Tarski - a dilemma

Inquiry 30 (1 & 2):155 – 172 (1987)
Abstract
Tarski's correspondence theory of truth (which he spells out in his semantic conception of truth) is open to two interpretations. This ambiguity in the theory has led philosophers to find support in it for metaphysical realism. In fact, Tarski's theory turns out to support a form of ontological relativism. In different passages Tarski himself gives support to each of these interpretations. The first interpretation leads to ontological relativism, while the second sacrifices the connection between language and the world. I clarify the dilemma that I see in having to choose between these two interpretations, explain how these interpretations have their source in different problems which occupied Tarski, and consider a possible solution to the dilemma. Finally, finding good reasons to claim that Tarski's theory is indeed a correspondence theory of truth, I argue in favour of the first interpretation with its relativistic implications.
Keywords Alfred Tarski  Truth
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