Attitudes without propositions

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):805-26 (1998)
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This paper develops a novel version of anti-platonism, called semantic fictionalism. The view is a response to the platonist argument that we need to countenance propositions to account for the truth of sentences containing `that'-clause singular terms, e.g., sentences of the form `x believes that p' and `σ means that p'. Briefly, the view is that (a) platonists are right that `that'-clauses purport to refer to propositions, but (b) there are no such things as propositions, and hence, (c) `that'-clause-containing sentences of the above sort are not true-they are useful fictions. Semantic fictionalism is an extension of Hartry Field's mathematical fictionalism, but my defense of the view is not analogous to his. One of the many virtues of my defense is its generality: it explains how we can adopt a fictionalist stance towards all abstract singular terms, e.g., mathematical singular terms and `that'-clauses



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Mark Balaguer
California State University, Los Angeles

Citations of this work

Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Platonism in Metaphysics.Markn D. Balaguer - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (1):1.
Fictionalism, theft, and the story of mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 2009 - Philosophia Mathematica 17 (2):131-162.
Fictionalism in the philosophy of mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Nominalism in metaphysics.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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