By Trenton Merricks
Propositions has major objectives. the 1st is to teach that there are propositions. the second one is to shield an account in their nature. whereas pursuing those objectives, Trenton Merricks attracts quite a few arguable conclusions approximately similar concerns, together with, between others, supervaluationism, the character of attainable worlds, truths approximately non-existent entities, and no matter if and the way logical end result depends upon modal evidence.
An argument is modally legitimate simply in case, unavoidably, if its premises are real, then its end is right. Propositions starts off with the idea that a few arguments are modally legitimate. Merricks then argues that the premises and conclusions of modally legitimate arguments aren't sentences. as a substitute, he argues, they're propositions. So, simply because there are modally legitimate arguments, there are propositions.
Merricks defends the declare that propositions aren't established and aren't units of attainable worlds. He thereby offers arguments opposed to the 2 best money owed of the character of propositions. these arguments are meant not just to oppose these debts, but in addition to convey conclusions approximately what a passable account of the character of propositions may still say. Of specific significance during this regard are arguments about the alleged factors of the way a collection of attainable worlds or a based proposition may be capable to symbolize factor as being a definite method. Merricks then defends his personal account of the character of propositions, which says in simple terms that every proposition is an important existent that primarily represents issues as being a definite means.
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Additional info for Propositions
And so on. Relatedly, how a truth-bearer represents things as being is part of the explanation of its being true. In general, an entity is true because, ﬁrst, it represents things as being a certain way and, second, things are that way (Merricks, 2008, 343). 10 10 This allows us to explain why a claim’s truth depends on how things are, which is assumed not only above (}III), but also throughout my book Truth and Ontology. A claim’s truth depends on how things are because (a) each entity that is capable of being true or false represents things as being a certain way and (b) that entity is true (false) because things are (are not) as that entity represents them as being.
So let us say that sentences are derivative bearers of truth and falsity. A sentence has a truth-value in virtue of how it is related to a proposition that has that truth-value. 13 Recall that a sentence has a truth-value only in a context of use (}II). So a sentence expresses a proposition only in a context of use. But I shall often leave contexts of use implicit. 13 Supervaluationists will want to tweak this claim. See Chapter 2 (}VII). Propositions and Modal Validity 25 For example, I shall often say things along the lines of: The sentence ‘dogs bark’ expresses the proposition that dogs bark.
So an argument can have a proposition as a premise and a proposition as a conclusion. Argument C is just such an argument. And— because the nature of that argument’s premise and conclusion is central to what follows—let us present Argument C in a way that makes it evident that its premise is a proposition and its conclusion is a proposition: That Cicero/Tully is an orator Therefore, That Cicero/Tully is an orator I shall argue that Argument C is not logically valid. My ﬁrst reason for concluding that Argument C is not logically valid begins with an ideal reasoner who does not know that ‘Cicero’ and ‘Tully’ co-refer.