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Propositions$
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Trenton Merricks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732563.001.0001

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Against Structured Propositions

Against Structured Propositions

Chapter:
(p.121) 4 Against Structured Propositions
Source:
Propositions
Author(s):

Trenton Merricks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732563.003.0004

The other leading account of propositions, alongside the thesis that propositions are sets of possible worlds, endorses structured propositions. This chapter’s central line of argument focuses on a proposition’s representing things as being a certain way. For example, the proposition that dogs bark represents dogs as barking, and for this reason is true if and only if dogs bark. The chapter assumes—as do all defenders of structured propositions—that if there are structured propositions, then something about each proposition explains how it manages to represent things as being a certain way. The chapter argues that if there are structured propositions, that explanation must be in terms of a proposition’s constituents and structure. And the chapter argues that a structured proposition’s constituents and structure would not fully explain how that proposition manages to represent things as being a certain way. So the chapter concludes that there are no structured propositions.

Keywords:   structured propositions, constituents, structure, Soames, King, Russell

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