Topic: sentences, propositions, and truth

topics > philosophy > Group: meaning and truth

natural language

abstraction as part of language
analytic truth
empirical truth
meaning vs. reference
meaning without reference
natural language as a system
semantic truth; s iff p
what is truth


A proposition is the logical content of a sentence. It depends on the entire sentence and on the context in which the sentence was used. It is either true or false depending on its agreement with reality. The agreement depends on the references made by the proposition.

One can diagram a proposition.

Sentences do not have to have a truth value. (cbb 5/94)

Subtopic: proposition, predicate up

Quote: logical propositions are best treated as schemata for true statements [»quinWV2_1947]
Quote: a predicate results when one or more singular terms are removed from a sentence [»dummM_1967]
Quote: every proposition is reducible to one which attributes a predicate to a subject [»russB_1937]
Quote: understanding predicates leads to an understanding of concepts
Quote: only the whole of a conditional statement contains a proposition that is true or false [»fregG_1892]
Quote: some propositions are true and some are false; same as asserting and denying or nodding and shaking the head; this is done often [»wittL_1939]

Subtopic: proposition vs. statement up

Quote: sentences do not have truth-values; propositions do [»martAP_1990]
Quote: proposition vs. statement--a proposition has a truth value while a statement is a proposition whose truth a speaker has committed to [»martAP_1990]
Note: the logical form of a sentence can differ from the syntax; it makes explicit the truth conditional structure of a proposition [»russB_1956, OK]

Subtopic: sentence as meaning up

Quote: it is only in the context of a sentence that a word has meaning [»dummM_1967]
Quote: the truth of a sentence consists in its agreement with reality; Aristotle [»tarsA_1944]
Quote: the truth of a sentence is relative to a person and a time; also vicinity and improper descriptions [»daviD_1967]

Subtopic: truth conditions up

Quote: the meaning of a word depends on truth-conditions (i.e., how it is used); not on the mental images it may arouse; Frege rejected psychologism [»dummM_1967]
Quote: Frege only considers that which influences the consequences of a judgment, i.e., its affirmation or denial
Quote: a declarative sentence gets its meaning by virtue of its truth conditions; basic idea of Tractatus
Quote: subject/predicate sentences categorize things; a subject denotes an object and a predicate identifies a category; true if the object fits [»martAP_1990]
Quote: a sentence is true if it is satisfied by all objects, and false otherwise; start with simplest sentential functions and then compound functions [»tarsA_1944]
Quote: a sentence is true or false only if the nominata of its components are true or false; the value is invariant under different senses [»fregG_1892]
Quote: truth is a special case of reference, and reference (not sense) is what matters to truth

Subtopic: quantification up

Quote: unrestricted quantification is only useful for truth functions; e.g., mathematics [»quinWV_1947]

Subtopic: graphical view of proposition up

Quote: Peirce's system of existential graphs visually displayed an assertion and its logical structure [»lehmF12_1988]

Subtopic: proper name vs. predicate up

Quote: objects and concepts are totally different since proper names and predicates are totally different

Subtopic: limits of substitutivity up

Quote: can not replace a clause with one of the same truth-value if it expresses only part of a proposition, or it is also part of another proposition [»fregG_1892]

Related Topics up

Group: natural language   (16 topics, 539 quotes)

Topic: abstraction as part of language (18 items)
Topic: analytic truth (51 items)
Topic: empirical truth (47 items)
Topic: logic (84 items)
Topic: meaning vs. reference (49 items)
Topic: meaning without reference (31 items)
Topic: natural language as a system (43 items)
Topic: reductionism (51 items)
Topic: semantic truth; s iff p (34 items)
Topic: what is truth
(67 items)

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