On propositions and fineness of grain (again!)
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What I plan to do in the present paper is, first, sketch the theory of propositions I defended in a recent book I coauthored with Scott Soames and Jeff Speaks.1 Second, I want to respond to a criticism of that view raised by Hanks (2015). Finally, I want to discuss some changes in my view since the publication of King et al. (2014). Before all that, let me begin by motivating my view of propositions and describing how I came to hold it.
In the mid 1990s, I began thinking about the metaphysics of propositions. I became convinced that any theory of propositions worth that epithet had to provide an explanation of how/why propositions have truth conditions. In my first papers on this topic in the mid 1990’s, I made clear that I viewed explaining how/why propositions have truth conditions or represent the world as being a certain way as an important desideratum for a theory of propositions.2 I’ll say more about this below.
- Chomsky, N. (1996). The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Heim, I., & Kratzer, A. (1998). Semantics in generative grammar. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
- Kayne, R. (1994). The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Stalnaker, R. (1984). Inquiry. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar