On Alethic Disjunctivism

Dialectica 66 (1):200-214 (2012)
Alethic pluralism is the view that truth requires different treatment in different domains of discourse. The basic idea is that different properties play important roles in the analysis of truth in different domains of discourse, such as discourse about the material world, moral discourse, and mathematical discourse, to take three examples. Alethic disjunctivism is a kind of alethic pluralism, and is the view that truth is to be identified with the disjunctive property that is formed using each of the domain-specific properties as disjuncts (i.e., in the view's simplest form, truth is the property of either having domain-specific property 1, or domain-specific property 2, and so on). This paper evaluates the prospects for alethic disjunctivism. In particular, it outlines the proper formulation of the view, and assesses some concerns that the disjunctive property lacks the pedigree necessary to be considered a truth property. I begin by briefly outlining the motivations for alethic pluralism, before noting four general constraints on formulations of the view. I then consider a ‘simple’ formulation of alethic disjunctivism, and recommend an amendment. I then demonstrate that the candidate truth property specified by this new formulation is able to meet the central constraints required for it to be considered a viable formulation of alethic pluralism. The final part of this demonstration involves making some distinctions between different kinds of disjunctive properties, and arguing that disjunctive properties are not necessarily highly abundant properties: some are more sparse than others
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2012.01291.x
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David Lewis (1983). New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):343-377.
Paul Horwich (2005). Truth. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Erkenntnis. Oxford University Press 261-272.

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Douglas Edwards (2011). Simplifying Alethic Pluralism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):28-48.

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