more from David Papineau

Single Idea 7868

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 8. Possible Worlds Semantics]

Full Idea

The content of our thoughts can be equated with those possible worlds whose actuality would make the thought true. On this model, a true thought is one whose content includes the actual world, while a false thought is one whose content does not.

Gist of Idea

Thought content is possible worlds that make the thought true; if that includes the actual world, it's true


David Papineau (Thinking about Consciousness [2002], 3.7)

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.88

A Reaction

This is the possible worlds semantics version of truth conditions theories of meaning. Papineau offers a nice difficulty for the theory (Idea 7869). Dummett says the whole approach is circular, because content precedes truth.

Related Idea

Idea 7869 Truth conditions in possible worlds can't handle statements about impossibilities [Papineau]