Paul Horwich

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:



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There is an aura of peculiar depth and obscurity surrounding our concept of truth, and philosophy abounds with theories designed to illuminate it, to say what it is for beliefs and statements to possess that special quality. The most important trend of the last fifteen years in this area has been away from traditional approaches, which have taken for granted that truth is some sort of ‘substantive’ property, and towards the development of so-called deflationary theories in which that assumption is rejected. Therefore, this article focuses on the differences between these two general perspectives, on the reasons for favouring the deflationary point of view, and on the relative merits of the alternative accounts of this type. It argues that the best of the deflationary proposals is the one known as ‘minimalism’, according to which our possession of the concept of truth derives from our regarding each proposition as equivalent to the proposition that it is true.

Keywords: deflationary theories; truth; beliefs and statements; minimalism; concept of truth; prosententialism

Article.  6813 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Mind

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