- Date: 14th century
- 1 a (1) : something offered for consideration or acceptance : proposal (2) : a request for sexual intercourse
- b : the point to be discussed or maintained in argument usually stated in sentence form near the outset
- c : a theorem or problem to be demonstrated or performed
- 2 a : an expression in language or signs of something that can be believed, doubted, or denied or is either true or false
- b : the objective meaning of a proposition
- 3 : something of an indicated kind to be dealt with <the farm was never a paying proposition>
In logic and philosophy, the term proposition (from the word "proposal") refers to both (a) the "content" or "meaning" of a meaningful declarative sentence or (b) the pattern of symbols, marks, or sounds that make up a meaningful declarative sentence. The meaning of a proposition includes that it has the quality or property of being either true or false, and as such propositions are called truthbearers.
The existence of propositions in the abstract sense, as well as the existence of "meanings", is disputed by some philosophers. Where the concept of a "meaning" is admitted, its nature is controversial. In earlier texts writers have not always made it sufficiently clear whether they are using the term proposition in sense of the words or the "meaning" expressed by the words. To avoid the controversies and ontological implications, the term sentence is often now used instead of proposition to refer to just those strings of symbols that are truthbearers, being either true or false under an interpretation. Strawson advocated the use of the term "statement", and this is the current usage in mathematical logic.