David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):265-280 (2004)
Many commentators on Alfred Tarski have, following Hartry Field, claimed that Tarski's truth-definition was motivated by physicalism—the doctrine that all facts, including semantic facts, must be reducible to physical facts. I claim, instead, that Tarski did not aim to reduce semantic facts to physical ones. Thus, Field's criticism that Tarski's truth-definition fails to fulfill physicalist ambitions does not reveal Tarski to be inconsistent, since Tarski's goal is not to vindicate physicalism. I argue that Tarski's only published remarks that speak approvingly of physicalism were written in unusual circumstances: Tarski was likely attempting to appease an audience of physicalists that he viewed as hostile to his ideas. In later sections I develop positive accounts of: (1) Tarski's reduction of semantic concepts; (2) Tarski's motivation to develop formal semantics in the particular way he does; and (3) the role physicalism plays in Tarski's thought.
|Keywords||Tarski physicalism truth|
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References found in this work BETA
Hartry Field (1972). Tarski's Theory of Truth. Journal of Philosophy 64 (13):347-375.
John Etchemendy (1988). Tarski on Truth and Logical Consequence. Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (1):51-79.
Scott Soames (1984). What is a Theory of Truth? Journal of Philosophy 81 (8):411-429.
Alfred Tarski (1992). Drei Briefe an Otto Neurath. Grazer Philosophische Studien 43:1-32.
Gila Sher (1999). What is Tarski's Theory of Truth? Topoi 18 (2):149-166.
Citations of this work BETA
Iris Loeb (2014). Towards Transfinite Type Theory: Rereading Tarski's Wahrheitsbegriff. Synthese 191 (10):2281-2299.
Francisco Rodriguez-Consuegra (2007). Two Unpublished Contributions by Alfred Tarski. History and Philosophy of Logic 28 (3):257-264.
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