For example, during the lecture on propositions and sentences, I discussed the differences between propositions and sentences, such as the fact that sentences have
spatial and temporal locations while propositions do not. Instead, propositions are abstract objects.
Many philosophers find abstract objects–such as propositions–to be weird and puzzling. For example, a person in Germany and a person in Canada can both express
the same proposition (e.g., they can both express the proposition ‘The world cup in 2014 was hosted by Brazil’). How can a person on one continent express the same
proposition that a person on a different continent expressed? Of course, it’s not like the proposition is ‘located’ anywhere. It doesn’t have any GPS coordinates–
you won’t find it on Google maps. But how does a person’s mind in Germany access the same proposition that a person’s mind in Canada expresses?
Reality is puzzling. On the one hand, it’s an obvious datum of language that different persons can say the same thing. We do it all the time. We wouldn’t be
able to communicate otherwise. But on the other hand, the things we express–propositions–are weird.
Various philosophers, starting with Plato 2300 years ago, have given various answers to that question. What do you think?
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