Xeno Semantics for Ascending and Descending Truth
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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As part of an approach to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting truth, I have proposed replacing our concept of truth with two concepts: ascending truth and descending truth.1 I am not going to discuss why I think this is the best approach or how it solves the paradoxes; instead, I concentrate on the theory of ascending and descending truth. I formulate an axiomatic theory of ascending truth and descending truth (ADT) and provide a possible-worlds semantics for it (which I dub xeno semantics). Xeno semantics is a generalization of the familiar neighborhood semantics, which itself is a generalization of the standard relational semantics. Once the details of ADT have been presented, it is easy to show that neither relational semantics nor neighborhood semantics will work for it; thus, the move to a more general framework is required. The main result is a fixed point theorem that guarantees the existence of an acceptable first-order constant-domain xeno model. From this result it follows that ADT is sound with respect to the class of such models. The upshot is that ADT is consistent relative to the background set theory.
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