Truth, reflection, and hierarchies

Synthese 142 (3):289 - 315 (2005)
Abstract
A common objection to hierarchical approaches to truth is that they fragment the concept of truth. This paper defends hierarchical approaches in general against the objection of fragmentation. It argues that the fragmentation required is familiar and unprob-lematic, via a comparison with mathematical proof. Furthermore, it offers an explanation of the source and nature of the fragmentation of truth. Fragmentation arises because the concept exhibits a kind of failure of closure under reflection. This paper offers a more precise characterization of the reflection involved, first in the setting of formal theories of truth, and then in a more general setting.
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