Monday, April 30, 2007

4.012 It is obvious that we perceive a proposition of the form “aRb” as a picture. Here the sign is obviously a likeness of the signified.

Again: really? A proposition of the form “Putnam respects Quine” strikes us as being a picture, or representation, of Putnam’s respecting Quine? Sentences in languages we do not know do not strike us in this way, it seems to me. If by proposition we mean thought, i.e. understood proposition, then does the meaning represent Putnam’s respecting Quine? Surely not. The meaning is that Putnam respects Quine. The sentence represents, but does not do so obviously. Does the understood sentence obviously represent? It indubitably represents, if by "represents" we mean means. Does what is understood in the sentence, the proposition or meaning ‘contained in’ the sentence, represent Putnam’s respecting Quine? Does that Putnam respects Quine (the meaning of the sentence “P respects Q”) represent Putnam’s respecting Quine? The concept of representation just seems to have no application here. What might be a likeness of pRq? What might obviously be a likeness of pRq? I have no idea.

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