Proposition

In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence. In philosophy, "meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by all sentences with the same meaning.[1] Equivalently, a proposition is the non-linguistic bearer of truth or falsity which makes any sentence that expresses it either true or false.

While the term "proposition" may sometimes be used in everyday language to refer to a linguistic statement which can be either true or false, the technical philosophical term, which differs from the mathematical usage, refers exclusively to the non-linguistic meaning behind the statement. The term is often used very broadly and can also refer to various related concepts, both in the history of philosophy and in contemporary analytic philosophy. It can generally be used to refer to some or all of the following: The primary bearers of truth values (such as "true" and "false"); the objects of belief and other propositional attitudes (i.e. what is believed, doubted, etc.); the referents of "that"-clauses (e.g. "It is true that the sky is blue" and "I believe that the sky is blue" both involve the proposition the sky is blue); and the meanings of declarative sentences.[1]

Since propositions are defined as the sharable objects of attitudes and the primary bearers of truth and falsity, this means that the term "proposition" does not refer to particular thoughts or particular utterances (which are not sharable across different instances), nor does it refer to concrete events or facts (which cannot be false).[1] Propositional logic deals primarily with propositions and logical relations between them.