Proposition query

Ron Kuzar kuzar at RESEARCH.HAIFA.AC.IL
Mon Jan 26 09:37:12 UTC 2009

> I don't think everyday language has any definite notion of what a
> proposition is. The concept is hard enough to pin down within the
> clear limits of a philosophical or linguistic theory.

You misunderstood me on this. The word proposition is a regular word in English.
Take the following text as an example:

When I was back there in
seminary school
There was a person there
Who put forth the proposition
That you can petition the Lord
with prayer.
Petition the Lord with prayer
Petition the Lord with prayer
You cannot petition the Lord
with prayer!!!!! 
(The Doors - for those who remember)

The content of the "proposition" is: "you can petition the Lord with prayer". This is a sentence.
The content of the proposition (the everyday proposition) can't be "The petitioning of the Lord with prayer". This is not a proposition.
I use the same criterion for the scholarly term "proposition".
> Although, in any case, I believ
e the use of truth values for
> linguistic analysis is quite limited at best

Yes, you are right. Here is what I wrote to Tahir in a personal communication:
I agree. My usage of truth value was rash. I will say to my defence that "In some sense" was supposed to mitigate the seriousness of "truth value". I agree that the terms you are discussing are worthy of careful attention. I would still say that a proposition is an abstract entity extracted from sentences, i.e. expressions that contain predication.

Currently on sabbatical at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich,
Department of English,
Till February 28, 2009.
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                       Dr. Ron Kuzar
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                       University of Haifa
                       IL-31905 Haifa, Israel
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