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Propositions


Guido Imaguire


Pages 455 - 460



There are many different definitions and characterisations of propositions. They are complex senses or intensions expressed by a sentence, assertive complexes of concepts and primary bearers of truth-values, referents of thatclauses, or sets of possible worlds. In most cases, they are characterised as objective non-mental and non-linguistic complexes, although they are grasped by a thinker and expressed by sentences. If propositions are wholes, they are clearly not aggregates, but structured wholes composed of parts, and they are often thought to be structured in a manner analogous to the way in which sentences are structured wholes composed of words. A mereological theory of propositions must have at least two parts: the mereology of simple, or atomic, propositions, and the mereology of complex, or molecular, propositions. In this entry both parts are treated as quite distinct. In the mereology of simple propositions I will assume sub-propositional parts (as the a and the F in the proposition a is F) as atoms and analyse how these constituents are unified in a proposition, whereas in the mereology of complex propositions I shall assume simple propositions as mereological atoms and analyse exclusively mereological relations between them (and eventually connectives). Of course, one could easily connect both, e.g. assuming that, by transitivity, if a is part of Fa and Fa part of FaGb, than a is part of FaGb.




1Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro



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