Ideal epistemic situations and the accessibility of realist truth

Erkenntnis 58 (1):13 - 31 (2003)
There is a widespread opinion that the realist idea that whether a proposition is true or false typically depends on how things are independently of ourselves is bound to turn truth, in Davidson's words, into something to which humans can never legitimately aspire. This opinion accounts for the ongoing popularity of epistemic theories of truth, that is, of those theories that explain what it is for a proposition (or statement, or sentence, or what have you) to be true or false in terms of some epistemic notion, such as provability, justifiability, verifiability, rational acceptability, warranted assertibility, and so forth, in some suitably characterized epistemic situation. My aim in this paper is to show that the widespread opinion is erroneous and that the (legitimate) epistemological preoccupation with the accessibility of truth does not warrant the rejection of the realist intuition that truth is, at least for certain types of propositions, radically nonepistemic.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.2307/20013174
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