The Objects of Commands and Questions

A. N. Prior

in Objects of Thought

Published in print April 1971 | ISBN: 9780198243540
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680694 | DOI:
The Objects of Commands and Questions

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The reasons which were originally given for believing that indicative sentences ‘mean’ or ‘express’ certain real but abstract objects called propositions, may be exactly paralleled by arguments for believing that imperative and interrogative sentences mean or express certain other real but abstract objects which we could call respectively ‘objective commands’ and ‘objective questions’. This chapter argues that the parallels between what can be done with indicative sentences and what can be done with imperative sentences break down at crucial points. It discusses how Ramsey reductions yield no objectivity with commands, the reduction of objectivity of commands to objectivity of propositions, objective questions, the need for question-variables, and objective questions as entailed facts.

Keywords: indicative sentence; imperative sentence; Ramsey; objective commands; objective questions

Chapter.  6079 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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