The Proper Formulation

Paul Horwich

in Truth

Second edition

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198752233
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597732 | DOI:
 The Proper Formulation

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The purpose of this chapter is to specify the adequacy conditions for a complete account of truth, to suggest that these desiderata are satisfied by the deflationary conception known as ‘minimalism’, and to make sure that this proposal is not confused with various superficially similar views, such as Tarski's and the redundancy/performative account. The axioms of the minimal theory are all the propositions of the form, ‘<p> is true ↔ p’—at least, those that do not fall foul of the ‘liar’ paradoxes. It is argued that this theory—weak as it is—is nevertheless strong enough to account for the conceptual utility of truth, and to explain the facts in which truth is a constituent. Moreover, the single unattractive feature of the theory—its infinite list‐like character—is not mitigated by accounts of truth in terms of reference or substitutional quantification. Thus, the chapter goes some way towards justifying the minimalist conception—the view that the minimal theory is the theory of truth, to which nothing more should be added.

Keywords: axioms; deflationary; liar paradox; minimalism; redundancy; reference; substitutional quantification; Tarski; truth

Chapter.  10473 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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