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Acts and Alternative Analyses

Journal of Philosophy 116 (4):181–205 (2019)

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  1. The act‐type theory of propositions as a theory of what is said.Thomas Hodgson - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    I propose a version of the act‐type theory of propositions, following Hanks and Soames. According to the theory, propositions are types of act of predication. The content of a sentence is the type of such act performed when that sentence is uttered. A consequence of this theory is that the structure of the content of a sentence will mirror the structure of that sentence. I defend this consequence of the theory from two important objections. I then argue that this theory (...)
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  • The Functional Composition of Sense.Bryan Pickel - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6917-6942.
    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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  • First among equals: co-hyperintensionality for structured propositions.Bjørn Jespersen - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4483-4497.
    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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  • Act‐type theories of propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11).
    Many philosophers believe in things, propositions, which are the things that we believe, assert etc., and which are the contents of sentences. The act-type theory of propositions is an attempt to say what propositions are, to explain how we stand in relations to them, and to explain why they are true or false. The core idea of the act-type theory is that propositions are types of acts of predication. The theory is developed in various ways to offer explanations of the (...)
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  • Propositions as Structured Cognitive Event‐Types.Wayne A. Davis - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):665-692.
    According to act theories, propositions are structured cognitive act‐types. Act theories appear to make propositions inherently representational and truth‐evaluable, and to provide solutions to familiar problems with alternative theories, including Frege’s and Russell’s problems, and the third‐realm and unity problems. Act theories have critical problems of their own, though: acts as opposed to their objects are not truth evaluable, not structured in the right way, not expressed by sentences, and not the objects of propositional attitudes. I show how identifying propositions (...)
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  • 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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  • Grammar constrains acts of predication.Thomas Hodgson - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Båve has argued that act-type theories of propositions entail unwanted ambiguity of sentences such as ‘Donald loves Joan’. King has argued that act-type theories of propositions entail an unwanted abundance of propositions. I reply that a version of the act-type theory can avoid these objections. The key idea is that grammar constrains the acts that can be performed by the utterance of a sentence. I present enough of the details of this version of the act-type theory to show how it (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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