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Acts and Alternative Analyses

Båve, Arvid (2019) Acts and Alternative Analyses. The Journal of Philosophy, 116 (4). pp. 181-205. ISSN 0022-362X. E-ISSN 1939-8549. (doi:10.5840/jphil2019116412) (KAR id:79210)

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I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] of John. Since the two properties are distinct, so are the act types. Hence, the sentence expresses two propositions. I also discuss a non-standard “pluralist” act-type theory, as well as some retreat positions, which all come with considerable problems. Finally, I extrapolate to a general constraint on theories of structured propositions, and find that Jeffrey King’s theory has the same unacceptable consequence as the act-type theory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5840/jphil2019116412
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Arvid Bave
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2019 15:23 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Båve, Arvid:
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