Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (3):267-286 (2004)
|Abstract||This essay attempts to give substance to the claim that the liar''sparadox shows the truth predicate to be context sensitive. The aim ismodest: to provide an account of the truth predicate''s contextsensitivity (1) that derives from a more general understanding ofcontext sensitivity, (2) that does not depend upon a hierarchy ofpredicates and (3) that is able to address the liar''s paradox. Theconsequences of achieving this goal are not modest, though. Perhapssurprisingly, for reasons that will be discussed in the last section ofthis essay, a natural account of the truth predicate''s contextsensitivity appears to lead naturally to a version of the correspondencetheory of truth according to which the truth predicate can be understoodas a relation holding between a sentence and a salient set of contexts.The plan of this essay is as follows. Section 1 contains a generalaccount of context sensitivity. The purpose of this section is toisolate certain features of context sensitivity and formal methods oftreating them, which we will then apply to the truth predicate. Section 2then outlines two minimal conditions to be satisfied by a truthpredicate. In Section 3, I present a version of the liar paradoxthat results from these conditions and the assumption that the truthpredicate is not context sensitive in the sense described in sectionone. Finally, in section four, I provide what appear to be naturalconsequences of a truth predicate''s context sensitivity. Section 4 isadmittedly speculative and points in the direction for future research.|
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