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Summary One view about propositions is that they are structured entities with constituents, perhaps the objects and properties that they are about.
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228 found
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  1. Frege Cases and Bad Psychological Laws.Mahrad Almotahari & Aidan Gray - forthcoming - Mind.
    We draw attention to a series of implicit assumptions that have structured the debate about Frege’s Puzzle. Once these assumptions are made explicit, we rely on them to show that if one focuses exclusively on the issues raised by Frege cases, then one obtains a powerful consideration against a fine-grained conception of propositional-attitude content. In light of this consideration, a form of Russellianism about content becomes viable.
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  2. Problems for Russellian Act-Type Theories.Arvid Båve - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I here discuss two problems facing Russellian act-type theories of propositions, and argue that Fregean act-type theories are better equipped to deal with them. The first relates to complex singular terms like '2+2', which turn out not to pose any special problem for Fregeans at all, whereas Soames' theory currently has no satisfactory way of dealing with them (particularly, with such "mixed" propositions as the proposition that 2+2 is greater than 3). Admittedly, one possibility stands out as the most promising (...)
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  3. Propositions as Objects of the Attitudes.Ray Buchanan & Alex Grzankowski - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    Propositions are the things we believe, intend, desire, and so on, but discussions are often less precise than they could be and an important driver of this deficiency has been a focus on the objects but a neglect of the attitudinal relations we bear to them. In what follows, we will offer some thoughts on what it means for a proposition to be the object of an attitude and we will argue that an important part of the story lies with (...)
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  4. The Propositional Benacerraf Problem.Jesse Fitts - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge:
    Writers in the propositions literature consider the Benacerraf objection serious, often decisive. The objection figures heavily in dismissing standard theories of propositions of the past, notably set-theoretic theories. I argue that the situation is more complicated. After explicating the propositional Benacerraf problem, I focus on a classic set-theoretic theory of propositions, the possible worlds theory, and argue that methodological considerations influence the objection’s success.
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  5. Structure by Proxy, with an Application to Grounding.Peter Fritz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    An argument going back to Russell shows that the view that propositions are structured is inconsistent in standard type theories. Here, it is shown that such type theories may nevertheless provide entities which can serve as proxies for structured propositions. As an illustration, such proxies are applied to the case of grounding, as standard views of grounding require a degree of propositional structure which suffices for a version of Russell’s argument. While this application solves some of the problems grounding faces, (...)
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  6. Closed Structure.Peter Fritz, Harvey Lederman & Gabriel Uzquiano - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-43.
    According to the structured theory of propositions, if two sentences express the same proposition, then they have the same syntactic structure, with corresponding syntactic constituents expressing the same entities. A number of philosophers have recently focused attention on a powerful argument against this theory, based on a result by Bertrand Russell, which shows that the theory of structured propositions is inconsistent in higher order-logic. This paper explores a response to this argument, which involves restricting the scope of the claim that (...)
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  7. Why 0-Adic Relations Have Truth Conditions: Essence, Ground, and Non-Hylomorphic Russellian Propositions.Cody Gilmore - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. London: Routledge.
    I formulate an account, in terms of essence and ground, that explains why atomic Russellian propositions have the truth conditions they do. The key ideas are that (i) atomic propositions are just 0-adic relations, (ii) truth is just the 1-adic version of the instantiation (or, as I will say, holding) relation (Menzel 1993: 86, note 27), and (iii) atomic propositions have the truth conditions they do for basically the same reasons that partially plugged relations, like being an x and a (...)
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  8. Content Pluralism.Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    How fine-grained are the contents of our beliefs and other cognitive attitudes? Are the contents of our beliefs individuated solely in terms of the objects, properties, and relations that figure in their truth conditions, or rather in terms of our concepts, or modes of presentation of those objects, properties, and relations? So-called Millians famously maintain the former whereas their Fregean rivals hold the latter. Though much ink was spilled on the question of grain, relatively little was ever achieved by way (...)
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  9. Propositions as Interpreted Abstracta.Thomas Hodgson - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman & Adam R. Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
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  10. Minimal Rationality and the Web of Questions.Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
    This paper proposes a new account of bounded or minimal doxastic rationality (in the sense of Cherniak 1986), based on the notion that beliefs are answers to questions (à la Yalcin 2018). The core idea is that minimally rational beliefs are linked through thematic connections, rather than entailment relations. Consequently, such beliefs are not deductively closed, but they are closed under parthood (where a part is an entailment that answers a smaller question). And instead of avoiding all inconsistency, minimally rational (...)
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  11. First Among Equals: Co-Hyperintensionality for Structured Propositions.Bjørn Jespersen - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    Theories of structured meanings are designed to generate fine-grained meanings, but they are also liable to overgenerate structures, thus drawing structural distinctions without a semantic difference. I recommend the proliferation of very fine-grained structures, so that we are able to draw any semantic distinctions we think we might need. But, in order to contain overgeneration, I argue we should insert some degree of individuation between logical equivalence and structural identity based on structural isomorphism. The idea amounts to forming an equivalence (...)
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  12. Unstructured Content.Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  13. The Varieties of Gappy Propositions.Seyed N. Mousavian - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
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  14. Plenitudinous Russellianism, ‘That’-Clauses, and the Principle of Substitutivity.Seyed N. Mousavian - forthcoming - Dialogue:1-24.
    ABSTRACT Recently, in a series of papers, Joshua Spencer has introduced, defended, and developed a modified version of Neo-Russellianism, namely Plenitudinous Russellianism, according to which there are structurally identical but numerically distinct singular Russellian propositions. PR claims to provide novel semantic solutions to all the major problems that NR faces with no radical revision in NR. In this paper, I introduce a semantic puzzle for PR: the view leads to the violation of the principle of substitutivity of co-referential proper names (...)
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  15. The Functional Composition of Sense.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    A central dispute in understanding Frege’s philosophy concerns how the sense of a complex expression relates to the senses of its component expressions. According to one reading, the sense of a complex expression is a whole built from the senses of the component expressions. On this interpretation, Frege is an early proponent of structured propositions. A rival reading says that senses compose by functional application: the sense of a complex expression is the value of the function denoted by its functional (...)
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  16. Reference, Predication, Judgment, and Their Relations.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Over the course of the past ten-plus years, Peter Hanks and Scott Soames have developed detailed versions of Act-Based views of propositions which operate with the notions of reference to objects, indicating properties, predication, and judgment (or entertaining). In this paper I discuss certain foundational aspects of the Act-Based approach having to do with the relations between these notions. In particular, I argue for the following three points. First, that the approach needs both an atomistically understood thin notion of reference, (...)
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  17. Acts of Desire.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-18.
    Act-based theories of content hold that propositions are identical to acts of predication that we perform in thought and talk. To undergo an occurrent thought with a particular content just is to perform the act of predication that individuates that content. But identifying the content of a thought with the performance of an act of predication makes it difficult to explain the intentionality of bouletic mental activity, like wanting and desiring. In this paper, I argue that this difficulty is insurmountable: (...)
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  18. Instrumentalism About Structured Propositions.Ori Simchen - forthcoming - In Adam Murray & Chris Tillman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    Theories deploy various theoretical representations of their explananda and one question we can ask about those representations is whether to regard them under a realist attitude, i.e. as revealing the nature of what they represent, or whether to regard them under an instrumentalist attitude instead, i.e. as serving particular explanatory ends without the further revelatory aspect. I consider structured propositions as theoretical representations within a particular explanatory setting -- the metaphysics of what is said -- and argue that a realist (...)
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  19. Hyperintensionality.Francesco Berto & Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of hyperintensionality is provided. Hyperintensional languages have expressions with meanings that are more fine-grained than necessary equivalence. That is, the expressions may necessarily co-apply and yet be distinct in meaning. Adequately accounting for theories cast in hyperintensional languages is important in the philosophy of language; the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; and elsewhere. This entry presents a number of areas in which hyperintensionality is important; a range of approaches to theorising about hyperintensional matters; and a range of debates that (...)
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  20. A Causal-Mentalist View of Propositions.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin & James Franklin - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (2).
    In order to fulfil their essential roles as the bearers of truth and the relata of logical relations, propositions must be public and shareable. That requirement has favoured Platonist and other nonmental views of them, despite the well-known problems of Platonism in general. Views that propositions are mental entities have correspondingly fallen out of favour, as they have difficulty in explaining how propositions could have shareable, objective properties. We revive a mentalist view of propositions, inspired by Artificial Intelligence work on (...)
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  21. Can There Be Ineffable Propositional Structures?Krasimira Filcheva - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:149-164.
    Is it possible for there to be facts about reality with a logical structure that is in principle unrepresentable by us? I outline the main motivations for thinking that this question should receive a positive answer. I then argue that, upon inspection, the view that such structurally ineffable facts are possible is self-defeating and thus incoherent. My argument is based on considerations about the fundamental role that the purely formal concept of an object plays in our propositional representations and its (...)
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  22. Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Synthese 197:5411–5433.
    Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is (...)
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  23. The Structure of Content is Not Transparent.Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):425-437.
    Sentences in context have semantic contents determined by a range of factors both internal and external to speakers. I argue against the thesis that semantic content is transparent to speakers in the sense of being immediately accessible to speakers in virtue of their linguistic competence.
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  24. Are Frege’s Thoughts Fregean Propositions?Eduardo Pérez-Navarro - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (2):223-244.
    One of the most pressing issues in contemporary semantics is whether propositions are structured entities that should be individuated in terms of their components or, contrarily, they lack structure and should be individuated in terms of their inferential relations. Another one is whether propositions should always contain all the information that is needed to deem them true or false—whether they should always be Fregean propositions. The latter debate might seem to presuppose a certain position in the former. However, it is (...)
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  25. Structured Propositions and Trivial Composition.Bryan Pickel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2991-3006.
    Structured propositions are often invoked to explain why intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. As the semantics is standardly developed—for example, in Salmon, Soames :47–87, 1987) and King :516–535, 1995), the semantic value of a complex expression is an ordered complex consisting of the semantic values of its components. Such views, however, trivialize semantic composition since they do not allow for independent constraints on the meaning of complexes. Trivializing semantic composition risks “trivializing semantics” Semantics versus (...)
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  26. Naive Russellians and Schiffer’s Puzzle.Stefan Rinner - 2020 - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Neo-Russellians like Salmon and Braun hold that: the semantic contents of sentences are structured propositions whose basic components are objects and properties, names are directly referential terms, and a sentence of the form ‘n believes that S’ is true in a context c iff the referent of the name n in c believes the proposition expressed by S in c. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the Naive Russellian theory’. In this talk, I will discuss the Naive Russellian theory primarily (...)
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  27. Hyperintensional Semantics: A Fregean Approach.Mattias Skipper & Jens Christian Bjerring - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3535-3558.
    In this paper, we present a new semantic framework designed to capture a distinctly cognitive or epistemic notion of meaning akin to Fregean senses. Traditional Carnapian intensions are too coarse-grained for this purpose: they fail to draw semantic distinctions between sentences that, from a Fregean perspective, differ in meaning. This has led some philosophers to introduce more fine-grained hyperintensions that allow us to draw semantic distinctions among co-intensional sentences. But the hyperintensional strategy has a flip-side: it risks drawing semantic distinctions (...)
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  28. Acts and Alternative Analyses.Arvid Båve - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (4):181–205.
    I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] (...)
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  29. Concept Designation.Arvid Båve - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):331-344.
    The paper proposes a way for adherents of Fregean, structured propositions to designate propositions and other complex senses/concepts using a special kind of functor. I consider some formulations from Peacocke's works and highlight certain problems that arise as we try to quantify over propositional constituents while referring to propositions using "that"-clauses. With the functor notation, by contrast, we can quantify over senses/concepts with objectual, first-order quantifiers and speak without further ado about their involvement in propositions. The functor notation also turns (...)
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  30. Manifest validity and beyond: an inquiry into the nature of coordination and the identity of guises and propositional-attitude states.Paolo Bonardi - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (5):475-515.
    This manuscript focuses on a problem for Millian Russellianism raised by Fine : “[Assuming] that we are in possession of the information that a Fs and the information that a Gs, it appears that we are sometimes justified in putting this information ‘together’ and inferring that a both Fs and Gs. But how?” It will be my goal to determine a Millian-Russellian solution to this problem. I will first examine Nathan Salmon’s Millian-Russellian solution, which appeals to a non-semantic and subjective (...)
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  31. Propositional Complexity and the Frege–Geach Point.Silver Bronzo - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3099-3130.
    It is almost universally accepted that the Frege–Geach Point is necessary for explaining the inferential relations and compositional structure of truth-functionally complex propositions. I argue that this claim rests on a disputable view of propositional structure, which models truth-functionally complex propositions on atomic propositions. I propose an alternative view of propositional structure, based on a certain notion of simulation, which accounts for the relevant phenomena without accepting the Frege–Geach Point. The main contention is that truth-functionally complex propositions do not include (...)
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  32. If Structured Propositions Are Logical Procedures Then How Are Procedures Individuated?Marie Duží - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1249-1283.
    This paper deals with two issues. First, it identifies structured propositions with logical procedures. Second, it considers various rigorous definitions of the granularity of procedures, hence also of structured propositions, and comes out in favour of one of them. As for the first point, structured propositions are explicated as algorithmically structured procedures. I show that these procedures are structured wholes that are assigned to expressions as their meanings, and their constituents are sub-procedures occurring in executed mode. Moreover, procedures are not (...)
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  33. Propositions, Representation, and Truth.Geoff Georgi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1019-1043.
    Theories of propositions as sets of truth-supporting circumstances are committed to the thesis that sentences or other representations true in all and only the same circumstances express the same proposition. Theories of propositions as complex, structured entities are not committed to this thesis. As a result, structured propositions can play a role in our theories of language and thought that sets of truth-supporting circumstances cannot play. To illustrate this difference, I sketch a theory of transparent, non-deflationary truth consistent with some (...)
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  34. Thisness Presentism: An Essay on Time, Truth, and Ontology.David Ingram - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Routledge.
    Thisness Presentism outlines and defends a novel version of presentism, the view that only present entities exist and what is present really changes. Presentism is a view of time that captures a real and objective difference between what is past, present, and future, and which offers a model of reality that is dynamic and mutable, rather than static and immutable. The book advances a new defence of presentism by developing a novel ontology of thisness, combining insights about the nature of (...)
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  35. Anatomy of a Proposition.Bjørn Jespersen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1285-1324.
    This paper addresses the mereological problem of the unity of structured propositions. The problem is how to make multiple parts interact such that they form a whole that is ultimately related to truth and falsity. The solution I propose is based on a Platonist variant of procedural semantics. I think of procedures as abstract entities that detail a logical path from input to output. Procedures are modeled on a function/argument logic, but are not functions. Instead they are higher-order, fine-grained structures. (...)
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  36. What Propositional Structure Could Not Be.Lorraine Keller - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1529-1553.
    The dominant account of propositions holds that they are structured entities that have, as constituents, the semantic values of the constituents of the sentences that express them. Since such theories hold that propositions are structured, in some sense, like the sentences that express them, they must provide an answer to what I will call Soames’ Question: “What level, or levels, of sentence structure does semantic information incorporate?”. As it turns out, answering Soames’ Question is no easy task. I argue in (...)
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  37. On Propositions and Fineness of Grain (Again!).Jeffrey King - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4).
  38. Existentialism, Aliens and Referentially Unrestricted Worlds.Michael Longenecker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3723-3738.
    Existentialism claims that propositions that directly refer to individuals depend on those individuals for their existence. I argue for two points regarding Existentialism. First, I argue that recent accounts of Existentialism run into difficulties accommodating the possibility of there being a lonely alien electron. This problem is distinct from one of the better-known alien problems—concerning iterated modal properties of aliens—and can’t be solved using a standard response to the iterated case. Second, though the lonely alien electron problem might seem to (...)
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  39. Pictures, Plants, and Propositions.Alex Morgan - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):309-329.
    Philosophers have traditionally held that propositions mark the domain of rational thought and inference. Many philosophers have held that only conceptually sophisticated creatures like us could have propositional attitudes. But in recent decades, philosophers have adopted increasingly liberal views of propositional attitudes that encompass the mental states of various non-human animals. These views now sit alongside more traditional views within the philosophical mainstream. In this paper I argue that liberalized views of propositional attitudes are so liberal that they encompass states (...)
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  40. Structured Propositions and the Logical Form of Predication.Gary Ostertag - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1475-1499.
    Jeffrey King, Scott Soames, and others have recently challenged the familiar identification of a Russellian proposition, such as the proposition that Brutus stabbed Caesar, with an ordered sequence constructed out of objects, properties, and relations. There is, as they point out, a surplus of candidate sequences available that are each equally serviceable. If so, any choice among these candidates will be arbitrary. In this paper, I show that, unless a controversial assumption is made regarding the nature of nonsymmetrical relations, none (...)
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  41. A General Argument Against Structured Propositions.Peter Pagin - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1501-1528.
    The standard argument against ordered tuples as propositions is that it is arbitrary what truth-conditions they should have. In this paper we generalize that argument. Firstly, we require that propositions have truth-conditions intrinsically. Secondly, we require strongly equivalent truth-conditions to be identical. Thirdly, we provide a formal framework, taken from Graph Theory, to characterize structure and structured objects in general. The argument in a nutshell is this: structured objects are too fine-grained to be identical to truth-conditions. Without identity, there is (...)
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  42. Structured Propositions in a Generative Grammar.Bryan Pickel - 2019 - Mind (510):329-366.
    Semantics in the Montagovian tradition combines two basic tenets. One tenet is that the semantic value of a sentence is an intension, a function from points of evaluations into truth-values. The other tenet is that the semantic value of a composite expression is the result of applying the function denoted by one component to arguments denoted by the other components. Many philosophers object to intensional semantics on the grounds that intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. (...)
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  43. Predication and the Frege–Geach Problem.Indrek Reiland - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):141-159.
    Several philosophers have recently appealed to predication in developing their theories of cognitive representation and propositions. One central point of difference between them is whether they take predication to be forceful or neutral and whether they take the most basic cognitive representational act to be judging or entertaining. Both views are supported by powerful reasons and both face problems. Many think that predication must be forceful if it is to explain representation. However, the standard ways of implementing the idea give (...)
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  44. Force, Content and the Varieties of Subject.Michael Schmitz - 2019 - Language and Communication 69:115-129.
    This paper argues that to account for group speech acts, we should adopt a representationalist account of mode / force. Individual and collective subjects do not only represent what they e.g. assert or order. By asserting or ordering they also indicate their theoretical or practical positions towards what they assert or order. The ‘Frege point’ cannot establish the received dichotomy of force and propositional content. On the contrary, only the representationalist account allows a satisfactory response to it. It also allows (...)
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  45. Estructura.Axel Barceló - 2018 - Enciclopedia de Filosofía SEFA.
    1. La estructura como problema filosófico 2. Teorías metafísicas de la estructura 2.1. La concepción intrínseca de la estructura 2.2. Como parte sui-generis 2.3. La concepción extrínseca de la estructura 3. Conclusiones Referencias.
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  46. Propositions Are Not Simple.Matt Duncan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):351-366.
  47. A Historically Informed Defence of the Multiple-Relation Theory of Judgment [Review of Samuel Lebens, Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defense of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement].Landon D. C. Elkind - 2018 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 38:89-96.
    Book Review: Samuel Lebens (2017) "Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: a History and Defense of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement".
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  48. Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):670-691.
    Russellians can have a no proposition view of empty names. I will defend this theory against the problem of meaningfulness, and show that the theory is in general well motivated. My solution to the problem of meaningfulness is that speakers’ judgements about meaningfulness are tracking grammaticality, and not propositional content.
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  49. Structured Propositions, Unity, and the Sense-Nonsense Distinction.Octavian Ion - 2018 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):319-334.
    Back in the Good Old Days of Logical Positivism, theories of meaning were part of a normative project that sought not merely to describe the features of language and its use, but so to speak to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this paper, I side with Herman Cappelen in thinking that we need to rethink and reintroduce the important distinction between sense and nonsense that was ditched along with other normative aspirations during Logical Positivism’s spectacular demise. Despite this, (...)
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  50. Propositionalism Without Propositions, Objectualism Without Objects.Angela Mendelovici - 2018 - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford, UK: Oxford, UK. pp. 214-233.
    Propositionalism is the view that all intentional states are propositional states, which are states with a propositional content, while objectualism is the view that at least some intentional states are objectual states, which are states with objectual contents, such as objects, properties, and kinds. This paper argues that there are two distinct ways of understanding propositionalism and objectualism: (1) as views about the deep nature of the contents of intentional states, and (2) as views about the superficial character of the (...)
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