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Synthese 196 (4):1385-1402 (2019)

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  1. Force, Content and the Varieties of Unity (2021 Version).Michael Schmitz - forthcoming - In Gabriele Mras & Michael Schmitz (eds.), Force, content and the unity of the proposition. Routledge.
    In this paper I propose three steps to overcome the force-content distinction and dispel the Frege point. First, we should ascribe content to force indicators. Through basic assertoric and directive force indicators such as intonation, word order and mood, a subject presents its position of theoretical or practical knowledge of a state of affairs as a fact, as something that is the case, or as a goal, as something to do. Force indicators do not operate on truth- or satisfaction evaluable (...)
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  • Embedding Speech-Act Propositions.Jeremy Schwartz & Christopher Hom - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Hanks develops a theory of propositions as speech-act types. Because speech acts play a role in the contents themselves, the view overturns Frege’s force/content distinction, and as such, faces the challenge of explaining how propositions embed under logical operators like negation. The attempt to solve this problem has lead Hanks and his recent commentators to adopt theoretically exotic resources, none of which, we argue, is ultimately successful. The problem is that although there are three different ways of negating the sentence (...)
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  • Force, Content and the Varieties of Unity (Old Version).Michael Schmitz - manuscript
    [This is an old version which is superseded by the published version. I keep it here for the record, as it has been cited.] A strict dichotomy between the force / mode of speech acts and intentional states and their propositional content has been a central feature of analytical philosophy of language and mind since the time of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. Recently this dichotomy has been questioned by philosophers such as Peter Hanks (2015, 2016) and Francois Recanati (2016), (...)
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  • Pretense, Cancellation, and the Act Theory of Propositions.Manuel García-Carpintero - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Several philosophers advance substantive theories of propositions, to deal with several issues they raise in connection with a concern with a long pedigree in philosophy, the problem of the unity of propositions. The qualification ‘substantive’ is meant to contrast with ‘minimal’ or ‘deflationary’ – roughly, views that reject that propositions have a hidden nature, worth investigating. Substantive views appear to create spurious problems by characterizing propositions in ways that make them unfit to perform their theoretical jobs. I will present in (...)
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  • Propositions as Structured Cognitive Event‐Types.Wayne A. Davis - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):665-692.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • ‘The Nature of the Question Demands a Separation’: Frege on Distinguishing Between Content and Force.Mark Textor - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):226-240.
    ABSTRACT Recently, the content/force distinction has had a bad press. It has been argued that the distinction is not properly motivated and that it makes the problem of the unity of the proposition intractable. I will argue that Frege’s version of the content/force distinction is immune from these objections. In order to do so, I will reconstruct his argument that ‘the nature of a question’ requires a distinction between force and content. I will answer the concern about the unity of (...)
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  • Cognitive Propositions and Semantic Values.Wayne A. Davis - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (4):383-423.
    ABSTRACT In recent work, Scott Soames has declared that we need a new conception of propositions to overcome critical objections to traditional theories of semantics and propositional attitudes. Propositions must be cognitive to account for their inherent intentionality, structure, and epistemic accessibility, and to overcome Frege’s and Russell’s problems. I have previously worked out a foundational semantics in which cognitive propositions are what sentences express. My objective in this paper is to identify some of the limitations of Soames’s theory, and (...)
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  • Force, Content and Logic.Michael Schmitz - 2019 - In Gabriele M. Mras, Paul Weingartner & Bernhard Ritter (eds.), Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics: Contributions of the 41st International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 221-223.
    The Frege point to the effect that e.g. the clauses of conditionals are not asserted and therefore cannot be assertions is often taken to establish a dichotomy between the content of a speech act, which is propositional and belongs to logic and semantics, and its force, which belongs to pragmatics. Recently this dichotomy has been questioned by philosophers such as Peter Hanks and Francois Recanati, who propose act-theoretic accounts of propositions, argue that we can’t account for propositional unity independently of (...)
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  • On Redrawing the Force-Content Distinction.Christian Georg Martin - 2019 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 8 (1-2):175-208.
    Frege distinguished the thought qua logical content from the assertoric force attached to it when judged to be true. The gist of this distinction is captured by the so-called Frege-Geach point. Recently, several authors have drawn inspiration from Wittgenstein to reject this point and the distinction it is based on. This article proceeds from the observation that Wittgenstein himself did not reject the force-content distinction but urged us to reformulate it in a non-dualistic way. While drawing on Wittgensteinian lessons about (...)
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  • The Frege-Geach Problem for Normative Propositions.Richard Anderson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Connecticut
    The aim of this dissertation is to provide support for the following claim: if Hanks’ theory of propositions as act-types is correct, then there exists a plausible extension of this theory that solves the Frege-Geach problem for normative propositions. I assume that Hanks’ theory is correct, and in this framework develop an account of semantic expressivism that addresses three versions of the Frege-Geach problem: the embedding, inference and negation problems. First, I examine in detail one existing attempt to support the (...)
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  • Neutral Predication.Thomas Hodgson - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-9.
    Hanks has defended a novel account of what propositions are. His key argument against Soames' rival view is that predication is not neutral. According to Hanks, predication is essentially committal. I show that Hanks' argument for this conclusion raises problems for his own account of questions and orders.
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