correspondence theory of truth

Quick Reference

Aristotle said that a statement is true if it says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not (Metaphysics Γ, iv. 1011). But a correspondence theory is not simply the view that truth consists in correspondence with the facts, but rather the view that it is theoretically interesting to realize this. Aristotle's claim is in itself a harmless platitude, common to all views of truth. A correspondence theory is distinctive in holding that the notion of correspondence and fact can be sufficiently developed to make the platitude into an interesting theory of truth. Opponents charge that this is not so, primarily because we have no access to facts independently of the statements and beliefs that we hold. We cannot look over our own shoulders to compare our beliefs with a reality apprehended by other means than those beliefs, or perhaps further beliefs. Hence we have no fix on ‘facts’ as something like structures to which our beliefs may or may not correspond. See also coherence theory of truth, facts, identity theory of truth, pragmatic theory of truth, redundancy theory of truth, semantic theory of truth.

Subjects: Philosophy.

Reference entries