems—circumstantialism and structuralism. The remainder of the paper comprises arguments against structuralism and in favor of (a certain form of) circumstantialism: in §3 I present arguments against structuralism, and in §4, I consider structuralist responses to these arguments, as well as an influential argument against circumstantialism. If these arguments are correct, then some startling conclusions follow—in particular, that the negation of classical logic, whatever its other virtues, cannot provide a correct semantics for negation in natural language. Two key pieces of notational stuff: I use boldface type for quotation (cuts down on quotes everywhere), and double brackets to talk about denotations of linguistic items. So, if we think names denote their bearers, then Mary = Mary. Here we go! 1 1 Problems with the possible-worlds approach..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Ripley (2012). Structures and Circumstances: Two Ways to Fine-Grain Propositions. Synthese 189 (1):97 - 118.
Mark Balaguer (1998). Attitudes Without Propositions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):805-26.
Jeffrey C. King (2013). On Fineness of Grain. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):763-781.
Jeffrey King (1996). Structured Propositions and Sentence Structure. Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (5):495 - 521.
Francesco Berto (2010). Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486.
Thomas Hofweber (2006). Schiffer's New Theory of Propositions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):211–217.
Sam Cowling (2011). The Limits of Modality. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):473-495.
Patrick Toner (2006). Contingently Existing Propositions? Philosophical Studies 129 (3):421 - 434.
Dale Jacquette (2006). Propositions, Sets, and Worlds. Studia Logica 82 (3):337 - 343.
Added to index2010-01-02
Total downloads176 ( #3,287 of 1,096,371 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #32,804 of 1,096,371 )
How can I increase my downloads?