This talk addresses the unity of the structured atomic proposition that a is an F. I address both the metaphysical problem of how multiple, heterogeneous parts are unified into one whole that has features none of its parts have, as well as how to decompose the whole back into its parts, and the semantic problem of how propositions are related to truth-conditions. I analyze both an empirical and a non-empirical (e.g. mathematical) variant of the proposition that a is an F; for instance, that Pluto is a planet, and that two is prime. The solutions I offer are developed within a realist procedural semantics (Transparent Intensional Logic), which identifies meanings with procedures for obtaining output objects from input objects. My general approach is broadly Fregean, but makes do without the notion of unsaturated objects. I demonstrate how predication holds the key to the unity of at least atomic propositions. Predication is modelled as an instance of the logical procedure of functional application. 

 

  • Suggested background readings:

 1. B. Jespersen: Recent work on structured meaning and propositional

unity, Philosophy Compass, vol. 7 (2012), 620-30.

 2. M. Duží and B. Jespersen: Transparent quantification into hyperintensional objectual attitudes, Synthese, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014-0578-z, 1-43.

 3. L. Keller: The metaphysics of propositional constituency, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 43 (2013), 655-78.