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On Hierarchical Propositions


There is an apparent dilemma for hierarchical accounts of propositions, raised by Bruno Whittle (Journal of Philosophical Logic, 46, 215–231, 2017): either such accounts do not offer adequate treatment of connectives and quantifiers, or they eviscerate the logic. I discuss what a plausible hierarchical conception of propositions might amount to, and show that on that conception, Whittle’s dilemma is not compelling. Thus, there are good reasons why proponents of hierarchical accounts of propositions (such as Russell, Church, or Kaplan) did not see the difficulty Whittle raises.


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This work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 758540) within the project From the Expression of Disagreement to New Foundations for Expressivist Semantics.

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Correspondence to Giorgio Sbardolini.

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Sbardolini, G. On Hierarchical Propositions. J Philos Logic 49, 1–11 (2020).

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  • Paradoxes
  • Propositions
  • Type theory
  • Simple and ramified hierarchy