Truth, Conservativeness, and Provability

Mind 119 (474):409-422 (2010)
Conservativeness has been proposed as an important requirement for deflationary truth theories. This in turn gave rise to the so-called ‘conservativeness argument’ against deflationism: a theory of truth which is conservative over its base theory S cannot be adequate, because it cannot prove that all theorems of S are true. In this paper we show that the problems confronting the deflationist are in fact more basic: even the observation that logic is true is beyond his reach. This seems to conflict with the deflationary characterization of the role of the truth predicate in proving generalizations. However, in the final section we propose a way out for the deflationist — a solution that permits him to accept a strong theory, having important truth-theoretical generalizations as its theorems
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzq034
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