Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349 (2013)

Delia Belleri
University of Lisbon
The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua the things we believe and mean by our utterances may in fact be indeterminate with regard to, for instance, mental predication and mental reference. I'll then propose a “Gradable Effability”: propositions/thoughts are more or less determinate according to the aims, interests, available information of thinkers, and sentences too encode propositions depending on the aims, interests, available information in the speakers' conversational setting
Keywords mental content  effability  eternal sentences  propositions  ineffability
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DOI 10.1002/tht3.105
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References found in this work BETA

Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Thought and Reference.Kent Bach - 1987 - Oxford University Press.

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