Chapter

Why Propositions Cannot Be Concrete

Alvin Plantinga

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195103762
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833573 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195103769.003.0012
Why Propositions Cannot Be Concrete

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In this chapter, a segment from my book Warrant and Proper Function, I argue that propositions cannot be concrete objects. In particular, I examine various ways in which the concretist might explain what it is for a proposition to be possible or necessary. I then demonstrate that the concretist is forced either to count far too many propositions as necessary or hold that blatant contradictions are possible. I conclude the chapter by suggesting that abstract objects, such as propositions, can stand in causal relations. Thus, the fact that propositions are not concrete does not entail the falsity of the causal requirement – i.e., the requirement that a knower stands in a causal relation to the object of knowledge.

Keywords: causal requirement; concrete; propositions

Chapter.  2437 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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