The Folly of Trying to Define Truth

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI:
The Folly of Trying to Define Truth

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This essay argues that the concept of truth as well as related subjects of philosophical inquiry such as knowledge, belief, intention, and memory cannot be reduced to more elementary concepts, since these are the most elementary ones available. Tarski’s truth theory is examined, and a radical alternative to the truth theories considered in the preceding essay is proposed to identify the empirical connections between the concept of truth and observable human behaviour. A methodological model for this project is Frank Ramsey’s decision theory for constructing subjective probability.

Keywords: concept of truth; Tarski; Aristotle; human behaviour; Frank Ramsey; decision theory; subjective probability

Chapter.  7643 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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