Pretense, Cancellation, and the Act Theory of Propositions

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Several philosophers advance substantive theories of propositions, to deal with several issues they raise in connection with a concern with a long pedigree in philosophy, the problem of the unity of propositions. The qualification ‘substantive’ is meant to contrast with ‘minimal’ or ‘deflationary’ – roughly, views that reject that propositions have a hidden nature, worth investigating. Substantive views appear to create spurious problems by characterizing propositions in ways that make them unfit to perform their theoretical jobs. I will present in this light some critical points against Hanks’ (2015, 2019) act-theoretic view, and Recanati’s (2019) recent elaboration of Hanks’ notion of cancellation. Both Hanks and Recanati, I’ll argue, rely on problematic conceptions of fiction and pretense.

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Manuel García-Carpintero
Universitat de Barcelona


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