A Causal-Mentalist View of Propositions

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Abstract
In order to fulfil their essential roles as the bearers of truth and the relata of logical relations, propositions must be public and shareable. That requirement has favoured Platonist and other nonmental views of them, despite the well-known problems of Platonism in general. Views that propositions are mental entities have correspondingly fallen out of favour, as they have difficulty in explaining how propositions could have shareable, objective properties. We revive a mentalist view of propositions, inspired by Artificial Intelligence work on perceptual algorithms, which shows how perception causes persistent mental entities with shareable properties that allow them to fulfil the traditional roles of (one core kind of) propositions. The clustering algorithms implemented in perception produce outputs which are (implicit) atomic propositions in different minds. Coordination of them across minds proceeds by game-theoretic processes of communication. The account does not rely on any unexplained notions such as mental content, representation, or correspondence (although those notions are applicable in philosophical analysis of the result).
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Archival date: 2021-03-25
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2021-03-25

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