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Acts and Alternative Analyses
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7570-2697
2019 (English)In: Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0022-362X, E-ISSN 1939-8549, Vol. 116, no 4, p. 181-205Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] of John. Since the two properties are distinct, so are the act types. Hence, the sentence expresses two propositions. I also discuss a non-standard “pluralist” act-type theory, as well as some retreat positions, which all come with considerable problems. Finally, I extrapolate to a general constraint on theories of structured propositions, and find that Jeffrey King’s theory has the same unacceptable consequence as the act-type theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 116, no 4, p. 181-205
Keywords [en]
propositions, act-type theory, structured propositions, Soames, Frege, Dummett
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169023DOI: 10.5840/jphil2019116412ISI: 000465564000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169023DiVA, id: diva2:1318116
Available from: 2019-05-26 Created: 2019-05-26 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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