Force, Content, and the Unity of the Proposition

New York: Routledge (2022)
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This volume advances discussions between critics and defenders of the force-content distinction and opens new ways of thinking about force and speech acts in relation to the unity problem. The force-content dichotomy has shaped the philosophy of language and mind since the time of Frege and Russell. Isn’t it obvious that, for example, the clauses of a conditional are not asserted and must therefore be propositions and propositions the forceless contents of forceful acts? But, others have recently asked in response, how can a proposition be a truth value bearer if it is not unified through the forceful act of a subject that takes a position regarding how things are? Can we not instead think of propositions as being inherently forceful, but of force as being cancelled in certain contexts? And what do indicators of assertoric, but also of directive and interrogative force mean?

Author Profiles

Gabriele M. Mras
University of Economics, Vienna
Michael Schmitz
University of Vienna


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