Against Structured Propositions

March 7, 2008

Here’s a view about propositions:

A proposition P is a set of ordered pairs <A,G> where the first object is an individual and the second a property. These propositions are generally expressed by declarative statements such as my utterance of the sentence `Alvin is Green’. Call this `Structured Propositions’.

Here’s an argument against this view of propositions.

P1) If propositions are structured then one must either: a) become Meinongian, or b) accept gappy propositions.
P2) According to Russell, Meinongianism entails contradictions, so it’s unacceptable.
P3) Gappy propositions cannot explain informative speech acts where true negative existential are asserted. Such speech acts cannot express gappy propositions. So, gappy propositions are unacceptable.
P4) From P2 and P3, it follows that we should neither be Meinongian nor gappy proposition theorists.
C) Propositions are not structured. Read the rest of this entry »

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