What propositional structure could not be
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The dominant account of propositions holds that they are structured entities that have, as constituents, the semantic values of the constituents of the sentences that express them. Since such theories hold that propositions are structured, in some sense, like the sentences that express them, they must provide an answer to what I will call Soames’ Question: “What level, or levels, of sentence structure does semantic information incorporate?” (Soames in Philos Mind Action Theory 3:575–596, 1989). As it turns out, answering Soames’ Question is no easy task. I argue in this paper that the two most promising ways of answering it, the Logical Form Account and the LF Account, are both unsatisfactory. This result casts doubt on the very idea that propositions are structured.
KeywordsPropositions Structured propositions Benacerraf problem Logical form LF Jeffrey C. King
A version of this paper was presented at the Buffalo Logic Colloquium, March 2015, and the Unity and Individuation of Structured Propositions Conference: Ninth Barcelona Conference on Issues in the Theory of Reference, June 22-24 2015. I thank audiences at both places for their comments. Special thanks to Paddy Blanchette, David Braun, John Keller, Chris Menzel and two anonymous referees for this journal for helpful feedback.
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