Chapter

Whither Propositions?

Howard Wettstein

in The Magic Prism

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195160529
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195160525.003.0011
 Whither Propositions?

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The implications for the category of propositions and propositional content of the author’s social practice theory are considered. Concerns having to do with propositions’ abstract nature are discussed, and it is suggested that abstraction can be divorced from hypostatization, which frees abstract talk from dubious ontological commitment. The interesting question is not whether the abstractness of propositions is problematic but whether the postulation of propositions is explanatorily necessary. The two main putative functions of propositions are said to be as primary bearers of truth and falsity and as objects of propositional attitudes, and it is argued that neither of these cases motivate a semantical account in which propositions play a key role.

Keywords: abstraction; bearers of truth; objects of propositional attitudes; propositional content; propositions

Chapter.  7437 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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