This advanced level course will give an overview over both traditional and current theories of propositions. We will also survey arguments, of either semantic or of psychological character, that have been provided in the literature for these theories. We will cover


  • Fregean theories
  • Classical possible-worlds theories, metaphysical and epistemic
  • Diagonal proposition theories
  • Relativistic theories (temporal and centered propositions)
  • Structured propositions
  • Gappy proposition theories
  • Speech act theories


  • Arguments from intentionality and object-dependence
  • Arguments from meaning discrimination and belief contexts
  • Arguments from communication
  • Arguments from context dependence and self-ascription
  • Arguments from the semantics of index-shifting
  • Arguments from relativism
  • Arguments from action explanation
  • Arguments from compositionality, standard and general

The course will give 7.5 hp course credits.

Course plan: We will meet in D734, at 10-12, on the dates below.

19 April Introduction. Frege, Russell, and the classical possible-worlds proposition.
Texts: Frege 1892; Russell 1903, Chap. 4; Hylton 1992, Chap. 5
20 April The roles of the proposition. Compositionality. Assertoric content and
ingredient sense.
Texts: Dummett 1973, pp. 42-51; Lewis 1980; Pagin andWesterståhl 2010a.
3 May Kaplanian semantics and temporal propositions.
Texts: Kaplan 1989; Richard 1981; Brogaard 2012, Chaps. 1-3
4 May Centered-worlds propositions and diagonal propositions.
Texts: Stalnaker 1978; Lewis 1979; Chalmers 2006.
10 May Gappy propositions.
Texts: Braun 2005;Mousavian 2011; Schellenberg 2010.
11 May Structured propositions.
Texts: Jespersen 2012; King 2014b; King 2014a.
17 May Speech act accounts of propositions.
Texts: Soames 2014; Hanks 2015, Chaps. 3-4
18 May Classical propositions and Switcher semantics.
Glüer and Pagin 2006; Pagin and Westerståhl 2010b; Forbes 2011; Glüer
and Pagin 2012.


See  Courseplan (94 Kb) .