Truth, the liar, and relativism
Philosophical Review (forthcoming)
|Abstract||I propose a solution to the aletheic paradoxes on which truth predicates are assessment-sensitive. Truth is not an antecedently plausible topic for a semantic relativist treatment; nevertheless, the aletheic paradoxes give us good reason to think that truth is an inconsistent concept, and there are good reasons to think that semantic relativism is appropriate for inconsistent concepts, especially those that display what I call empirical inconsistency. Thus, I show that a promising version of the best approach to the paradoxes is an application of semantic relativism to truth itself—arguing from results about the paradoxes and general considerations about language use to aletheic assessment-sensitivity. The paper is divided into three parts, the first on the aletheic paradoxes, the second on semantic relativism, and the third on assessment-sensitivity with respect to truth predicates. The first contains an overview of my preferred approach to the paradoxes, which entails that truth is an inconsistent concept that that should be replaced (for certain purposes) by a team of consistent concepts that can do its work without causing troubling paradoxes. The second part provides an overview of semantic relativism and its rivals. The third considers which treatment is most appropriate for inconsistent concepts in general and truth in particular. In it, I propose an assessment-sensitivity view of truth, discuss some prominent objections to semantic relativism, and review some issues that arise for approaches to the aletheic paradoxes.|
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