Quotation Marks, Sentences, and Propositions

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Quotation Marks, Sentences, and Propositions

Wilfrid Sellars Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 10, No. 4. (Jun., 1950), pp. 515-525. Stable URL: http:/

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Quotation Marks, Sentences, and Propositions Wilfrid Sellars Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 10, No. 4. (Jun., 1950), pp. 515-525. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0031-8205%28195006%2910%3A4%3C515%3AQMSAP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-A Philosophy and Phenomenological Research is currently published by International Phenomenological Society.

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http://www.jstor.org Sat May 12 01:02:17 2007

QUOTATION MARKS, SENTENCES, AND PROPOSITIONS 3.341 The essential in a proposition is therefore t h a t which is common to all propositions which can express the same sense. And in the same way in general the essential in a symbol is that which all symbols which can fulfil the same purpose have in common. 3.3411 One could therefore say the real name is that which all symbols, which signify an object, have in common. I t would then follow, step by step, that no sort of composition was essential for a name. Tractatus

I t is a commonplace fact that the student of a living language is coping with a subject matter embedded in the world to which both he and those to whom he communicates his results belong. An Englishman exploring French cannot only characterize the sounds of this language in terms of the qualities they exemplify and the manner in which they are produced, he can also offer samples. In the case of written French, he can give a geometrical characterization of the visual shapes employed, or he can print samples. Samples are of particular value in textbooks and gramophone discs designed to teach people to read and speak foreign languages. Yet it is obvious that a scientifically adequate account of the French language can (in principle) be made without the use of auditory or visual samples. On the other hand, the sounds and shapes employed by existing languages are sufficiently complex, and systems for classifying them sufficiently inadequate, to make it convenient and even necessary for linguistic scholars to make frequent use of samples. As a matter of fact, it is customary to use such samples, placed within quotation marks, or set off in some other distinctive way, as designations for the liinds of visual or auditory patterns to which they belong. Let us consider an example of the procedure clrbclribed above. A certain I'nglish treatise on French contains, n e shall