The Pragmatic Definition of Proposition in Terms of Assertion or Assertability

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 98)


We saw that Johnson defined the proposition as that of which one can predicate the ‘true’ and the ‘false’. But, this distinction has its roots in another, according to that author, the distinction between the correct and erroneous:

Thus, though we may predicate of a certain proposition… that it is true or that it is false, what this ultimately means is, that any and every thinker who might at any time assert the proposition would be either exempt or not exempt from error.1

As the distinction between correct and mistaken appears fundamental to him, Johnson constructs a new definition of the proposition whose role is to bring out the relations between the proposition and the assertion.


Propositional Content Declarative Sentence Illocutionary Force Hypothetical Statement Assertion Sign 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyState University of LiègeBelgium

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