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.
Predication and Rule-Following (Peter Hanks)
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University of Minnesota
Predication and Rule-Following
Abstract: According to the traditional view, propositions are the primary bearers of truth conditions. We latch onto propositions by entertaining them, and then deploy them in various ways in our thoughts and utterances. The truth conditions of our thoughts and utterances are then derived from the truth conditions of propositions. This raises the question of whether we can explain how propositions themselves have truth conditions, which is one form of the problem of the unity of the proposition. Attempts at solving this problem end in a philosophically unsatisfying account of representation in thought and language, in which propositions and our relations to them are all taken as primitive and sui generis. In my book Propositional Content (Hanks 2015a) I developed a theory that reverses the traditional order of explanation. According to this theory, acts of predication are the primary bearers of truth conditions. Propositions are types of these actions, which derive their truth conditions from their tokens. This puts acts of predication at the heart of the philosophical explanation of representation, content, and truth. Acts of predication are acts in which we sort or categorize objects according to properties. Through their satisfaction conditions, properties provide the correctness conditions for these acts. For example, an act of predicating the property of being blue of an object is correct just in case that object satisfies that property. By providing correctness conditions, properties thus play...
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