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Philosophy of Language$
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Scott Soames

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138664

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138664.001.0001

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The Metaphysics of Meaning: Propositions and Possible Worlds

The Metaphysics of Meaning: Propositions and Possible Worlds

(p.109) Chapter Five The Metaphysics of Meaning: Propositions and Possible Worlds
Philosophy of Language

Scott Soames

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines two crucial aspects of the metaphysics of meaning—propositions and possible world-states. It reviews why propositions—needed as meanings of sentences and objects of the attitudes—can neither be extracted from theories of truth conditions, nor defined in terms of possible world-states, It then explains why they also cannot be the mysterious, inherently representational, abstract objects they have traditionally been taken to be. Instead of explaining the representationality of sentences and cognitive states in terms of their relations to the supposedly prior and independent representationality of propositions, we must explain the representationality of propositions in terms of the representationality of the cognitive states with which they are connected. A new account of is presented along these lines.

Keywords:   language, philosophy, metaphysics, meaning, propositions, world-states

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