Structures and circumstances: two ways to fine-grain propositions

Synthese 189 (1):97 - 118 (2012)
This paper discusses two distinct strategies that have been adopted to provide fine-grained propositions; that is, propositions individuated more finely than sets of possible worlds. One strategy takes propositions to have internal structure, while the other looks beyond possible worlds, and takes propositions to be sets of circumstances, where possible worlds do not exhaust the circumstances. The usual arguments for these positions turn on fineness-of-grain issues: just how finely should propositions be individuated? Here, I compare the two strategies with an eye to the fineness-of-grain question, arguing that when a wide enough range of data is considered, we can see that a circumstance-based approach, properly spelled out, outperforms a structure-based approach in answering the question. (Part of this argument involves spelling out what I take to be a reasonable circumstance-based approach.) An argument to the contrary, due to Soames, is also considered
Keywords Propositions  Circumstantialism  Impossible worlds
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/41681669
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
Jon Barwise & John Perry (1981). Situations and Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (11):668-691.
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Ripley (forthcoming). Paraconsistent Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-10.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

160 ( #13,238 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

18 ( #43,617 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.