Predication and the Frege–Geach problem

Philosophical Studies 176 (1):141-159 (2019)
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Several philosophers have recently appealed to predication in developing their theories of cognitive representation and propositions. One central point of difference between them is whether they take predication to be forceful or neutral and whether they take the most basic cognitive representational act to be judging or entertaining. Both views are supported by powerful reasons and both face problems. Many think that predication must be forceful if it is to explain representation. However, the standard ways of implementing the idea give rise to the Frege-Geach problem. Others think that predication must be neutral, if we’re to avoid the Frege-Geach problem. However, it looks like nothing neutral can explain representation. In this paper I present a third view, one which respects the powerful reasons while avoiding the problems. On this view predication is forceful and can thus explain representation, but the idea is implemented in a novel way, avoiding the Frege-Geach problem. The key is to make sense of the notion of grasping a proposition as an objectual act where the object is a proposition.

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Author's Profile

Indrek Reiland
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Reference, Predication, Judgment and their Relations.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Propositions as Structured Cognitive Event‐Types.Wayne A. Davis - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):665-692.

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Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.John Campbell - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Propositional Content.Peter Hanks - 2015 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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