Propositions and cognitive relations

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Colleges, School and Institutes


There are two broad approaches to theorising about ontological categories. Quineans use first-order quantifiers to generalise over entities of each category, whereas type theorists use quantification on variables of different semantic types to generalise over different categories. Does anything of import turn on the difference between these approaches? If so, are there good reasons to go type-theoretic? I argue for positive answers to both questions concerning the category of propositions. I also discuss two prominent arguments for a Quinean conception of propositions, concerning their role in natural language semantics and apparent quantification over propositions within natural language. It will emerge that even if these arguments are sound, there need be no deep question about Quinean propositions’ true nature, contrary to much recent work on the metaphysics of propositions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-178
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelean Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2019