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New Thinking About Propositions

Oxford University Press (2014)

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  1. Non-Propositional Contents and How to Find Them.Alex Grzankowski - forthcoming - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):233-241.
    To understand what non-propositional content is and whether there are any such contents, we first need to know what propositional content is. That issue will be the focus of the first section of this essay. In the second section, with an understanding of propositional content in hand, we will consider representations that fail to have propositional content. In contrast to recent literature, it will be argued that metaphysical considerations concerning what’s represented, rather than linguistic considerations, are a more promising way (...)
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  • The Structure of Content is Not Transparent.Thomas Hodgson - 2017 - Topoi:1-13.
    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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  • 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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  • Meaning Underdetermines What is Said, Therefore Utterances Express Many Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):165-189.
    Linguistic meaning underdetermines what is said. This has consequences for philosophical accounts of meaning, communication, and propositional attitude reports. I argue that the consequence we should endorse is that utterances typically express many propositions, that these are what speakers mean, and that the correct semantics for attitude reports will handle this fact while being relational and propositional.
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  • I—The Presidential Address: Sensory Experience and Representational Properties.David Papineau - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1):1-33.
    This paper is about the nature of conscious sensory properties. My initial thesis is that these properties should not be equated with representational properties. I argue that any such representationalist view is in danger of implying that conscious sensory properties are constituted by relations to propositions or other abstract objects outside space and time; and I add that, even if this implication can be avoided, the broadness of representational properties in any case renders them unsuitable to constitute conscious properties. In (...)
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  • A Propositional Semantics for Substitutional Quantification.Geoff Georgi - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1183-1200.
    The standard truth-conditional semantics for substitutional quantification, due to Saul Kripke, does not specify what proposition is expressed by sentences containing the particular substitutional quantifier. In this paper, I propose an alternative semantics for substitutional quantification that does. The key to this semantics is identifying an appropriate propositional function to serve as the content of a bound occurrence of a formula containing a free substitutional variable. I apply this semantics to traditional philosophical reasons for interest in substitutional quantification, namely, theories (...)
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  • Not the Optimistic Type.Ben Caplan, Chris Tillman, Brian McLean & Adam Murray - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5):575-589.
    (2013). Not the optimistic type. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 575-589.
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  • Propositional Attitudes and Mental Acts.Indrek Reiland - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):239-245.
    Peter Hanks and Scott Soames have recently developed similar views of propositional attitudes on which they consist at least partly of being disposed to perform mental acts. Both think that to believe a proposition is at least partly to be disposed to perform the primitive propositional act: one the performance of which is part of the performance of any other propositional act. However, they differ over whether the primitive act is the forceless entertaining or the forceful judging. In this paper (...)
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  • The Argument for Propositions From Modal Validity.Ephraim Glick - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):359-370.
    © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comOne of the central goals of Propositions is to argue that propositions exist. My plan for the following is to explore the options for Merricks’s opponents. I’m not sure whether, in the end, they have any entirely satisfactory strategy, but the discussion will still be of some interest. At least I hope to achieve some clarification of the initial (...)
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  • 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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  • Sobre a Função Sem'ntica Dos Predicados.Celso R. Braida - 2017 - Dissertatio 45:3-23.
    Nesse texto são apresentadas as propostas de Davidson e de Puntel sobre o conteúdo semântico sentencial e o conceito de predicado. Na ortodoxia semântica, a função semântica dos predicados é distinta da função semântica dos designadores, o que implica que uma sentença expresse um conteúdo semântico estruturado. As propostas de Davidson e de Puntel são ambas reelaborações da proposta de Tarski, pela qual as expressões predicativas são derivadas do conceito mais primitivo de sentença aberta, e do primado da verdade sentencial (...)
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  • A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - manuscript
    Imperative sentences like Dance! do not seem to represent the world. Recent modal analyses challenge this idea, but its intuitive and historical appeal remain strong. This paper presents three new challenges for a non-representational analysis, showing that the obstacles facing it are even steeper than previously appreciated. I will argue that the only way for the non-representationalist to meet these three challenges is to adopt a dynamic semantics. Such a dynamic semantics is proposed here: imperatives introduce preferences between alternatives. This (...)
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  • Reference Fiction, and Omission.Samuel Murray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):235-257.
    In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...)
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  • Speaks's Reduction of Propositions to Properties: A Benacerraf Problem.T. Scott Dixon & Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):275-284.
    Speaks defends the view that propositions are properties: for example, the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks's theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic relations. This style of argument has recently been deployed by many, including Moore and King, against the view that propositions are n-tuples, and by Caplan and Tillman against King's view that propositions are facts (...)
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  • Factive and Nonfactive Mental State Attribution.Jennifer Nagel - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (5):525-544.
    Factive mental states, such as knowing or being aware, can only link an agent to the truth; by contrast, nonfactive states, such as believing or thinking, can link an agent to either truths or falsehoods. Researchers of mental state attribution often draw a sharp line between the capacity to attribute accurate states of mind and the capacity to attribute inaccurate or “reality-incongruent” states of mind, such as false belief. This article argues that the contrast that really matters for mental state (...)
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  • Self-Consciousness and Reductive Functionalism.Arvid Båve - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):1-21.
    It is argued that although George Bealer's influential ‘Self-Consciousness argument’ refutes standard versions of reductive functionalism (RF), it fails to generalize in the way Bealer supposes. To wit, he presupposes that any version of RF must take the content of ‘pain’ to be the property of being in pain (and so on), which is expressly rejected in independently motivated versions of conceptual role semantics (CRS). Accordingly, there are independently motivated versions of RF, incorporating CRS, which avoid Bealer's main type of (...)
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  • Significado e Cognição. O Legado de Frege.João Branquinho - 2016 - In Léo Peruzzo Júnior E. Bortolo Valle (ed.), Filosofia da Linguagem. Curitiba, PR, Brasil: pp. 9 - 52.
    Queremos neste ensaio caracterizar de modo introdutório o essencial do legado de Gottlob Frege para a Filosofia da Linguagem contemporânea, identificando e caracterizando os traços distintivos mais genéricos de uma teoria do significado (ou conteúdo semântico) inspirada nas suas ideias seminais e contrastando-a com outras concepções actuais influentes acerca do significado, em especial as posições sobre o conteúdo singular (conteúdo expresso por nomes próprios e outros termos singulares) remotamente inspiradas em ideias de John Stuart Mill.
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  • The Interplay Between Models and Observations.Claudio Masolo, Alessander Botti Benevides & Daniele Porello - 2018 - Applied Ontology 13 (1):41-71.
    We propose a formal framework to examine the relationship between models and observations. To make our analysis precise,models are reduced to first-order theories that represent both terminological knowledge – e.g., the laws that are supposed to regulate the domain under analysis and that allow for explanations, predictions, and simulations – and assertional knowledge – e.g., information about specific entities in the domain of interest. Observations are introduced into the domain of quantification of a distinct first-order theory that describes their nature (...)
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  • The Logical Space of Social Trinitarianism.Matthew Davidson - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (3):333-357.
    I try to lay bare some of the conceptual space in which one may be a Social Trinitarian. I organize the paper around answers to five questions. These are: How do the three Persons of the Trinity relate to the Godhead? How many divine beings or gods are there? How many distinct centers of consciousness are there in the Godhead? How many omnicompetent beings are there? How are the Persons of the Trinity individuated? I try to make clear costs and (...)
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  • Perception and Ordinary Objects.Alex Byrne - 2019 - In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
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  • Regress, Unity, Facts, and Propositions.Matti Eklund - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1225-1247.
    The problem, or cluster of problems, of the unity of the proposition, along with the cluster of problems that tend to go under the name of Bradley’s regress, has recently again become a going concern for philosophers, after having for some time been regarded as primarily of historical interest. In this paper, I distinguish between the different problems that tend to be brought up under the heading of the unity of the proposition, and between different related regress arguments. I present (...)
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  • Contexts as Shared Commitments.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Contemporary semantics assumes two influential notions of context: one coming from Kaplan (1989), on which contexts are sets of predetermined parameters, and another originating in Stalnaker (1978), on which contexts are sets of propositions that are “common ground”. The latter is deservedly more popular, given its flexibility in accounting for context-dependent aspects of language beyond manifest indexicals, such as epistemic modals, predicates of taste, and so on and so forth; in fact, properly dealing with demonstratives (perhaps ultimately all indexicals) requires (...)
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  • The Prenective View of Propositional Content.Robert Trueman - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1799-1825.
    Beliefs have what I will call ‘propositional content’. A belief is always a belief that so-and-so: a belief that grass is green, or a belief that snow is white, or whatever. Other things have propositional content too, such as sentences, judgments and assertions. The Standard View amongst philosophers is that what it is to have a propositional content is to stand in an appropriate relation to a proposition. Moreover, on this view, propositions are objects, i.e. the kind of thing you (...)
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  • Benacerraf’s Revenge.Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):111-129.
    In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...)
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  • Understanding What Was Said.Guy Longworth - 2016 - Synthese 195 (2):815-834.
    On the most prominent account, understanding what was said is always propositional knowledge of what was said. I develop a more minimal alternative, according to which understanding is sometimes a distinctive attitude towards what was said—to a first approximation, entertaining what was said. The propositional knowledge account has been supported on the basis of its capacity to explain testimonial knowledge transmission. I argue that it is not so supported.
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  • Fragmented Truth.Andy Demfree Yu - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis comprises three main chapters—each comprising one relatively standalone paper. The unifying theme is fragmentalism about truth, which is the view that the predicate “true” either expresses distinct concepts or expresses distinct properties. -/- In Chapter 1, I provide a formal development of alethic pluralism. Pluralism is the view that there are distinct truth properties associated with distinct domains of subject matter, where a truth property satisfies certain truth-characterizing principles. On behalf of pluralists, I propose an account of logic (...)
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  • The Psychology of Epistemic Judgment.Jennifer Nagel & Jessica Wright - forthcoming - In Sarah K. Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd Edition.
    Human social intelligence includes a remarkable power to evaluate what people know and believe, and to assess the quality of well- or ill-formed beliefs. Epistemic evaluations emerge in a great variety of contexts, from moments of deliberate private reflection on tough theoretical questions, to casual social observations about what other people know and think. We seem to be able to draw systematic lines between knowledge and mere belief, to distinguish justified and unjustified beliefs, and to recognize some beliefs as delusional (...)
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  • Should Propositions Proliferate?Bjørn Jespersen - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (4):243-251.
    Soames's cognitive propositions are strings of acts to be performed by an agent, such as predicating a property of an individual. King takes these structured propositions to task for proliferating too easily. King's objection is based on an example that purports to show that three of Soames's propositions are really just one proposition. I translate the informally stated propositions King attributes to Soames into the intensional λ-calculus. It turns out that they are all β-equivalent to the proposition King claims Soames's (...)
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  • Divine Thoughts and Fregean Propositional Realism.Colin P. Ruloff - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (1):41-51.
    Anderson and Welty have recently advanced an argument for the claim that the laws of logic are ontologically dependent upon a necessarily existent mind, i.e. God. In this paper I argue that a key premise of Anderson and Welty’s argument—viz., a premise which asserts that \(x\) is intrinsically intentional only if \(x\) is mind-dependent—is false, for on a broadly Fregean account of propositions, propositions are intrinsically intentional but not mind-dependent.
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  • Are Propositions Essentially Representational?Bryan Pickel - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3).
    Jeffrey King argues that nothing has truth conditions except by being taken to be true or false by rational agents. But – for good reason – King claims that propositions possess truth conditions essentially and intrinsically. I will argue that King cannot have both: if the truth conditions of a proposition depend on the reactions of rational agents, then the possession of truth conditions can't follow from the intrinsic nature or existence of the proposition. This leaves two options. Either, nothing (...)
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