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Philosophy (especially philosophy of language and philosophy of mind), science (especially linguistics and cognitive science), and common sense all sometimes make reference to propositions--understood as the things we believe and say, and the things which are (primarily) true or false. There is, however, no widespread agreement about what sorts of things these entities are. In New Thinking about Propositions, Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames, and Jeff Speaks argue that commitment to propositions is indispensable, and that traditional accounts of propositions are inadequate. They each then defend their own views of the nature of propositions.
Jeffrey C. King is Professor II and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He is the author of Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account (MIT Press, 2001), and The Nature and Structure of Content (Clarendon Press, 2007).
Scott Soames is Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he taught for twenty-four years at Princeton University before moving to Southern California. He is the author of several books in the philosophy of language and the history of analytic philosophy.
Jeff Speaks is Rev. John A. O'Brien Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several articles in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Jeff Speaks
Part I - Common ground
1. What role do propositions play in our theories?, Jeffrey C. King
2. What's wrong with semantic theories which make no use of propositions?, Jeff Speaks
3. Why the traditional conceptions of propositions can't be correct, Scott Soames
Part II - Three theories of propositions
4. Naturalized propositions, Jeffrey C. King
5. Propositions are properties of everything or nothing, Jeff Speaks
6. A cognitive theory of propositions, Scott Soames
Part III - Critical essays
7. Criticism of Soames and Speaks, Jeffrey C. King
8. Representational entities and representational acts, Jeff Speaks
9. Critique of two views: propositions as properties & propositions as facts, Scott Soames
Part IV - Further thoughts
10. Reply to Speaks and Soames, Jeffrey C. King
11. Representation and structure in the theory of propositions, Jeff Speaks
12. Clarifying and improving the cognitive theory to meet its explanatory burden, Scott Soames