Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Propositions, Predication, and Carroll's Tortoise

    Matthew Simpson (Cambridge)

Date: 20 October 2021

Time: 15:00

Place: Online


The predication view of representation says that to represent something is to predicate a property of it. To represent the ball as red is to predicate redness of the ball. In this talk I argue that when this view tries to explain logically complex representation - what goes on, for instance, when I think that the ball is red or blue - it becomes vulnerable to the infamous regress problem set out by Lewis Carroll. Carroll's Tortoise accepts the premises of an obviously logically valid argument but never seems to move to its conclusion. I argue that given what the predication view says about logically complex representation, it cannot explain why anyone ever moves from premises to conclusions.