Two Pleas for Modesty

Wolfgang Künne

in Conceptions of Truth

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199241316
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597831 | DOI:
Two Pleas for Modesty

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The chapter starts with an exposition and discussion of Paul Horwich's truth‐theoretical minimalism. I defend it against Davidson's objection, and I complain that it is not minimally contentious since it underwrites the tertium non datur. Then I present my own view. According to our workaday concept of truth, what we think is true if and only if things are as we think they are. I argue that this platitude can be spelt out in terms of higher‐order quantification over propositions, without invoking notions like correspondence, fact, or meaning. I unearth the roots of this conception in earlier work by Ramsey, Kotarbinski, Tarski and Kneale, and I try hard to defend it against various objections. The defence includes an extensive discussion of the contrast between substitutional and objectual quantification and several arguments for my contention that the proposition that p is different from the linguistic meaning of ‘p’ even if there is neither ambiguity nor context‐sensitivity in ‘p’.

Keywords: higher‐order quantification; linguistic meaning; minimalism; objectual quantification; proposition; substitutional quantification; tertium non datur

Chapter.  27672 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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