Prior's Puzzle Generalized

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Abstract
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 is invalid. I show that there are two variants on Prior's puzzle---a quantificational variant and a pronominal variant---that have the same source and warrant the same solution as the original puzzle. I then show that neither the original puzzle nor its variants are specific to that-clauses or propositional attitude verbs. Rather, they arise in the complements of all kinds of attitude verbs, in adjectival positions, in adverbial positions, and in a variety of other positions as well. These variants, together with the generalization to other grammatical categories, show that a wide range of proposed solutions to Prior's puzzle fail, or are radically incomplete. I then discuss one view that stands to solve the generalized puzzle.
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Archival date: 2019-10-24
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2019-10-24

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