Truth and Justifiability

Wolfgang Künne

in Conceptions of Truth

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199241316
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597831 | DOI:
Truth and Justifiability

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According to alethic antirealism, truth does not outrun justifiability. I first expound three classical versions of alethic anti‐realism,––Brentano's foundationalism, neo‐Hegelian and neopositivist coherentism, and Peircean consensualism,––and point at problems that are peculiar to them. I go on to scrutinize the very liberal variety Putnam upheld for a while (truth is idealized rational acceptability), comparing it with Dummett's conception of ‘global anti‐realism’ and with kindred proposals made by Goodman (truth is permanent credibility) and, in an exploratory spirit, by Wright (truth is superassertibility). I give various reasons for dissatisfaction, among them why Putnam himself recanted. Then I try to support this recantation by presenting an objection, inspired by what has come to be called the Fitch Argument, against all versions of alethic anti‐realism: the argument from blind spots in the field of justification. I conclude my case against Frege's redundancy/omnipresence thesis, and I close with a brief sermon against alethic pluralism.

Keywords: alethic anti‐realism; alethic pluralism; anti‐realism; Brentano; coherentism; consensualism; Fitch Argument; foundationalism; idealized rational acceptability; justifiability; justification blindspots; permanent credibility; superassertibility

Chapter.  39480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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