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Statement versus proposition

 
 
fast
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 11:56 am
The purpose of this thread is to explore the difference between statements and propositions.

One observation I'd like to make is that people make and give statements. I know people make statements because I've heard them do it, and I know people give statements, for I heard on television where cops have said, "the witnesses have already given their statements." Never have I heard where we make or give propositions, so because the terms aren't used as if they are universally exchangeable, I'm of the opinion that there is at least some difference between statements and propositions.

A proposition is what is expressed by a sentence, and people use sentences to make statements, and what else is a statement if not the proposition expressed by the sentence? If there is a distinction between statements and propositions, I suspect that it's subtle, but be that as it may, the purpose of this thread is to explore the subtle differences so that we can successfully tell them apart.

I suspect that getting at the difference between statements and propositions will be difficult-just as it was when I was trying to get at the difference between definitions and meaning.
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Owen phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 01:01 am
@fast,
fast;168620 wrote:
The purpose of this thread is to explore the difference between statements and propositions.


One observation I'd like to make is that people make and give statements. I know people make statements because I've heard them do it, and I know people give statements, for I heard on television where cops have said, "the witnesses have already given their statements." Never have I heard where we make or give propositions, so because the terms aren't used as if they are universally exchangeable, I'm of the opinion that there is at least some difference between statements and propositions.

A proposition is what is expressed by a sentence, and people use sentences to make statements, and what else is a statement if not the proposition expressed by the sentence? If there is a distinction between statements and propositions, I suspect that it's subtle, but be that as it may, the purpose of this thread is to explore the subtle differences so that we can successfully tell them apart.


I suspect that getting at the difference between statements and propositions will be difficult-just as it was when I was trying to get at the difference between definitions and meaning.


imo,
Sentences are expressions which express a thought.
Statements are declarative sentences.
Propositions are statements which are true or false.

Declarative sentences (statements) are a subset of sentences.
Propositions are a subset of statements.
That is to say, propositions are a subset of sentences.
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 05:06 am
@fast,
fast;168620 wrote:
Never have I heard where we make or give propositions
"He propositioned her", an invitation for sex, "I have a business proposition for you", self explanatory. You never heard these?
0 Replies
 
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 06:11 am
@fast,
You seem to be just talking about the normal english meaning of the words. Why don't you just look them up in a dictionary then?

statement - Wiktionary
proposition - Wiktionary
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 07:15 am
@fast,
The distinction between statement and proposition may be important depending upon how each has been defined by individual philosophers or upon how one wishes to define it in an attempt to clarify one's one thinking.
Even if one were to begin to explore the subject with common definitions, ordinary usage, and historical origins, it seems that thinking about the two words would eventually lead to a very precise and philosophical definition that might prove valuable.
0 Replies
 
fast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 07:17 am
@Emil,
[QUOTE=Emil;171684]You seem to be just talking about the normal english meaning of the words. Why don't you just look them up in a dictionary then?

statement - Wiktionary
proposition - Wiktionary[/QUOTE]

The dictionary is only the starting point. The role of the philosopher isn't over until the problem has been successfully addressed.

Philosophy (just like many other disciplines) make use of technical terms, but philosophers are expected to be able to readily explain their technical terms in plain language. Often times, there are not plain ole layman terms available to convey in ease a particular concept a philosopher may have, so technical terms are used to aid the philosopher in the many distinctions she uses.

I think maybe you have highlighted something for me I didn't see before. I am trying to compare "proposition" to "statement" (but of course, not as Ughaibu has recently used "proposition"), but I may very well be comparing a technical term ("proposition")to an non-technical term (statement).

Doesn't philosophers commonly use the term, "statement" (but in a technical way)?

---------- Post added 06-01-2010 at 09:21 AM ----------

jgweed;171694 wrote:
The distinction between statement and proposition may be important depending upon how each has been defined by individual philosophers or upon how one wishes to define it in an attempt to clarify one's one thinking.
Your theory of meaning is different than mine.

---------- Post added 06-01-2010 at 09:28 AM ----------

Owen;171635 wrote:

Declarative sentences (statements) are a subset of sentences.
Propositions are a subset of statements.
That is to say, propositions are a subset of sentences.


A declarative sentence is a kind of sentence. I wouldn't say that a proposition is a subset of sentences any more than I would say that the meaning of a word is a subset of a word.
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 10:00 am
@fast,
fast;171695 wrote:


The dictionary is only the starting point. The role of the philosopher isn't over until the problem has been successfully addressed.

Philosophy (just like many other disciplines) make use of technical terms, but philosophers are expected to be able to readily explain their technical terms in plain language. Often times, there are not plain ole layman terms available to convey in ease a particular concept a philosopher may have, so technical terms are used to aid the philosopher in the many distinctions she uses.

I think maybe you have highlighted something for me I didn't see before. I am trying to compare "proposition" to "statement" (but of course, not as Ughaibu has recently used "proposition"), but I may very well be comparing a technical term ("proposition")to an non-technical term (statement).

Doesn't philosophers commonly use the term, "statement" (but in a technical way)?


Careful with comparing non-technical uses of "proposition" and "statement" with technical uses of the same words. That would result in a lot of confusion.

AFAIK some philosophers use both for various uses and it is not clear what they mean. I use these words with these meanings:


  • Proposition =df what is expressed/conveyed by a certain subset of sentences.
  • Sentence =df a collection of words.

Note that people often define "proposition" in relation to declarative sentences, but I think some other sentences also express propositions. (Mainly question-sentences.)

Note that in relation to linguistics "sentence" is defined sometimes with the implication of meaningfulness. I don't know what they call meaningless collections of words then. This is because "word" is sometimes defined with the implication of meaningfulness. I don't define "word" that way. I define "word" as a collection of letters/characters. So, a sentence in my usage is a collection of collections of letters/characters.

I do not use the word "statement" in philosophy. Some people take it to mean proposition (which is also defined differently, see Owen's post above) and other times to mean sentence (or perhaps some subset of sentences).

The lesson to be learned here is that these words have many different meanings and it is utterly important to define them before using them.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 10:36 am
@Emil,
[QUOTE=Emil;171736]Careful with comparing non-technical uses of "proposition" and "statement" with technical uses of the same words. That would result in a lot of confusion.[/QUOTE]I didn't think I was doing that. The word "proposition" may have several meanings (technical and otherwise), but the meaning I'm mostly interested in is the technical meaning often used in philosophical discussions. In those discussions, we also use the word "statement." If there is a technical use of the word "statement," I'd like to know what it is and how it's different than the technical meaning of the word, "proposition." Otherwise, I'd be happy simply knowing the difference between "proposition" (the technical sense) and "statement" (the non-technical sense-since there isn't any other).

[QUOTE]
Proposition =df what is expressed/conveyed by a certain subset of sentences.
Sentence =df a collection of words.
[/QUOTE]I think the first is skewed and the second extremely narrow.

Why would you think that a proposition is a subset (a subset?) of sentences? By the way, and without using the word "proposition", what exactly do you think is expressed by sentences anyway? I think it may be meaning (what is meant by what is said), but I might be in error.

A sentence is certainly more than a collection of words. By the way, we're not talking about sentences--although if need be, we can. I'm interested in statements as contrasted with propositions.

[QUOTE]I do not use the word "statement" in philosophy.[/QUOTE]

I've heard you say similar things in the past, and I feel you shouldn't avoid words that can be legitimately used just because people can become confused by them. Wanting to avoid confusion is a good thing, but still, not everyone is so easily confused, and if you venture upon someone that is confused by what you say, then your recourse could be to explain the confusion-which wouldn't be of your own making but instead their misunderstanding.

If that doesn't work, then if you like, temporarily suspend your use of the word in that single conversation, but don't self impose hard and fast rules about not using words, especially if their use is legitimate. Just sayin'. Smile
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 10:48 am
@fast,
fast;168620 wrote:
The purpose of this thread is to explore the difference between statements and propositions.

One observation I'd like to make is that people make and give statements. I know people make statements because I've heard them do it, and I know people give statements, for I heard on television where cops have said, "the witnesses have already given their statements." Never have I heard where we make or give propositions, so because the terms aren't used as if they are universally exchangeable, I'm of the opinion that there is at least some difference between statements and propositions.

A proposition is what is expressed by a sentence, and people use sentences to make statements, and what else is a statement if not the proposition expressed by the sentence? If there is a distinction between statements and propositions, I suspect that it's subtle, but be that as it may, the purpose of this thread is to explore the subtle differences so that we can successfully tell them apart.

I suspect that getting at the difference between statements and propositions will be difficult-just as it was when I was trying to get at the difference between definitions and meaning.


"Go outside" is a statement but it is not a proposition. There are imperative statements and declarative statements but only declarative statements express propositions.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 11:43 am
@Night Ripper,
[QUOTE=Night Ripper;171742]"Go outside" is a statement but it is not a proposition. There are imperative statements and declarative statements but only declarative statements express propositions.[/QUOTE]

If I order you to go outside by uttering the imperative sentence, "Go outside," then I have not uttered a sentence that expresses a proposition, since a command is neither true nor false (and propositions are true or false).

We should be careful not to confuse statements with sentences. There are four kinds of sentences: 1) declarative, 2) interrogatory, 3) imperative, and 4) exclamatory. I do not think it's proper to label statements as imperative, but I might be mistaken.

Also, we shouldn't confuse the sentence with an utterance of a sentence.

Suppose the utterance of the sentence, "Go outside" is a statement (in common usage), that doesn't mean that the technical use of the term "statement" would include the utterance of imperative sentences.
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 01:15 pm
@fast,
Fast wrote:
I didn't think I was doing that. The word "proposition" may have several meanings (technical and otherwise), but the meaning I'm mostly interested in is the technical meaning often used in philosophical discussions. In those discussions, we also use the word "statement." If there is a technical use of the word "statement," I'd like to know what it is and how it's different than the technical meaning of the word, "proposition." Otherwise, I'd be happy simply knowing the difference between "proposition" (the technical sense) and "statement" (the non-technical sense-since there isn't any other).


I didn't say you were. Smile

The meanings of the words in non-technical sense is easy. Just look at the links I gave before. Technical usage is harder but not impossible. Use a philosophical dictionary instead or read an entry about the usage in philosophical context. Try this.

Proposition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But better try this.

Propositions (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

For a short read, see this.

Philosophical Dictionary: Price-Pythagoras

Link wrote:
What is conveyed by a declarative sentence used to make a statement or assertion. Each proposition is either true or false, though in a particular instance we may not know which it is.


Fast wrote:
I think the first is skewed and the second extremely narrow.

Why would you think that a proposition is a subset (a subset?) of sentences? By the way, and without using the word "proposition", what exactly do you think is expressed by sentences anyway? I think it may be meaning (what is meant by what is said), but I might be in error.

A sentence is certainly more than a collection of words. By the way, we're not talking about sentences--although if need be, we can. I'm interested in statements as contrasted with propositions.
A skeweddefinition? What does that even mean?

Well, some people define propositions as what is expressed by declarative sentences but that fails to capture those expressed by question sentences (in my view such sentences also express propositions). Perhaps one could go with proposition =df what is expressed by cognitively meaningful sentences. Depending on how exactly these definitions are made, some circularity may result.

What is expressed is an abstract object (= nonspatiotemporal object) that is the primary carrier of truth values. Some propositions are complex and some are simple. What propositions consist of is harder to answer, for a good try see Swartz (1979), the chapter entitled something like "A speculative theory of propositions".

The second one is not narrow at all. It is actually very broad. Check the definitions used on grammar. A common definition is "A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop." (From Wiktionary)

Fast wrote:
I've heard you say similar things in the past, and I feel you shouldn't avoid words that can be legitimately used just because people can become confused by them. Wanting to avoid confusion is a good thing, but still, not everyone is so easily confused, and if you venture upon someone that is confused by what you say, then your recourse could be to explain the confusion-which wouldn't be of your own making but instead their misunderstanding.

If that doesn't work, then if you like, temporarily suspend your use of the word in that single conversation, but don't self impose hard and fast rules about not using words, especially if their use is legitimate. Just sayin'. Smile


There is nothing I need to convey using the word "statement" that I cannot convey with words such as "sentence", "proposition", "word". There is no need for it for me. That and it is rarely if ever defined clearly. Why would I use such a word? It is very much like the word pair "objective" and "subjective". I almost never use them either since what I need to convey can be done by other words better.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:20 pm
@Emil,
[QUOTE]The second one is not narrow at all. It is actually very broad.[/QUOTE]Yeah, that's what I meant to say, LOL!

[QUOTE=Emil;171768]Well, some people define propositions as what is expressed by declarative sentences [/QUOTE]I've heard of a few different stipulative definitions for the term "proposition", but being a stipulative definition isn't a sufficient condition of being a technical definition. I think given some time, I could come up with a good stipulative definition for the term, but it'll reflect my views on what it means, yet the slightest difference between my stipulative definition and the technical definition commonly used by fluent users of the technical term will render my use as incorrect if I try to pawn it off as how it's ordinarily used by fluent speakers of that technical term.

Although I'll sometimes cite that definition, I do actually have a number of problems with it. First and foremost, I would absolutely scrap the use of the word "what." I think it's terribly uninformative. Secondly, when I say that a proposition is ..., I will be using the is of identity. Third, I'd work on the other problems one of which is the fact not all declarative sentences express propositions. Another problem is the fact that some sentences that are not declarative sentences can actually express a proposition. I think the fact propositions are true or false needs to be informatively incorporated into the definition. In addition, a much better grip needs to have been gotten on just what the heck "what" refers to.

Furthermore, there's something else going on that I can't quite put my finger on. There's an air of implied dependency, as if the sentence is somehow a requirement for the existence of propositions (this issue hasn't been settled, as far as I know). In analogy, yes, Jupiter is something that is viewed through a telescope (just as a proposition is something expressed by a sentence), but what Jupiter is is independent of telescopes, but it's not at all clear (given how the definition is worded) whether or not sentences are a necessary condition for propositions.

[QUOTE]What is expressed is an abstract object (= nonspatiotemporal object) that is the primary carrier of truth values. Some propositions are complex and some are simple. What propositions consist of is harder to answer, for a good try see Swartz (1979), the chapter entitled something like "A speculative theory of propositions".[/QUOTE]

Abstract? I can see why you'd say they are without location (so possibly quasi abstract), but why do you think they are non-temporal (and thus abstract)?

Either way, I still think "what" is terribly uninformative. Well, poorly informative rather.

I used the analogy before about how I would hate for someone to define "baseball" as something hit by a baseball bat; moreover, I would hate for someone to define "proposition" as something expressed by a sentence, since "something" (much like "what") isn't very helpful. Of course, it's not defined as something expressed by a sentence but instead what is expressed by a sentence (I'm just using the short version definition for brevity), but both are equally (and poorly) informative.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 04:33 pm
@fast,
fast wrote:
I would hate for someone to define "proposition" as something expressed by a sentence


A proposition is a truth-bearer; it describes a truth or falsity about the world. I'm assuming this won't suffice, but there it is.
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 05:18 pm
@Zetherin,
Hi Fast,

Fast wrote:
I've heard of a few different stipulative definitions for the term "proposition", but being a stipulative definition isn't a sufficient condition of being a technical definition. I think given some time, I could come up with a good stipulative definition for the term, but it'll reflect my views on what it means, yet the slightest difference between my stipulative definition and the technical definition commonly used by fluent users of the technical term will render my use as incorrect if I try to pawn it off as how it's ordinarily used by fluent speakers of that technical term.


There is NO single definition used by philosophers (= fluent users of the technical term). Quoting SEP in the before linked article. There is no single meaning that you are looking for. There is also a lot of somewhat related meanings of the technical usage of "proposition". That may be unsatisfying but it is the truth.

SEP wrote:
The term 'proposition' has a broad use in contemporary philosophy. It is used to refer to some or all of the following: the primary bearers of truth-value, the objects of belief and other "propositional attitudes" (i.e., what is believed, doubted, etc.), the referents of that-clauses, and the meanings of sentences.


Fast wrote:
Although I'll sometimes cite that definition, I do actually have a number of problems with it. First and foremost, I would absolutely scrap the use of the word "what." I think it's terribly uninformative.


Maybe it is terribly uninformative and you can try with odd analogies if you wish, but the fact remains that without propositions it is terribly hard to deal with certain problems, especially related to truth carriers. Hence why many if not most philosophers simply bite the sour apple (so to speak) and accept propositions. Quoting Swartz (not "Schwartz" as Ken very often writes!):

Swartz wrote:
Although I generally prefer negative theories - those which posit as few unempirical concepts* as possible - my own leanings in this
23 particular case are toward Realism. My attraction to the theory is bolstered by one further consideration: I can see no way to account for the existence of certain items, e.g. pieces of music, plays, and novels, other than by conceiving of them as abstract entities. Here I am considerably influenced by the arguments of C.E.M. Joad (1891-1953).
Joad argued ([105], 267-70) that the play Hamlet, for example, could not reasonably be identified with any particular in the world: neither 24 with an idea in Shakespeare 's mind, nor with any manuscript he wrote, nor with any printed edition of the text, nor with any particular production, nor with any audio or video recording of any particular production. F r Hamlet could exist even if any one or several of these were not to exist. While Joad, himself, rightly expressed some diffidence about his own arguments, I think that they add considerable impetus to a theory which would posit abstract entities.
Although I am a Realist, I am a reluctant Realist. F r, to be frank, there is something exceedingly peculiar about positing entities which exist (subsist) outside of space and time. I, personally, would prefer a theory which could dispense with such mysterious entities. But I find the problems inherent in the various anti-Realist theories even more troubling. Realism is simply the better, in my estimation, of the available theories. But, like many other Realists, I do not much care for Realism. Recently one of my colleagues professed his repudiation of Realism by saying that he found the positing of abstract entities " unintelligible ". I share his displeasure. But I find myself unable to adopt his own anti-Realist position because I cannot in turn believe that the anti-Realist theories provide any better answer or that they can be developed without themselves having to posit at least some abstract entities.



Norman Swartz, Beyond Experience, pp. 270-272, available online for free.


Fast wrote:
Secondly, when I say that a proposition is ..., I will be using the is of identity. Third, I'd work on the other problems one of which is the fact not all declarative sentences express propositions.


As for not all declarative sentences expressing propositions, that depends on what "sentence" means. Some definitions of "sentence" implies meaningfulness. If so, one has to ask: Do all meaningful declarative sentences express propositions? I am inclined to think that the answer is "yes". At least, I cannot this moment think of a counter-example.

Fast wrote:
Another problem is the fact that some sentences that are not declarative sentences can actually express a proposition.


This I agree with but I think that it is an uncommon view. At least, I've never seen anyone else say this.

Fast wrote:
I think the fact propositions are true or false needs to be informatively incorporated into the definition. In addition, a much better grip needs to have been gotten on just what the heck "what" refers to.


Actually that would be a very bad idea since it would beg the question against gap-theories and maybe dialetheists too depending on the precise formulation. The definition needs to not beg the question, that should be obvious.

Fast wrote:
Furthermore, there's something else going on that I can't quite put my finger on. There's an air of implied dependency, as if the sentence is somehow a requirement for the existence of propositions (this issue hasn't been settled, as far as I know). In analogy, yes, Jupiter is something that is viewed through a telescope (just as a proposition is something expressed by a sentence), but what Jupiter is is independent of telescopes, but it's not at all clear (given how the definition is worded) whether or not sentences are a necessary condition for propositions.


Maybe not, but I'd say that almost all persons that accept propositions think they are abstract objects. That answers your question about dependencies. Abstract objects exist necessarily.

Fast wrote:
Abstract? I can see why you'd say they are without location (so possibly quasi abstract), but why do you think they are non-temporal (and thus abstract)?


It is a technical term. See SEP

Abstract Objects (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Try to frame a theory with truth carriers as temporal and you will find many problems. Most of the problems I know are nicely solved by truth carriers being non-temporal. Though it is not that uncommon to believe that truth carriers are temporal cf. the tomorrow's sea battle (a famous problem) about future contingent truth carriers.

Some other problems with temporal truth carriers are mentioned here

http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/swartz/propositions.htm

and in the book referred to at the bottom.

Fast wrote:
I used the analogy before about how I would hate for someone to define "baseball" as something hit by a baseball bat; moreover, I would hate for someone to define "proposition" as something expressed by a sentence, since "something" (much like "what") isn't very helpful. Of course, it's not defined as something expressed by a sentence but instead what is expressed by a sentence (I'm just using the short version definition for brevity), but both are equally (and poorly) informative.


I dislike analogies. I'll just ignore this one.

---------- Post added 06-02-2010 at 01:20 AM ----------

Zetherin;171801 wrote:
A proposition is a truth-bearer; it describes a truth or falsity about the world. I'm assuming this won't suffice, but there it is.


This begs the question against gap-theories. See my post above to Fast as he proposed a definition with the same problem.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:26 am
@fast,
fast;171755 wrote:
There are four kinds of sentences: 1) declarative, 2) interrogatory, 3) imperative, and 4) exclamatory. I do not think it's proper to label statements as imperative, but I might be mistaken.


A statement is anything that is stated rather than asked. So, that includes everything but interrogatives.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:29 am
@fast,
Emil wrote:
This begs the question against gap-theories. See my post above to Fast as he proposed a definition with the same problem.


I read your response to fast, but I do not know how it is begging the question. I suppose I would have to do more research on "gap-theories".
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:52 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;172149 wrote:
I read your response to fast, but I do not know how it is begging the question. I suppose I would have to do more research on "gap-theories".
Dialetheism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
0 Replies
 
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 12:35 pm
@Zetherin,
[QUOTE=Zetherin;171801]A proposition is a truth-bearer; it describes a truth or falsity about the world. I'm assuming this won't suffice, but there it is.[/QUOTE]

No, a fact is a truth-bearer. A truth (aka a fact) (aka a truth-bearer) is what makes a proposition true. Notice I said a truth (as opposed to the truth). The truth (or just truth) is a true proposition.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 12:43 pm
@fast,
fast;172166 wrote:


No, a fact is a truth-bearer. A truth (aka a fact) (aka a truth-bearer) is what makes a proposition true. Notice I said a truth (as opposed to the truth). The truth (or just truth) is a true proposition.


A fact is a state of affairs. There's no true or false involved. There's no such thing as a true fact or a false fact. Facts are the way things are. They are what make some propositions true though.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 01:06 pm
@Emil,
[QUOTE=Emil;171813]There is NO single definition used by philosophers (= fluent users of the technical term). Quoting SEP in the before linked article. There is no single meaning that you are looking for. There is also a lot of somewhat related meanings of the technical usage of "proposition". That may be unsatisfying but it is the truth.[/QUOTE]Very unsatisfying. I don't aim to know how any particular philosopher may use the term. I want to use the term and know that I'm using it correctly and not be simply adhering to a particular person's stipulative use.

[QUOTE]Maybe it is terribly uninformative and you can try with odd analogies if you wish, but the fact remains that without propositions it is terribly hard to deal with certain problems, especially related to truth carriers. Hence why many if not most philosophers simply bite the sour apple (so to speak) and accept propositions. Quoting Swartz (not "Schwartz" as Ken very often writes!): [/QUOTE]Actually, I have no qualms with speaking as if there are propositions (though I'd prefer there be propositions if I do). I just want to be able to call people out (and be right) when someone misuses the term.

Earlier, I mentioned that the truth is a true proposition, and I believe in truth, so I believe in propositions, so I have already bitten the bullet (or apple, as you put it), but just what a proposition is hasn't been dealt with to my satisfaction. What we need is an analysis.

[QUOTE]As for not all declarative sentences expressing propositions, that depends on what "sentence" means. Some definitions of "sentence" implies meaningfulness. If so, one has to ask: Do all meaningful declarative sentences express propositions? I am inclined to think that the answer is "yes". At least, I cannot this moment think of a counter-example. [/QUOTE]I don't think all sentences are cognitively meaningful, nor do I think all sentences are meaningful, so I don't think "sentence" implies meaningfulness.

I do think all cognitively meaningful declarative sentences express propositions (or at least we express them with sentences), but whether or not all meaningful declarative sentences express propositions is hard to tell. I suspect not, but then again, I can't come up with a counter-example either.

[QUOTE]This I agree with but I think that it is an uncommon view. At least, I've never seen anyone else say this.[/QUOTE]Some rhetorical questions may be used to make statements that are either true or false.

[QUOTE]Maybe not, but I'd say that almost all persons that accept propositions think they are abstract objects. That answers your question about dependencies. Abstract objects exist necessarily.[/QUOTE]Many people also think concepts (mental concepts, that is) are abstract objects, but they are wrong about that. Many concepts form during childhood, for example. They are temporal--not non-temporal.

I think a proposition is to a sentence much like a lexical meaning is to a word. Neither the meaning of a sentence nor the meaning of a word have location, but they do exist temporally.

---------- Post added 06-02-2010 at 03:11 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Night Ripper;172169]A fact is a state of affairs. [/QUOTE]Yes, that too.

A truth; fact; state of affairs; truth-bearer;

[QUOTE]There's no true or false involved.[/QUOTE]If things are the way they are, then it's true that they are the way they are. All facts are true. To say of a fact that it's true is to be redundant.
 

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