Philosophical Studies

, Volume 169, Issue 2, pp 143–172 | Cite as

Cutting it (too) fine

  • John Collins


It is widely held that propositions are structured entities. In The Nature and Structure of Content (2007), Jeff King argues that the structure of propositions is none other than the syntactic structure deployed by the speaker/hearers who linguistically produce and consume the sentences that express the propositions. The present paper generalises from King’s position and claims that syntax provides the best in-principle account of propositional structure. It further seeks to show, however, that the account faces serve problems pertaining to the fine individuation of propositions that the account entails. The ‘fineness of cut’ problem has been raised by Collins (The unity of linguistic meaning, 2007) and others. King (Philos Stud 163(3):763–781, 2013) responds to these complaints in ways this paper rebuts. Thus, the very idea of structured propositions is brought into doubt, for the best in-principle account of such structure appears to fail.


Structured propositions Fineness of cut Jeffrey King Active and passive constructions Symmetrical and non-symmetrical predicates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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