Chapter

Propositions, Time, and Eternity

Wolfgang Künne

in Conceptions of Truth

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199241316
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597831 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241317.003.0005
Propositions, Time, and Eternity

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I argue that neither sentences nor sentential utterances nor token‐sentences, but propositions, conceived of as (possible) contents of certain speech acts and of certain mental acts and states, are the primary truth‐value bearers. Following Husserl, I make a point of taking the proposition that p to be the content, rather than the (intentional) object, of a thinker's V‐ing that p, and of assigning the latter role to states of affairs. Temporalists (such as the Stoics, Prior, and Kaplan) claim that truth is an unstable property of certain sayables and thinkables, whereas eternalists (like Bolzano, Frege, and Russell) deny this. After distinguishing different kinds of eternalism and of temporalism and locating Lukasiewicz's position on my map, I argue that we need the concept of indexically expressed propositions with stable truth‐values. Finally, I concede that the notion of sayables and thinkables with shifting truth‐values also serves some important explanatory purposes.

Keywords: content; eternalism; Husserl; indexicality; intentional object; proposition; sentence; state of affairs; temporalism; time; truth‐value bearer; utterance

Chapter.  33281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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