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Summary It seems that it's possible for Mary to utter the sentence ‘Whales are fish’ and thereby say that whales are fish. John might believe what Mary said, or not. If John and Mary both believe it then there is something that they both believe. That thing is false, however. That Mary can use that sentence to say that might be partly explained by the fact that ‘Whales are fish’ means that whales are fish. (The fact that Mary can use that sentence to convey that John doesn’t know much about Whales by adopting a certain tone of voice might also be partly explained by that meaning fact.) The preceding claims are not self-evident, but they are attractive. Taken at face value they suggest that there is a class of objects which can be believed, said, take truth values and serve as meanings. The standard name for such things is ‘propositions’. There are several debates at the intersection of philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics about the nature of these entities and the roles they should play in our philosophical theories.
Key works There have been several important books on the nature of propositions in recent years: Stalnaker 1984; Schiffer 2003; King 2007Soames 2010; Moltmann 2013King et al 2014; Hanks 2015; Merricks 2015; Soames 2015. There is also a handbook containing survey articles: Tillman & Murray 2022.
Introductions Hanks 2009Stevens 2008; King 2017
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  1. Coincident Objects and The Grounding Problem.Ataollah Hashemi - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 16 (41):164-173.
    Pluralists believe in the occurrence of numerically distinct spatiotemporal coincident objects. They argue that there are coincident objects that share all physical and spatiotemporal properties and relations; nevertheless, they differ in terms of modal and some other profiles. Appealing to the grounding problem according to which nothing can ground the modal differences between coincident objects, monists reject the occurrence of coincident objects. In the first part of this paper, I attempt to show that the dispute between monists and pluralists cannot (...)
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  2. Clarifying and improving the cognitive theory.Scott Soames - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  3. Representation and structure in the theory of propositions.Jeff Speaks - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Part 4. Further thoughts. Responses to Speaks and Soames.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  5. Propositions vs. properties and facts.Scott Soames - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  6. Representational entities and representational acts.Jeff Speaks - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Part 3. Critical essays. Criticisms of Soames and Speaks.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Cognitive propositions.Scott Soames - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  9. Propositions are properties of everything or nothing.Jeff Speaks - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  10. Part 2. Three theories of propositions. Naturalized propositions.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  11. Why the traditional conceptions of propositions can't be correct?Scott Soames - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  12. What's wrong with semantic theories which make no use of propositions?Jeff Speaks - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  13. Part 1. Common ground. What role do propositions play in our theories?Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
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  14. The cunning of uncertainty.Helga Nowotny - 2016 - Malden, MA: Polity.
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  15. How is logical inference possible?Christopher Peacocke - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  16. About vs concerns.Daniel Morgan - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  17. Twardowski on judgment.Peter Simons - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  18. Judgment, reasons and feelings.Simon Blackburn - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  19. Correctness first: Brentano on judgment and truth.Mark Textor - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
  20. Bolzano's theory of judgment.Mark Siebel - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  21. Time and modality in Hegel's account of judgment.Paul Redding - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  22. Kant's logic of judgment: against the relational approach.Alexandra Newton - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  23. Locke and Leibniz on judgment: the first-person perspective and the danger of psychologism.Maria van der Schaar - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
  24. Affirmation, judgment, and epistemic theodicy in Descartes and Spinoza.Martin Lin - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
  25. La possibilité du naturalisme phénoménologique.Lucian Delescu - 2009 - Paris, France: Harmattan.
    La phénoménologie se trouve dans une impasse et cela est la conséquence du refus de dialoguer avec les sciences empiriques. On s'interroge ici sur la possibilité de dépasser l'intreprétation transcendantale du sujet pour l'inscrire définitivement dans la réalité naturelle. En prenant l'idée de la reconstruction cognitive-intentionnelle comme hypothèse de travail, on élabore un concept du sujet naturel. Ainsi, l'analyse des expressions phénoménologiques montre que la structuration ontologique du sujet se réalise dans et à travers la réalité.
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  26. Logik: Grund- Und Aufbaukurs in Aussagen- Und Prädikatenlogik.Gerhard Schurz - 2018 - De Gruyter.
    Diese Einführung in die Logik umfaßt einen Grundkurs und einen Aufbaukurs. Der Grundkurs ist voraussetzungsfrei geschrieben und führt in die Semantik und Beweistheorie der Aussagenlogik und elementaren Prädikatenlogik ein, eingebettet in die allgemeine Theorie des rationalen Schließens. Logische Zusammenhänge werden in Verbindung mit sorgfältig ausgewählten Übungsbeispielen - inklusive Lösungen - einsichtig gemacht. Auf die philosophische Anwendung der Logik in der logischen Rekonstruktion natursprachlicher Texte und Argumente liegt besonderes Augenmerk. Zusammenhänge zwischen alternativen logischen Notationen und Techniken, die anfangs oft Schwierigkeiten bereiten, (...)
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  27. Philosophy and Logic of Predication.Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.) - 2016 - Peter Lang.
    This book investigates philosophical and formal approaches to predication. The topics discussed include Aristotelian predication, a conceptualist approach to predication, possible formalizations of the notion, Fregean predicates and concepts, and Meinongian predication. The contributions discuss the approaches proposed by Aristotle and Frege, as well as the division of classes into a hierarchy of orders. They reanalyze the traditional notions, and offer new insights into predication theory. This book contributes to contemporary debates on predication and predicates in the philosophy of language.
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  28. Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind.Andy Clark - 2015 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
    How is it that thoroughly physical material beings such as ourselves can think, dream, feel, create and understand ideas, theories and concepts? How does mere matter give rise to all these non-material mental states, including consciousness itself? An answer to this central question of our existence is emerging at the busy intersection of neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.In this groundbreaking work, philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores exciting new theories from these fields that reveal minds like ours to (...)
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  29. Introduction.Jeff Speaks - 2014 - In Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks (eds.), New Thinking About Propositions. Oxford University Press.
    Increasingly, beginning in the 1970’s and 1980’s, many philosophers of language found themselves in a difficult situation. On the one hand, many came to believe that, in order to do semantics properly, as well as to give an adequate treatment of the attitudes, one needed to posit certain entities — propositions — which could be the meanings of sentences (relative to contexts), the contents of mental states, and the primary bearers of truth and falsity. However, many — largely due to (...)
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  30. Renegade instances.V. C. Aldrich - 1936 - Philosophy of Science 3 (4):506-514.
    Attention has been drawn, particularly since Kant, to propositions which can not have negative instances. They used to be called a priori, axioms, first principles. Today, they are usually called postulates—C. I. Lewis uses both the old and new terminology—because there is a growing recognition of the fact that at least some of them are not “necessary” in the traditional sense. Kant placed a limitation on the apriorism of the continental rationalists. Current epistemologists and logicians have outstripped Kant in the (...)
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  31. Expression, truth, and reality : some variations on themes from Wright.Dorit Bar-On - 2012 - In Crispin Wright & Annalisa Coliva (eds.), Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge: Themes From the Philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
    Expressivism, broadly construed, is the view that the function of utterances in a given area of discourse is to give expression to our sentiments or other (non-cognitive) mental states or attitudes, rather than report or describe some range of facts. This view naturally seems an attractive option wherever it is suspected that there may not be a domain of facts for the given discourse to be describing. Familiarly, to avoid commitment to ethical facts, the ethical expressivist suggests that ethical utterances (...)
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  32. The Sense of Reference: Intentionality in Frege.Gilead Bar-Elli - 1996 - De Gruyter.
    Chapter: Sense and Intentionality A: Reference and Sense — Preliminary Remarks Few people during Frege's lifetime paid due attention to his work and its ...
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  33. Two criteria for an ideal language.Gustav Bergmann - 1949 - Philosophy of Science 16 (1):71-74.
    The lucidity of Mr. Copilowish's argument makes the task of the reviewer very pleasant, even if he disagrees as completely as I do with the conclusion, which is the main thesis Mr. Copilowish attempts to prove. Only at one minor point does his exposition not quite suit my taste. He chose to preface his argument with a string of quotations supposedly supporting the position he wishes to defend. It seems to me that with the proper historical precautions these passages allow (...)
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  34. The logic of psychological concepts.Gustav Bergmann - 1951 - Philosophy of Science 18 (2):93-110.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a methodological rather than, strictly speaking, a philosophical discussion of its subject, the logic of concept formation in psychology. But even a treatment of this kind cannot entirely avoid matters of a more general nature, some of them logical, some epistemological. By insisting on the limitations of this essay I merely wish to caution the reader in three respects. First, those more general matters, logical and epistemological, will be kept at a minimum. (...)
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  35. On the character of philosophic problems.Rudolf Carnap - 1934 - Philosophy of Science 1 (1):5-19.
    Philosophers have ever declared that their problems lie at a different level from the problems of the empirical sciences. Perhaps one may agree with this assertion; the question is, however, where should one seek this level. The metaphysicians wish to seek their object behind the objects of empirical science; they wish to enquire after the essence, the ultimate cause of things. But the logical analysis of the pretended propositions of metaphysics has shown that they are not propositions at all, but (...)
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  36. Self-consciousness, demonstrative reference, and the self-ascription view of believing.Hector-Neri Castaneda - 1987 - Philosophical Perspectives 1:405-454.
  37. The Seas of Language.Michael Dummett - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
    Michael Dummett is a leading contemporary philosopher whose work on the logic and metaphysics of language has had a lasting influence on how these subjects are conceived and discussed. This volume contains some of the most provocative and widely discussed essays published in the last fifteen years, together with a number of unpublished or inaccessible writings. Essays included are: "What is a Theory of Meaning?," "What do I Know When I Know a Language?," "What Does the Appeal to Use Do (...)
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  38. Is thinking an action?David Hunter - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (2):133-148.
    I argue that entertaining a proposition is not an action. Such events do not have intentional explanations and cannot be evaluated as rational or not. In these respects they contrast with assertions and compare well with perceptual events. One can control what one thinks by doing something, most familiarly by reciting a sentence. But even then the event of entertaining the proposition is not an action, though it is an event one has caused to happen, much as one might cause (...)
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  39. Sublexical modality and the structure of lexical semantic representations.Jean-Pierre Koenig & Anthony R. Davis - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (1):71-124.
    This paper argues for a largely unnoted distinction between relational and modal components in the lexical semantics of verbs. Wehypothesize that many verbs encode two kinds of semantic information:a relationship among participants in a situation and a subset ofcircumstances or time indices at which this relationship isevaluated. The latter we term sublexical modality.We show that linking regularities between semantic arguments andsyntactic functions provide corroborating evidence in favor of thissemantic distinction, noting cases in which the semantic groundingof linking through participant-role properties (...)
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  40. Acquaintance, denoting concepts, and sense.James Levine - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):415-445.
    In a recent article, Michael Kremer revisits Russell's "Gray's Elegy" argument—the argument in "On Denoting" in which Russell rejects "the whole distinction of meaning and denotation". Kremer argues that the Gray's Elegy argument is directed not at Frege's distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung but rather at Russell's own theory of "denoting concepts" in his earlier Principles of Mathematics. Furthermore, and more originally, Kremer argues that Russell's views of acquaintance play a central role in the argument. For Kremer, it is because (...)
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  41. Images of identity: In search of modes of presentation.RG Millikan - 1997 - Mind 106 (423):499-519.
    There are many alternative ways that a mind or brain might represent that two of its representations were of the same object or property, the 'Strawson' model, the 'duplicates' model, the 'synchrony' mode, the 'Christmas lights' model, the 'anaphor' model, and so forth. I first discuss what would constitute that a mind or brain was using one of these systems of identity marking rather than another. I then discuss devastating effects that adopting the Strawson model has on the notion that (...)
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  42. A thick realist consequence of Wright's minimalism.Luca Moretti - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):24–38.
    According to Wrights minimalism, a notion of truth neutral with respect to realism and antirealism can be built out of the notion of warranted assertibility and a set of a priori platitudes among which the Equivalence Schema has a prominent role. Wright believes that the debate about realism and antirealism will be properly and fruitfully developed if both parties accept the conceptual framework of minimalism. In this paper, I show that this conceptual framework commits the minimalist to the realist thesis (...)
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  43. The Good and the True.Michael Morris - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
    This book provides a radical alternative to naturalistic theories of content, and offers a new conception of the place of mind in the world. Confronting the scientific conception of the nature of reality that has dominated the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, Morris presents a detailed analysis of content and propositional attitudes based on the idea that truth is a value. He rejects the causal theory of the explanation of behavior and replaces it with an alternative that depends upon a rich conception (...)
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  44. A complete minimal logic of the propositional contents of thought.Marek Nowak & Daniel Vanderveken - 1995 - Studia Logica 54 (3):391 - 410.
    Our purpose is to formulate a complete logic of propositions that takes into account the fact that propositions are both senses provided with truth values and contents of conceptual thoughts. In our formalization, propositions are more complex entities than simple functions from possible worlds into truth values. They have a structure of constituents (a content) in addition to truth conditions. The formalization is adequate for the purposes of the logic of speech acts. It imposes a stronger criterion of propositional identity (...)
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  45. Fiction, prepositional attitudes, and some truths about falsehood.Alex Orenstein - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):177–190.
    This paper presents an anti‐realist account of fictional objects. Arguing for the involvement of non‐veridical prepositional attitude ascriptions in the understanding of fiction, I maintain that there is no need to invoke Meinongian objects, possibilia or abstract objects for this purpose. In addition I argue against object dependent views . I make a case for empty names playing a more significant role than that accorded on direct reference accounts of names. I close by noting points of similarity and of difference (...)
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  46. Intentionality: Meinongianism and the medievals.Graham Priest & Stephen Read - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):421 – 442.
    Intentional verbs create three different problems: problems of non-existence, of indeterminacy, and of failure of substitutivity. Meinongians tackle the first problem by recognizing non-existent objects; so too did many medieval logicians. Meinongians and the medievals approach the problem of indeterminacy differently, the former diagnosing an ellipsis for a propositional complement, the latter applying their theory directly to non-propositional complements. The evidence seems to favour the Meinongian approach. Faced with the third problem, Ockham argued bluntly for substitutivity when the intentional complement (...)
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  47. Naming and saying.Wilfrid Sellars - 1962 - Philosophy of Science 29 (1):7-26.
    The essay adopts the Tractarian view that configurations of objects are expressed by configurations of names. Two alternatives are considered: The objects in atomic facts are (1) without exception particulars; (2) one or more particulars plus a universal (Gustav Bergmann). On (1) a mode of configuration is always an empirical relation: on (2) it is the logical nexus of 'exemplification.' It is argued that (1) is both Wittgenstein's view in the Tractatus and correct. It is also argued that exemplification is (...)
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  48. The logic and mathematics of occasion sentences.Pieter A. M. Seuren, Venanizo Capretta & Herman Geuvers - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):531-595.
    The prime purpose of this paper is, first, to restore to discourse-bound occasion sentences their rightful central place in semantics and secondly, taking these as the basic propositional elements in the logical analysis of language, to contribute to the development of an adequate logic of occasion sentences and a mathematical foundation for such a logic, thus preparing the ground for more adequate semantic, logical and mathematical foundations of the study of natural language. Some of the insights elaborated in this paper (...)
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  49. Acta cum fundamentis in re.Barry Smith - 1984 - Dialectica 38 (2‐3):157-178.
    It will be the thesis of this paper that there are among our mental acts some which fall into the category of real material relations. That is: some acts are necessarily such as to involve a plurality of objects as their relata or fundamenta. Suppose Bruno walks into his study and sees a cat. To describe the seeing, here, as a relation, is to affirm that it serves somehow to tie Bruno to the cat. Bruno's act of seeing, unlike his (...)
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  50. Linguistic isomorphisms.Thomas Storer - 1952 - Philosophy of Science 19 (1):77-85.
    The Wittgensteinian thesis that “the result of philosophy is not a number of ‘philosophical propositions,’ but to make propositions clear” has been given various interpretations by subsequent philosophers. Thus, for example, certain British philosophers have confined themselves to the analysis of colloquial language and have developed great skill in sophistical demonstrations intended to show that there is no such thing as a philosophical problem. Another group of philosophers considers language solely as a phenomenon of human behavior and attempts to clarify (...)
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