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Scott Soames (1987). Direct Reference, Propositional Attitudes, and Semantic Content.

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  1.  28
    Propositions, Representation, and Truth.Geoff Georgi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    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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  2.  10
    Structured Propositions and Trivial Composition.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    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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  3. Structured Propositions in a Generative Grammar.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Mind:fzw074.
    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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  4.  46
    Unity Through Truth.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    Renewed worries about the unity of the proposition have been taken as a crucial stumbling block for any traditional conception of propositions. These worries are often framed in terms of how entities independent of mind and language can have truth conditions: why is the proposition that Desdemona loves Cassio true if and only if she loves him? I argue that the best understanding of these worries shows that they should be solved by our theory of truth and not our theory (...)
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  5.  49
    Confessions of a Schmentencite: Towards an Explicit Semantics.Jonathan Schaffer - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-31.
    ABSTRACTNatural language semantics is heir to two formalisms. There is the extensional machinery of explicit variables traditionally used to model reference to individuals, and the intensional machinery of implicit index parameters traditionally used to model reference to worlds and times. I propose instead a simple and unified extensional formalism – explicit semantics – on which all sentences include explicit individual, world and time variables. No implicit index parameters are needed.
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  6.  44
    Propositions as Cognitive Acts.Scott Soames - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    The paper reviews the central components of the cognitive theory of propositions and explains both its empirical advantages for theories of language and mind and its foundational metaphysical and epistemological advantages over other theories. It then answers a leading objection to the theory, before closing by raising the issue of how questions, which are the contents of interrogative sentences, and directives, which are the contents of imperative sentences, are related to propositions.
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  7. The Broadest Necessity.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (5):733-783.
    In this paper the logic of broad necessity is explored. Definitions of what it means for one modality to be broader than another are formulated, and it is proven, in the context of higher-order logic, that there is a broadest necessity, settling one of the central questions of this investigation. It is shown, moreover, that it is possible to give a reductive analysis of this necessity in extensional language. This relates more generally to a conjecture that it is not possible (...)
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  8.  13
    Kaplan’s Counterexample to Quine’s Theorem.Paolo Bonardi - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):196-223.
    _ Source: _Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 196 - 223 In his article “Opacity”, David Kaplan propounded a counterexample to the thesis, defended by Quine and known as _Quine’s Theorem_, that establishes the illegitimacy of quantifying from outside into a position not open to substitution. He ingeniously built his counterexample using Quine’s own philosophical material and novel devices, _arc quotes_ and _$entences_. The present article offers detailed analysis and critical discussion of Kaplan’s counterexample and proposes a reasonable reformulation of Quine’s (...)
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  9.  25
    The Redundancy of the Act.John Collins - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3519-3545.
    The theory that structured propositions are complex act-types has been independently articulated by Peter Hanks and Scott Soames. The present paper argues that the role of the act in such theories is supererogatory, for the individuation conditions of the act-based propositions remain wholly at the level of concepts and their formal combination, features which the traditional structured proposition theorist endorses. Thus, it is shown that the traditional problems for structured propositions are only ameliorable on the act conception by appeal to (...)
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  10.  47
    Do Acquaintance Theorists Have an Attitude Problem?Rachel Goodman - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):67-86.
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  11. Truths Qua Grounds.Ghislain Guigon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):99-125.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences share similar motivations, mechanisms, and applications. I shall (...)
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  12.  62
    Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Inquiry 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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  13.  69
    Singular Thoughts and de Re Attitude Reports.James Openshaw - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (4):415-437.
    It is widely supposed that if there is to be a plausible connection between the truth of a de re attitude report about a subject and that subject’s possession of a singular thought, then ‘acquaintance’-style requirements on singular thought must be rejected. I show that this belief rests on poorly motivated claims about how we talk about the attitudes. I offer a framework for propositional attitude reports which provides both attractive solutions to recalcitrant puzzle cases and the key to preserving (...)
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  14. Is Grounding a Hyperintensional Phenomenon?Michael Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (4):297-329.
    It is widely thought that grounding is a hyperintensional phenomenon. Unfortunately, the term ‘hyperintensionality’ has been doing double-duty, picking out two distinct phenomena. This paper clears up this conceptual confusion. We call the two resulting notions hyperintensionalityGRND and hyperintensionalityTRAD. While it is clear that grounding is hyperintensionalGRND, the interesting question is whether it is hyperintensionalTRAD. We argue that given well-accepted constraints on the logical form of grounding, to wit, that grounding is irreflexive and asymmetric, grounding is hyperintensionalTRAD only if one (...)
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  15.  36
    Co‐Hyperintensionality.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):270-287.
    Co-hyperintensionality, or hyperintensional equivalence, is a relation holding between two or more contents that can be substituted in a hyperintensional context salva veritate. I argue that two strategies used to provide criteria for co-hyperintensionality fail. I argue that there is no generalized notion of co-hyperintensionality that meets plausible desiderata, by showing that the opposite thesis leads to falsity. As a conclusion, I suggest to take co-hyperintensionality as a primitive and I provide a general criterion of co-hyperintensionality whose content depends on (...)
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  16. A Theory of Truthmaker Content I: Conjunction, Disjunction and Negation.Kit Fine - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (6):625-674.
    I develop a basic theory of content within the framework of truthmaker semantics and, in the second part, consider some of the applications to subject matter, common content, logical subtraction and ground.
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  17.  28
    On Being Called Something.Geoff Georgi - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):595-619.
    Building on recent work by Delia Graff Fara and Ora Matushansky on appellative constructions like ‘Mirka called Roger handsome’, I argue that if Millianism about proper names is true, then the quantifier ‘something’ in ‘Mirka called Roger something’ is best understood as a kind of substitutional quantifier. Any adequate semantics for such quantifiers must explain both the logical behavior of ‘Mirka called Roger something’ and the acceptability of ‘so’-anaphora in ‘Mirka called Roger something, and everyone so called is handsome’. Millianism (...)
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  18.  21
    Structural Entailment and Semantic Natural Kinds.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (3):207-237.
    Is there a principled difference between entailments in natural language that are valid solely in virtue of their form or structure and those that are not? This paper advances an affirmative answer to this question, one that takes as its starting point Gareth Evans’s suggestion that semantic theory aims to carve reality at the joints by uncovering the semantic natural kinds of the language. I sketch an Evans-inspired account of semantic kinds and show how it supports a principled account of (...)
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  19.  7
    Russellianism Unencumbered.Mark McCullagh - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2819-2843.
    Richard Heck, Jr has recently argued against Russellianism about proper names not in the usual way—by appeal to “intuitions” about the truth conditions of “that”-clause belief ascriptions—but by appeal to our need to specify beliefs in a way that reflects their individuation. Since beliefs are individuated by their psychological roles and not their Russellian contents, he argues, Russellianism is precluded in principle from accounting for our ability to specify beliefs in ordinary language. I argue that Heck thus makes things easier (...)
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  20. A Hyperintensional Account of Metaphysical Equivalence.Kristie Miller - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):772-793.
    This paper argues for a particular view about in what metaphysical equivalence consists: namely, that any two metaphysical theories are metaphysically equivalent if and only if those theories are strongly hyperintensionally equivalent. It is consistent with this characterisation that said theories are weakly hyperintensionally distinct, thus affording us the resources to model the content of propositional attitudes directed towards metaphysically equivalent theories in such a way that non-ideal agents can bear different propositional attitudes towards metaphysically equivalent theories.
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  21.  39
    Supervaluational Propositional Content.Benjamin Rohrs - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    It’s not clear what supervaluationists should say about propositional content. Does a vague sentence, e.g., ‘Harry is bald’, express one proposition, or a barrage of propositions, or none at all? Or is the matter indeterminate? The supervaluationist canon is not decisive on the issue; authoritative passages can be cited in favor of each of the proposals just mentioned. Furthermore, some detractors have argued that supervaluationism is incapable of providing any coherent account of propositional content. This paper considers each of the (...)
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  22. Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  23. Can Reasons Be Propositions? Against Dancy's Attack on Propositionalism.Attila Tanyi & Morganti Matteo - 2017 - Theoria 83 (3):185-205.
    The topic of this article is the ontology of practical reasons. We draw a critical comparison between two views. According to the first, practical reasons are states of affairs; according to the second, they are propositions. We first isolate and spell out in detail certain objections to the second view that can be found only in embryonic form in the literature – in particular, in the work of Jonathan Dancy. Next, we sketch possible ways in which one might respond to (...)
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  24.  9
    A Modal Account of Propositions.Andy Demfree Yu - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):463-488.
    In this paper, I motivate a modal account of propositions on the basis of an iterative conception of propositions. As an application, I suggest that the account provides a satisfying solution to the Russell-Myhill paradox. The account is in the spirit of recently developed modal accounts of sets motivated on the basis of the iterative conception of sets.
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  25. Deep Platonism.Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):307-328.
    According to the traditional bundle theory, particulars are bundles of compresent universals. I think we should reject the bundle theory for a variety of reasons. But I will argue for the thesis at the core of the bundle theory: that all the facts about particulars are grounded in facts about universals. I begin by showing how to meet the main objection to this thesis (which is also the main objection to the bundle theory): that it is inconsistent with the possibility (...)
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  26. To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.
    This paper is an investigation of the general logic of "identifications", claims such as 'To be a vixen is to be a female fox', 'To be human is to be a rational animal', and 'To be just is to help one's friends and harm one's enemies', many of which are of great importance to philosophers. I advocate understanding such claims as expressing higher-order identity, and discuss a variety of different general laws which they might be thought to obey. [New version: (...)
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  27.  78
    The Virtues of Thisness Presentism.David Ingram - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2867-2888.
    Presentists believe that only present things exist. But opponents insist this view has unacceptable implications: if only present things exist, we can’t express singular propositions about the past, since the obvious propositional constituents don’t exist, nor can we account for temporal passage, or the openness of the future. According to such opponents, and in spite of the apparent ‘common sense’ status of the view, presentism should be rejected on the basis of these unacceptable implications. In this paper, I present and (...)
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  28.  74
    Structuring Logical Space.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):460-491.
    I develop a non-representationalist account of mathematical thought, on which the point of mathematical theorizing is to provide us with the conceptual capacity to structure and articulate information about the physical world in an epistemically useful way. On my view, accepting a mathematical theory is not a matter of having a belief about some subject matter; it is rather a matter of structuring logical space, in a sense to be made precise. This provides an elegant account of the cognitive utility (...)
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  29.  98
    Mental Graphs.James Pryor - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):309-341.
    I argue that Frege Problems in thought are best modeled using graph-theoretic machinery; and that these problems can arise even when subjects associate all the same qualitative properties to the object they’re thinking of twice. I compare the proposed treatment to similar ideas by Heck, Ninan, Recanati, Kamp and Asher, Fodor, and others.
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  30.  40
    Truthmaker Internalism and the Mind-Dependence of Propositions.Robin Stenwall - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):59-76.
    It is generally thought that truthmaking has to be an internal relation because if it weren’t, then, as David Armstrong argues, “everything may be a truthmaker for any truth”. Depending on whether we take an internal relation to be one that is necessitated by the mere existence of its terms or one that supervenes on the intrinsic properties of its relata, the truthbearers involved in the truthmaking relation must either have their contents essentially or intrinsically. In this paper, I examine (...)
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  31.  57
    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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  32. Hyperintensional Propositions.Mark Jago - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):585-601.
    Propositions play a central role in contemporary semantics. On the Russellian account, propositions are structured entities containing particulars, properties and relations. This contrasts sharply with the sets-of-possible-worlds view of propositions. I’ll discuss how to extend the sets-of-worlds view to accommodate fine-grained hyperintensional contents. When this is done in a satisfactory way, I’ll argue, it makes heavy use of entities very much like Russellian tuples. The two notions of proposition become inter-definable and inter-substitutable: they are not genuinely distinct accounts of how (...)
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  33.  59
    Agnostic Hyperintensional Semantics.Carl Pollard - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):535-562.
    A hyperintensional semantics for natural language is proposed which is agnostic about the question of whether propositions are sets of worlds or worlds are sets of propositions. Montague’s theory of intensional senses is replaced by a weaker theory, written in standard classical higher-order logic, of fine-grained senses which are in a many-to-one correspondence with intensions; Montague’s theory can then be recovered from the proposed theory by identifying the type of propositions with the type of sets of worlds and adding an (...)
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  34.  81
    Who’s Afraid of the Predicate Theory of Names?Stefano Predelli - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (4):363-376.
    This essay is devoted to an analysis of the semantic significance of a fashionable view of proper names, the Predicate Theory of names, typically developed in the direction of the Metalinguistic Theory of names. According to MT, ‘syntactic evidence supports the conclusion that a name such as ‘Kennedy’ is analyzable in terms of the predicate ‘individual named ‘Kennedy’’. This analysis is in turn alleged to support a descriptivist treatment of proper names in designative position, presumably in contrast with theories of (...)
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  35.  23
    Lessons From Descriptive Indexicals.Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1111-1161.
    Two main methods for analysing de re readings of definite descriptions in intensional contexts coexist: that of evaluating the description in the actual world, whether by means of scope, actuality operators, or non-local world binding, and that of substituting another description, usually one expressing a salient or ‘vivid’ acquaintance relation to an attitude holder, prior to evaluation. Recent work on so-called descriptive indexicals suggests that contrary to common assumptions, both methods are needed, for different ends. This paper aims to show (...)
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  36.  81
    Existentialism Entails Anti-Haecceitism.Kenneth Boyce - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):297-326.
    Existentialism concerning singular propositions is the thesis that singular propositions ontologically depend on the individuals they are directly about in such a way that necessarily, those propositions exist only if the individuals they are directly about exist. Haecceitism is the thesis that what non-qualitative facts there are fails to supervene on what purely qualitative facts there are. I argue that existentialism concerning singular propositions entails the denial of haecceitism and that this entailment has interesting implications for debates concerning the philosophy (...)
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  37.  80
    Cutting It (Too) Fine.John Collins - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):143-172.
    It is widely held that propositions are structured entities. In The Nature and Structure of Content (2007), Jeff King argues that the structure of propositions is none other than the syntactic structure deployed by the speaker/hearers who linguistically produce and consume the sentences that express the propositions. The present paper generalises from King’s position and claims that syntax provides the best in-principle account of propositional structure. It further seeks to show, however, that the account faces serve problems pertaining to the (...)
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  38.  92
    In Defense of Formal Relationism.Richard G. Heck - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):243-250.
    In his paper “Flaws of Formal Relationism”, Mahrad Almotahari argues against the sort of response to Frege's Puzzle I have defended elsewhere, which he dubs ‘Formal Relationism’. Almotahari argues that, because of its specifically formal character, this view is vulnerable to objections that cannot be raised against the otherwise similar Semantic Relationism due to Kit Fine. I argue in response that Formal Relationism has neither of the flaws Almotahari claims to identify.
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  39. A Closer Look at Manifest Consequence.Max Weiss - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):471-498.
    Fine (2007) argues that Frege’s puzzle and its relatives demonstrate a need for a basic reorientation of the field of semantics. According to this reorientation, the domain of semantic facts would be closed not under the classical consequence relation but only under a stronger relation Fine calls “manifest consequence.” I examine Fine’s informally sketched analyses of manifest consequence, showing that each can be amended to determine a class of strong consequence relations. A best candidate relation emerges from each of the (...)
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  40. Specifying Desires.Delia Graff Fara - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):250-272.
    A report of a person's desire can be true even if its embedded clause underspecifies the content of the desire that makes the report true. It is true that Fiona wants to catch a fish even if she has no desire that is satisfied if she catches a poisoned minnow. Her desire is satisfied only if she catches an edible, meal-sized fish. The content of her desire is more specific than the propositional content of the embedded clause in our true (...)
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  41.  71
    Why It Isn't Syntax That Unifies the Proposition.Logan Fletcher - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):590-611.
    King develops a syntax-based account of propositions based on the idea that propositional unity is grounded in the syntactic structure of the sentence. This account faces two objections: a Benacerraf objection and a grain-size objection. I argue that the syntax-based account survives both objections, as they have been put forward in the existing literature. I go on to show, however, that King equivocates between two distinct notions of ‘propositional structure ’ when explaining his account. Once the confusion is resolved, it (...)
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  42. First-Person Propositions.Peter W. Hanks - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):155-182.
    A first-person proposition is a proposition that only a single subject can assert or believe. When I assert ‘I am on fire’ I assert a first-person proposition that only I have access to, in the sense that no one else can assert or believe this proposition. This is in contrast to third-person propositions, which can be asserted or believed by anyone.
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  43.  79
    Why We Should Not Identify Sentence Structure with Propositional Structure.Thomas Hodgson - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):612-633.
    It is a common view among philosophers of language that both propositions and sentences are structured objects. One obvious question to ask about such a view is whether there is any interesting connection between these two sorts of structure. The author identifies two theses about this relationship. Identity (ID) – the structure of a sentence and the proposition it expresses are identical. Determinism (DET) – the structure of a sentence determines the structure of the proposition it expresses. After noting that (...)
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  44.  77
    Moral and Semantic Innocence.Christopher Hom & Robert May - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):293-313.
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  45. Impossible Worlds.Mark Jago - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):713-728.
    Impossible worlds are representations of impossible things and impossible happenings. They earn their keep in a semantic or metaphysical theory if they do the right theoretical work for us. As it happens, a worlds-based account provides the best philosophical story about semantic content, knowledge and belief states, cognitive significance and cognitive information, and informative deductive reasoning. A worlds-based story may also provide the best semantics for counterfactuals. But to function well, all these accounts need use of impossible and as well (...)
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  46.  72
    The Metaphysics of Propositional Constituency.Lorraine Juliano Keller - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):655-678.
    (2013). The metaphysics of propositional constituency. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 655-678.
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  47.  80
    Compositionality and Structured Propositions.Lorraine Juliano Keller & John A. Keller - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):313-323.
    In this article, we evaluate the Compositionality Argument for structured propositions. This argument hinges on two seemingly innocuous and widely accepted premises: the Principle of Semantic Compositionality and Propositionalism (the thesis that sentential semantic values are propositions). We show that the Compositionality Argument presupposes that compositionality involves a form of building, and that this metaphysically robust account of compositionality is subject to counter-example: there are compositional representational systems that this principle cannot accommodate. If this is correct, one of the most (...)
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  48. On Fineness of Grain.Jeffrey C. King - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):763-781.
    A central job for propositions is to be the objects of the attitudes. Propositions are the things we doubt, believe and suppose. Some philosophers have thought that propositions are sets of possible worlds. But many have become convinced that such an account individuates propositions too coarsely. This raises the question of how finely propositions should be individuated. An account of how finely propositions should be individuated on which they are individuated very finely is sketched. Objections to the effect that the (...)
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  49.  74
    The Double Life of Names.Gail Leckie - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1139-1160.
    This paper is a counter to the view that names are always predicates with the same extension as a metalinguistic predicate with the form “is a thing called “N”” (the Predicate View). The Predicate View is in opposition to the Referential View of names. In this paper, I undermine one argument for the Predicate View. The Predicate View’s adherents take examples of uses of names that have the surface appearance of a predicate and generalise from these to treat uses of (...)
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  50. Propositions, Attitudinal Objects, and the Distinction Between Actions and Products.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume on Propositions, Edited by G. Rattan and D. Hunter 43 (5-6):679-701.
    This paper argues that attitudinal objects, entities of the sort of John's judgment, John's thought, and John's claim, should play the role of propositions, as the cognitive products of cognitive acts, not the acts themselves.
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