Replacements for Truth

An inconsistency approach to the liar and related paradoxes takes the non-logical principles involved in the derivation of the paradoxes to be constitutive of our concept of truth. That is, it is our very competence with the concept of truth that leads us to accept the non-logical premises or inferences involved in the derivation. One who endorses an approach of this type should not be content to diagnose the problem; rather, such a theorist should propose a way of changing our conceptual scheme by introducing new concepts that do the work we ask of truth without giving rise to paradoxes. I offer a pair of concepts, ascending truth and descending truth, for this purpose. Here, I present a formal theory of ascending and descending truth (ADT), explore some of its features, and propose a semantics for it. I show how ADT avoids the liar paradox, Curry’s paradox, and Yablo’s paradox. Moreover, ADT is consistent, fully compatible with classical logic, and does not require any kind of expressive limitation, so it does not give rise to any revenge paradoxes. Finally, I compare ADT to some other views in the literature.
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