The Story About Propositions

Noûs 46 (4):635-674 (2010)
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Abstract

It is our contention that an ontological commitment to propositions faces a number of problems; so many, in fact, that an attitude of realism towards propositions—understood the usual “platonistic” way, as a kind of mind- and language-independent abstract entity—is ultimately untenable. The particular worries about propositions that marshal parallel problems that Paul Benacerraf has raised for mathematical platonists. At the same time, the utility of “proposition-talk”—indeed, the apparent linguistic commitment evident in our use of 'that'-clauses (in offering explanations and making predictions)—is also in need of explanation. We account for this with a fictionalist analysis of our use of 'that'-clauses. Our account avoids certain problems that arise for the usual error-theoretic versions of fictionalism because we apply the notion of semantic pretense to develop an alternative, pretense-involving, non-error-theoretic, fictionalist account of proposition-talk.

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Author Profiles

Bradley Armour-Garb
State University of New York, Albany
James Woodbridge
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Citations of this work

The Propositional Benacerraf Problem.Jesse Fitts - 2022 - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes?Sean Crawford - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):179-210.
Fictionalism in Metaphysics.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):786-803.
Fictionalist Strategies in Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba & Richard Woodward - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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