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The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 6, 2000

Analytic Philosophy and Logic

João Branquinho
Pages 17-27

On the Individuation of Fregean Propositions

My aim is to sketch a principle of individuation which is intended to serve the Fregean notion of a proposition, a notion I take for granted. A salient feature of Fregean propositions, i.e., complexes of modes of presentation of objects (individuals, properties), is that they are finegrained items, so fine-grained that even synonymous sentences might express different Fregean propositions. My starting point is the principle labelled by Gareth Evans the Intuitive Criterion of Difference, which states that it is impossible coherently to take conflicting mental attitudes to the same proposition. As a logical truth (a consequence of Leibniz’s Law), this is a synchronic principle, the application of which is restricted to attitudes held at a single time. I argue that such a restriction might be reasonably lifted and, on the basis of an adequate notion of attitude-retention, I propose an admissible diachronic extension of the principle.

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