Outline of a Theory of Truth*

Gary Ostertag

in Philosophical Troubles

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730155
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918430 | DOI:
Outline of a Theory of Truth*

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Ever since Pilate asked, “What is truth?”, the subsequent search for a correct answer has been inhibited by another problem, which also arises in a New Testament context. If, as the author of the Epistle to Titus supposes, a Cretan prophet, “even a prophet of their own,” asserted that “the Cretans are always liars,” and if “this testimony is true” of all other Cretan utterances, then it seems that the Cretan prophet's words are true if and only if they are false. And any treatment of the concept of truth must somehow circumvent this paradox. This chapter proposes a theory of truth that has two virtues: first, it provides an area rich in formal structure and mathematical properties; second, that to a reasonable extent these properties capture important intuitions. The model, then, is to be tested by its technical fertility. It need not capture every intuition, but it is hoped that it will capture many.

Keywords: truth; formal structure; mathematical properties; intuitions

Chapter.  13663 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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