What Is Truth?

Scott Soames

in Understanding Truth

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195123357
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872114 | DOI:
 What Is Truth?

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An attempt is made to articulate a broad philosophical perspective on truth, incorporating important insights of Tarski and Kripke, without their artificial restrictions on the bearers of truth. Among these insights none is more important than their essentially deflationist conception of truth. For Tarski and Kripke, truth is not a contentious metaphysical or epistemological notion, and a successful analysis of it should not be laden with controversial philosophical consequences. Rather, the content of the claim that a putative truth bearer is true is equivalent (in a sense to be made precise) to that of the truth bearer itself, a fact that endows the truth predicate with important practical and theoretical utility. The chapter closes with the examination of a range of deflationary theories of truth that attempt to incorporate this insight – e.g., the classical redundancy theory of truth, Peter Strawson's performative theory of truth, and Paul Horwich's minimalist theory of truth – and an attempt to separate what is correct, and worth preserving, in them from what is not.

Keywords: deflationary; Horwich; Kripke; minimalism; performative; redundancy; Strawson; Tarski; truth

Chapter.  18107 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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