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Hare and Others on the Proposition

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Author(s): John Corcoran

Journal: Principia : an International Journal of Epistemology
ISSN 1414-4247

Volume: 15;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Propositional actions | attitudes | operations | properties | relations

ABSTRACT
History witnesses alternative approaches to “the proposition”. The proposition has been referred to as the object of belief, disbelief, and doubt: generally as the object of propositional attitudes, that which can be said to be believed, disbelieved, understood, etc. It has also been taken to be the object of grasping, judging, assuming, affirming, denying, and inquiring: generally as the object of propositional actions, that which can be said to be grasped, judged true or false, assumed for reasoning purposes, etc. The proposition has also been taken to be the subject of truth and falsity: generally as the subject of propositional properties, that which can be said to be true, false, tautological, informative, inconsistent, etc. It has also been taken as the subject and object of logical relations, e.g. that which can be said to imply, be implied, contradict, be contradicted, etc. Prima facie, such properties and relations are non-mental and objective. It has also been taken to be the resultants or products of propositional operations, usually mental or linguistic; e.g. judging, affirming, and denying have been held to produce propositions called judgments, affirmations, and negations, respectively. Propositions have also been taken to be certain declarative sentences. Finally, propositions have been taken to be meanings of certain declarative sentences. This essay is an informal, selective, and incomplete survey of alternative approaches to “the proposition” with special attention to the views of the late American philosopher Peter Hare (1935–2008) and of those who influenced him.
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