Tarskian Truth and the Views of John McDowell

Barry Taylor

in Models, Truth, and Realism

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286690
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604065 | DOI:
 Tarskian Truth and the Views of John McDowell

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This chapter examines the status of Tarskian truth. It argues that because of its connections with behaviour and psychology through the notion of translation, it is properly classified as a substantial, rather than a formal, account of truth. It also contends that Common-sense Realism might be modified by replacing the commitment it made to a formal account of truth with commitment to a substantial alternative capable of playing a part in the Fregean model of meaning. Tarskian truth, with its bland neutrality, is the obvious candidate for the replacement role. The resulting position, dubbed ‘Quietist Realism’, proves on examination to be that of John McDowell in Mind and World. Moreover, its characteristic principles, borrowed by Putnam for Common-sense Realism, are no optional extra to Tarskian truth as McDowell deploys it, but play an essential role in his defence of the notion as suitable for use in the Fregean model, against attacks mounted by Dummett.

Keywords: Tarskian; truth; John McDowell; Common-sense Realism; Michael Dummett; Quietist Realism; Frege

Chapter.  8640 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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