Predication and the Frege–Geach problem

Philosophical Studies 176 (1):141-159 (2019)
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Abstract
Several philosophers have recently appealed to predication in developing their theories of cognitive representation and propositions. One central point of difference between them is whether they take predication to be forceful or neutral and whether they take the most basic cognitive representational act to be judging or entertaining. Both views are supported by powerful reasons and both face problems. Many think that predication must be forceful if it is to explain representation. However, the standard ways of implementing the idea give rise to the Frege-Geach problem. Others think that predication must be neutral, if we’re to avoid the Frege-Geach problem. However, it looks like nothing neutral can explain representation. In this paper I present a third view, one which respects the powerful reasons while avoiding the problems. On this view predication is forceful and can thus explain representation, but the idea is implemented in a novel way, avoiding the Frege-Geach problem. The key is to make sense of the notion of grasping a proposition as an objectual act where the object is a proposition.
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First archival date: 2017-11-06
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