The Expressing Relation

Dialectica 56 (3):235-260 (2002)
Andrea Iacona
Università di Torino
The paper deals with the question of what it is for a sentence to express a proposition. In the first part of the paper I argue that a certain notion of proposition widely adopted in contemporary philosophy is more theoretically loaded than is commonly assumed. The fact is that some properties are typically assigned to propositions, but no support for the claim that there are things with those properties can be found in the “evidence” from ordinary language. My point is that if we assume about propositions only what is really intuitive, a certain kind of account of the expressing relation turns out to be precluded. As the classical picture of the expressing relation seems to presuppose that kind of account, this leads to think that there is something wrong with the classical picture of the expressing relation. In the second part of the paper I outline what I take to be a plausible but relatively modest account of the expressing relation. Some of the implications of the account outlined may appear undesirable. But I believe that the uneasiness depends on deep‐rooted philosophical prejudices rather than on a solid intuitive basis. In the last section I deal with some objections that may be raised against the claims defended in the paper.
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2002.56.issue-3
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