Michael Morris

in The Good and the True

Published in print November 1992 | ISBN: 9780198239444
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679919 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs


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This chapter posits that if a metaphysical explanation is to be informative, the sentence which provides it must differ in informativeness from the sentence which gave the original description of the same fact. It must be possible for two sentences which differ in informativeness to describe the same facts. The Fregan assumption is the intuitive conception of what is involved in believing that a sentence which one understands is true. The philosophy of conceptual analysis is the position that for metaphysical explanations, new sentences must be intersubstitutable with the old sentences within ascriptions of attitude to any subject. Salmon claims that the function of declarative sentences, both within attitude contexts and outside them, is to ‘encode’ pieces of information which he calls propositions. Propositions are individuated much as facts or states of affairs are.

Keywords: metaphysical explanation; informativeness; Fregan assumption; conceptual analysis; Salmon; propositions

Chapter.  3076 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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