By Roger Teichmann (auth.)
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Extra info for Abstract Entities
The dichotomy here corresponds essentially to that between formal paraphrases and vernacular paraphrases. It is pretty clear what enables a formal paraphrase of some (vernacular) sentence to show the logical properties of the paraphrased sentence; for the formal language is designed in such a way that one can 'read off the logical (inferential) properties of the formulae of that language from superficial properties. For example, the use of brackets enables us to determine the different scopes of constituent expressions; the use of bound variables enables us to determine the degree of polyadicity of predicables, the 'direction' of (polyadic) predicables, and so on.
In fact, the analysis which I have given of '- is coloured' certainly needs tinkering with, for instance, to exclude '- is transparent', or '- is blurred', as substituends for the predicable-variables. Philosophers might also be worried that no mention of qualia is made in the analysis. My own feeling is that an analysis, in the desired sense, may not actually be possible for an expression like 'is coloured'. For it is surely quite plausible that, in common with expressions like 'is red', 'is coloured' is learnable (and indeed is learnt) ostensively.
Here, in essence, is our 'syntactic' account of absurdity; but more of this anon. I have spoken of 'the category or categories' with which a CET is associated, because, strictly speaking, some CETs are associated with different syntactic categories in different contexts. The analyses of sentences involving the grammatical noun-phrase 'what alone upset Bertie' will involve expressions or variables of different categories according to what predicative expressions those sentences use. Thus, the analysis of 'What alone upset Bertie was his mother's death' will involve sentence-variables and a particular sentence - 'Bertie was upset because his mother died, & ('r/p)( Bertie was upset because p -+ pI (Bertie's mother died) r, where ' ...
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