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Philosophy and Logic of Predication

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Edited By Piotr Stalmaszczyk

This book investigates philosophical and formal approaches to predication. The topics discussed include Aristotelian predication, a conceptualist approach to predication, possible formalizations of the notion, Fregean predicates and concepts, and Meinongian predication. The contributions discuss the approaches proposed by Aristotle and Frege, as well as the division of classes into a hierarchy of orders. They reanalyze the traditional notions, and offer new insights into predication theory. This book contributes to contemporary debates on predication and predicates in the philosophy of language.

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The Sense of a Predicate (Mieszko Tałasiewicz)

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Mieszko Tałasiewicz­

University of Warsaw

The Sense of a Predicate1

Abstract: The paper examines the notion of the sense of a predicate, as stemming from Frege, in the light of the controversy between Dummett and Geach as to whether the sense of a predicate is a way of getting to the reference of the predicate or rather a function from senses of names to senses of sentences. Several Fregean principles are discussed (Functoriality Principle, Principle of Mediating Sense, Compositionality Principle) as well as the distinction of simple and complex predicates (Dummettian version of this distinction being quite distinct from Fregean one). The conclusion of the paper is that Functoriality Principle can be simultaneously applied with Principle of Mediating Sense, so that the surface form of the Dummett-Geach controversy dissolves. However, Compositionality Principle cannot be held simultaneously with Functoriality Principle, so that there arises a question which principle is worth keeping in the first place. The paper argues that Functoriality Principle should stay, because there is no other sensible way to obtain what it gives us (namely, the unity of the proposition); while there are alternative ways of explaining facts that in Fregean framework were explained through Compositionality Principle (namely, the meanings of complex phrases). Those ways require moving forward from Fregean framework, though, as they essentially involve situation semantics. Un-Fregean as it is, it is a solution.

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