Ideas of George Bealer, by Theme

[American, fl. 2002, University of Colorado, Boulder]

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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive
Maybe proper names have the content of fixing a thing's category
     Full Idea: Some say that proper names have no descriptive content, but others think that although a name does not have the right sort of descriptive content which fixes a unique referent, it has a content which fixes the sort or category to which it belongs.
     From: George Bealer (Propositions [1998], 7)
     A reaction: Presumably 'Mary', and 'Felix', and 'Rover', and 'Smallville' are cases in point. There is a well known journalist called 'Manchester', a famous man called 'Hilary', a village in Hertfordshire called 'Matching Tie'... Interesting, though.
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / b. Definite descriptions
The four leading theories of definite descriptions are Frege's, Russell's, Evans's, and Prior's
     Full Idea: The four leading theories of definite descriptions are Frege's, Russell's, Evans's, and Prior's, ...of which to many Frege's is the most intuitive of the four. Frege says they refer to the unique item (if it exists) which satisfies the predicate.
     From: George Bealer (Propositions [1998], 5)
     A reaction: He doesn't expound the other three, but I record this a corrective to the view that Russell has the only game in town.
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Propositions might be reduced to functions (worlds to truth values), or ordered sets of properties and relations
     Full Idea: The reductionist view of propositions sees them as either extensional functions from possible worlds to truth values, or as ordered sets of properties, relations, and perhaps particulars.
     From: George Bealer (Propositions [1998], 1)
     A reaction: The usual problem of all functional accounts is 'what is it about x that enables it to have that function?' And if they are sets, where does the ordering come in? A proposition isn't just a list of items in some particular order. Both wrong.
Sentences saying the same with the same rigid designators may still express different propositions
     Full Idea: The propositions behind 'Cicero is emulated more than Tully' seems to differ somehow from 'Tully is emulated more than Cicero', despite the proper names being rigid designators.
     From: George Bealer (Propositions [1998], 1)
     A reaction: Interesting, because this isn't a directly propositional attitude situation like 'believes', though it depends on such things. Bealer says this is a key modern difficulty with propositions.
19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / a. Propositions as sense
Modal logic and brain science have reaffirmed traditional belief in propositions
     Full Idea: Philosophers have been skeptical about abstract objects, and so have been skeptical about propositions,..but with the rise of modal logic and metaphysics, and cognitive science's realism about intentional states, traditional propositions are now dominant.
     From: George Bealer (Propositions [1998], 1)
     A reaction: I personally strongly favour belief in propositions as brain states, which don't need a bizarre ontological status, but are essential to explain language, reasoning and communication.