[hist-analytic] Kripke on the A priori and A posteriori

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sat Nov 14 09:22:32 EST 2009



I'm still immersed in colors and Kripke, so I can offer only 
a very modest response to your suggestion. 



The relevant link to consider, if this is your take on 
propositions, is that between worlds and propositions. One 
widely considered view is that a proposition is a sort of 
mapping from worlds to truth values. This is a good suggestion 
as long as we're doing algebra. But how do we approach the 
question: "What is the relation between an actual thought 
and the proposition which supplies the content of a thought?" 
Propositions don't occur in time, but thoughts do. What, then, 
is the relation of this algebraic device to the actual thoughts 
of a given individual? It has become fashionable to reject 
such questions a "merely" psychological, but this is not a 
good answer. It is a bad way of dodging the real philosophy. 
To be sure there is a role for abstract (timeless) entities 
in semantics, but the place of semantics in understanding the 
nature of the mind is, I think, more fundamental than semantics, 
philosophically speaking. In a world without minds, there is 
no language (beyond "System S" - that sort of thing); in a world 
without language no propositions. Then there is a problem with 
the relation of facts and propositions. Are we going to embrace 
propositions but reject facts?! I find that a dubious proposal, 
but it may not be part of your proposal. It is a popular view, 
unfortunately. 



We'll get to analyticity and, therefore, the nature of necessity 
and propositions. One big problem is going to be domonstratives. 
But this is the first link between minds, contexts, and propositions 
addressing the issues I would raise. 



By the way, I just got software called "Coffee Cup." I'm finally 

beginning to upgrade the hist-analytic website. So far this is the onl 

software of its kind I've been able to understand with little effort. 



When people bring in context after a hearty breakfast of what is more or 

less set theory, I begin to wonder if maybe something has gone wrong. 

A bunch of subscripts ala Montague is no substitute for an analysis of 

context. 



Regards 



Steve 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger Bishop Jones" <rbj at rbjones.com> 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com 
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 5:11:20 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Re: Kripke on the A priori and A posteriori 

On Wednesday 11 November 2009 16:00:52 Baynesr at comcast.net wrote: 

> ... what do you take a proposition to be? 

I use proposition to mean the meaning of a sentence in some language given 
sufficient context to disambiguate the sentence. 
It doesn't matter for my arguments exactly what a proposition is and I allow 
that to be language specific, but it is essential for the concept of 
analyticity as defined by carnap that propositions fully encompass all that is 
determinate about the truth conditions of the sentence in the relevant 
context.  This includes the domain of the truth conditions, i.e. the relevant 
notion of possible world (which also I allow to be language specific for 
present purposes). 

Roger 
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