Varieties of Correspondence

Wolfgang Künne

in Conceptions of Truth

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199241316
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597831 | DOI:
Varieties of Correspondence

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The chapter begins with an analysis of Aristotle's definition of truth, which did not invoke a dyadic predicate like ‘corresponds to’, but which paved the way for an account of truth in terms of correspondence to objects (rather than facts) that was to prevail for many centuries. I present Bolzano's conception as closest in spirit to Aristotle's. (In an interlude, I comment on notions of non‐propositional truth in Aquinas, Hegel, and Heidegger.) Moore and the Logical Atomists propounded (very different) fact‐based correspondence views, and the late Russell took events to be what empirical truths correspond to. I expound these theories and discuss various objections such as Frege's Treadmill and Gödel's and Davidson's Slingshot. The intuition that truths are somehow ‘made true’ by something else is often said to underlie all attempts to explain the concept of truth in terms of correspondence and to survive their decline. I distinguish propositional and ontic readings of ‘making true’ and evaluate them.

Keywords: Bolzano; correspondence; event correspondence; fact correspondence; facts; logical atomism; making true; non‐propositional truth; object correspondence; slingshot argument; treadmill argument

Chapter.  41394 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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