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  1. Why Fuss About These Quirks of the Vernacular? Propositional Attitude Sentences in Prior’s Nachlass.Giulia Felappi - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11):3521-3534.
    In English, in order to speak about Arthur’s attitudes, we use sentences like “Arthur believes that natural language is messy”. For sentences of this kind we have a standard theory, according to which the ‘that’-clause ‘that natural language is messy’ denotes a proposition. As Prior showed for the first time, the standard theory appears to be at odds with some linguistic data. Geach and Prior both assumed that linguistic data are to be taken as reliable guides to a correct semantic (...)
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  • Resisting the Restriction of the Propositional Attitude Class.Dušan Dožudić - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):17-36.
    It is a standard view among philosophers that an attitude is propositional if a that clause could represent its content. One way of challenging this view is to argue that attitudes whose content can be represented in that way have categorically different content. A number of authors adopted such a strategy and imposed various restrictions on the propositional attitude class. In this paper, I will argue that such restrictions are not tenable because the arguments that are used to support them (...)
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  • Higher‐Order Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Wiley: Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
    Subverting a once widely held Quinean paradigm, there is a growing consensus among philosophers of logic that higher-order quantifiers (which bind variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences) are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in terms of first-order quantifiers (which bind variables in singular term position). This article discusses the impact of this quantificational paradigm shift on metaphysics, focussing on theories of properties, propositions, and identity, (...)
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  • Pleonastic Propositions and the Face Value Theory.Alex Steinberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1165-1180.
    Propositions are a useful tool in philosophical theorizing, even though they are not beyond reasonable nominalistic doubts. Stephen Schiffer’s pleonasticism about propositions is a paradigm example of a realistic account that tries to alleviate such doubts by grounding truths about propositions in ontologically innocent facts. Schiffer maintains two characteristic theses about propositions: first, that they are so-called pleonastic entities whose existence is subject to what he calls something-from-nothing transformations ; and, second, that they are the referents of ‘that’-clauses that function (...)
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  • Should Metaphysics Care About Linguistics?Tobias Rosefeldt - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (2):161-178.
    Naturalized metaphysics is based on the idea that philosophy should be guided by the sciences. The paradigmatic science that is relevant for metaphysics is physics because physics tells us what fundamental reality is ultimately like. There are other sciences, however, that de facto play a role in philosophical inquiries about what there is, one of them being the science of language, i.e. linguistics. In this paper I will be concerned with the question what role linguistics should and does play for (...)
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  • Propositions, Representation, and Truth.Geoff Georgi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1019-1043.
    Theories of propositions as sets of truth-supporting circumstances are committed to the thesis that sentences or other representations true in all and only the same circumstances express the same proposition. Theories of propositions as complex, structured entities are not committed to this thesis. As a result, structured propositions can play a role in our theories of language and thought that sets of truth-supporting circumstances cannot play. To illustrate this difference, I sketch a theory of transparent, non-deflationary truth consistent with some (...)
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  • The Face‐Value Theory, Know‐That, Know‐Wh and Know‐How.Giulia Felappi - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):63-72.
    For sentences such as (1), "Columbus knows that the sea is unpredictable", there is a face-value theory, according to which ‘that’-clauses are singular terms denoting propositions. Famously, Prior raised an objection to the theory, but defenders of the face-value theory such as Forbes, King, Künne, Pietroski and Stanley urged that the objection could be met by maintaining that in (1) ‘to know’ designates a complex relation along the lines of being in a state of knowledge having as content. Is the (...)
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  • A Problem for Russellian Theories of Belief.Gary Ostertag - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):249 - 267.
    Russellianism is characterized as the view that ‘that’-clauses refer to Russellian propositions, familiar set-theoretic pairings of objects and properties. Two belief-reporting sentences, S and S*, possessing the same Russellian content, but differing in their intuitive truthvalue, are provided. It is argued that no Russellian explanation of the difference in apparent truthvalue is available, with the upshot that the Russellian fails to explain how a speaker who asserts S but rejects S* can be innocent of inconsistency, either in what she says (...)
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  • Objects of Thought? On the Usual Way Out of Prior’s Objection to the Relational Theory of Propositional Attitude Sentences.Giulia Felappi - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):438-444.
    Traditionally, ‘that’-clauses occurring in attitude attributions are taken to denote the objects of the attitudes. Prior raised a famous problem: even if Frege fears that the Begriffsschrift leads to a paradox, it is unlikely that he fears a proposition, a sentence or what have you as the alleged object denoted by the ‘that’-clause. The usual way out is to say that ‘that’-clauses do not contribute the objects of the attitudes but their contents. I will show that, if we accept this (...)
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  • Understanding What Was Said.Guy Longworth - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):815-834.
    On the most prominent account, understanding what was said is always propositional knowledge of what was said. I develop a more minimal alternative, according to which understanding is sometimes a distinctive attitude towards what was said—to a first approximation, entertaining what was said. The propositional knowledge account has been supported on the basis of its capacity to explain testimonial knowledge transmission. I argue that it is not so supported.
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  • Aboutness and Ontology: A Modest Approach to Truthmakers.Arthur Schipper - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):505-533.
    Truthmaker theory has been used to argue for substantial conclusions about the categorial structure of the world, in particular that states of affairs are needed to play the role of truthmakers. In this paper, I argue that closely considering the role of aboutness in truthmaking, that is considering what truthbearers are about, yields the result that there is no good truthmaker-based reason to think that truthmakers must be states of affairs understood as existing entities, whether complex or simple. First, I (...)
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  • Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality.Thomas Hofweber - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):699-734.
    Although idealism was widely defended in the history of philosophy, it is nowadays almost universally considered a non-starter. This holds in particular for a strong form of idealism, which asserts that not just minds or the mental in general, but our human minds in particular are metaphysically central to reality. Such a view seems to be excessively anthropocentric and contrary to what we by now know about our place in the universe. Nonetheless, there is reason to think that such a (...)
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  • Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes?Sean Crawford - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):179-210.
    Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitude reports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper argues that none of Jubien’s proposals succeeds in accommodating an important range of propositional phenomena, such as the (...)
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  • Reasons and That‐Clauses.James Pryor - 2007 - Philosophical Issues 17 (1):217-244.
    What are reasons? For example, if you’re aware that your secretary plans to expose you, and you resign to avoid a scandal, what is your reason for resigning? Is your reason the fact that your secretary plans to expose you? If so, what kinds of facts are eligible to be reasons? Can merely possible facts be reasons (for actual subjects)? Can merely apparent facts? Or are reasons rather attitudes? Are your reasons for resigning your belief that your secretary plans to (...)
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  • Hopes, Fears, and Other Grammatical Scarecrows.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):63-105.
    The standard view of "believes" and other propositional attitude verbs is that such verbs express relations between agents and propositions. A sentence of the form “S believes that p” is true just in case S stands in the belief-relation to the proposition that p; this proposition is the referent of the complement clause "that p." On this view, we would expect the clausal complements of propositional attitude verbs to be freely intersubstitutable with their corresponding proposition descriptions—e.g., "the proposition that p"—as (...)
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  • Replies to Eklund and Uzquiano.Thomas Hofweber - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):315-334.
    My thanks to Matti Eklund and Gabriel Uzquiano for their thoughtful and challenging critical essays. In these replies I hope to respond to what I took to be their main points. The focus of their essays is different for the most part, but there is overlap in their discussion of the ineffable. I will thus largely reply to their essays separately, with the exception of the discussion of the ineffable, where I will reply to their points jointly. Let’s start, alphabetically, (...)
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  • The Truth Predicate Vs the Truth Connective. On Taking Connectives Seriously.Kevin Mulligan - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (4):565-584.
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  • Knowing the Facts.Mark Textor - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (1):75-86.
    Keith Hossack argues in his The Metaphysics of Knowledge(2007) that knowledge is a simple and metaphysically fundamental relation between a thinker and a fact: knowledge is uptake of fact. Facts are conceived as combinations of particulars and universals, distinct from true propositions. Hossacks's general argument is, roughly, that one can define central philosophical concepts (belief, content, justification, etc.) if one assumes that knowledge is primitive, but that knowledge cannot be defined in terms of such concepts. In this paper, I will (...)
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  • ‘In Defence of Sententialism’.Giulia Felappi - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):581-603.
    Propositional attitude sentences, such as (1) Pierre believes that snow is white, have proved to be formidably difficult to account for in a semantic theory. It is generally agreed that the that-clause ‘that snow is white’ purports to refer to the proposition that snow is white, but no agreement has been reached on what this proposition is. Sententialism is a semantic theory which tries to undermine the very enterprise of understanding what proposition is referred to in (1): according to sententialists, (...)
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  • Idealism and the Identity Theory of Truth.Robert Trueman - 2020 - Mind 130 (519):783-807.
    In a recent article, Hofweber presents a new, and surprising, argument for idealism. His argument is surprising because it starts with an apparently innocent premiss from the philosophy of language: that ‘that’-clauses do not refer. I do not think that Hofweber's argument works, and my first aim in this paper is to explain why. However, I agree with Hofweber that what we say about ‘that’-clauses has important metaphysical consequences. My second aim is to argue that, far from leading us into (...)
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  • Propositions and Cognitive Relations.Nicholas K. Jones - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (2):157-178.
    There are two broad approaches to theorizing about ontological categories. Quineans use first-order quantifiers to generalize over entities of each category, whereas type theorists use quantification on variables of different semantic types to generalize over different categories. Does anything of import turn on the difference between these approaches? If so, are there good reasons to go type-theoretic? I argue for positive answers to both questions concerning the category of propositions. I also discuss two prominent arguments for a Quinean conception of (...)
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  • Prior's Puzzle Generalized.Justin D'Ambrosio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Prior’s puzzle is standardly taken to be the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of “the proposition that P” for “that P” within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs is invalid. I show that Prior’s puzzle is much more general than is ordinarily supposed. There are two variants on the substitutional form of the puzzle—a quantificational variant and a pronominal variant—and all three forms of the puzzle arise in a wide range of grammatical positions, (...)
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  • Ramsification and the Ramifications of Prior's Puzzle.Justin D'Ambrosio - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Ramsification is a well-known method of defining theoretical terms that figures centrally in a wide range of debates in metaphysics. Prior's puzzle is the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of "the proposition that P" for "that P" within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs sometimes fails to preserve truth, and other times fails to preserve grammaticality. On the surface, Ramsification and Prior's puzzle appear to have little to do with each other. But Prior's (...)
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  • Pleonastic propositions and de re belief.Gary Ostertag - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3529-3547.
    In The Things We Mean, Stephen Schiffer defends a novel account of the entities to which belief reports relate us and to which their that-clauses refer. For Schiffer, the referred-to entities—propositions—exist in virtue of contingencies of our linguistic practices, deriving from “pleonastic restatements” of ontologically neutral discourse. Schiffer’s account of the individuation of propositions derives from his treatment of that -clause reference. While that -clauses are referential singular terms, their reference is not determined by the speaker’s referential intentions. Rather, their (...)
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  • Substitution in a Sense.Robert Trueman - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3069-3098.
    The Reference Principle states that co-referring expressions are everywhere intersubstitutable salva congruitate. On first glance, looks like a truism, but a truism with some bite: transforms difficult philosophical questions about co-reference into easy grammatical questions about substitutability. This has led a number of philosophers to think that we can use to make short work of certain longstanding metaphysical debates. For example, it has been suggested that all we need to do to show that the predicate ‘ is a horse’ does (...)
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  • On Being Called Something.Geoff Georgi - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):595-619.
    Building on recent work by Delia Graff Fara and Ora Matushansky on appellative constructions like ‘Mirka called Roger handsome’, I argue that if Millianism about proper names is true, then the quantifier ‘something’ in ‘Mirka called Roger something’ is best understood as a kind of substitutional quantifier. Any adequate semantics for such quantifiers must explain both the logical behavior of ‘Mirka called Roger something’ and the acceptability of ‘so’-anaphora in ‘Mirka called Roger something, and everyone so called is handsome’. Millianism (...)
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  • Grounding and the Indispensability Argument.David Liggins - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):531-548.
    There has been much discussion of the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical objects. In this paper I reconsider the debate by using the notion of grounding, or non-causal dependence. First of all, I investigate what proponents of the indispensability argument should say about the grounding of relations between physical objects and mathematical ones. This reveals some resources which nominalists are entitled to use. Making use of these resources, I present a neglected but promising response to the indispensability argument—a (...)
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  • Plenitudinous Russellianism, ‘That’-Clauses, and the Principle of Substitutivity.Seyed N. Mousavian - forthcoming - Dialogue:1-24.
    ABSTRACT Recently, in a series of papers, Joshua Spencer has introduced, defended, and developed a modified version of Neo-Russellianism, namely Plenitudinous Russellianism, according to which there are structurally identical but numerically distinct singular Russellian propositions. PR claims to provide novel semantic solutions to all the major problems that NR faces with no radical revision in NR. In this paper, I introduce a semantic puzzle for PR: the view leads to the violation of the principle of substitutivity of co-referential proper names (...)
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  • "That"-Clauses and Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.
    This paper argues that "that"-clauses do not reference propositions because they are not intersubstitutible with other expressions that do reference propositions. In particular, "that"-clauses are shown to not be intersubstitutible with propositional anaphors like "so." The substitution failures are further argued to support a semantics on which "that"-clauses are predicates.
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  • Necessities and Necessary Truths: A Prolegomenon to the Use of Modal Logic in the Analysis of Intensional Notions.V. Halbach & P. Welch - 2009 - Mind 118 (469):71-100.
    In philosophical logic necessity is usually conceived as a sentential operator rather than as a predicate. An intensional sentential operator does not allow one to express quantified statements such as 'There are necessary a posteriori propositions' or 'All laws of physics are necessary' in first-order logic in a straightforward way, while they are readily formalized if necessity is formalized by a predicate. Replacing the operator conception of necessity by the predicate conception, however, causes various problems and forces one to reject (...)
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  • Two Problems with the Socio-Relational Critique of Distributive Egalitarianism.Christian Seidel - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico.
    Distributive egalitarians believe that distributive justice is to be explained by the idea of distributive equality (DE) and that DE is of intrinsic value. The socio-relational critique argues that distributive egalitarianism does not account for the “true” value of equality, which rather lies in the idea of “equality as a substantive social value” (ESV). This paper examines the socio-relational critique and argues that it fails because – contrary to what the critique presupposes –, first, ESV is not conceptually distinct from (...)
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