The correspondence theory of truth holds that each true sentence corresponds to a discrete fact. Donald Davidson and others have argued (using an argument that has come to be known as the slingshot) that this theory is mistaken, since all true sentences correspond to the same “Great Fact.” The argument is designed to show that by substituting logically equivalent sentences and coreferring terms for each other in the context of sentences of the form ‘P corresponds to the fact that (...) P’ every true sentence can be shown to correspond to the same facts as every other true sentence. The claim is that all substitution of logically equivalent sentences and coreferring terms takes place salva veritate. I argue that the substitution of coreferring terms in this context need not preserve truth. The slingshot fails to refute the correspondence theory. (shrink)
The central claim of this essay is that many deflationary theories of truth are variants of the correspondence theory of truth. Essential to the correspondence theory of truth is the proposal that objective features of the world are the truthmakers of statements. Many advocates of deflationary theories (including F. P. Ramsay, P. F. Strawson and Paul Horwich) remain committed to this proposal. Although T-sentences (statements of the form “ s is true iff p ”) are presented by advocates (...) of deflationary theories of truth as truisms or analytic truths, T-sentences are often understood as entailing commitment to the central proposal of the correspondence theory. (shrink)
Marian David defends the correspondence theory of truth against the disquotational theory of truth, its current major rival. The correspondence theory asserts that truth is a philosophically rich and profound notion in need of serious explanation. Disquotationalists offer a radically deflationary account inspired by Tarski and propagated by Quine and others. They reject the correspondence theory, insist truth is anemic, and advance an "anti-theory" of truth that is essentially a collection of platitudes: "Snow is white" is true (...) if and only if snow is white; "Grass is green" is true if and only if grass is green. According to disquotationalists the only profound insight about truth is that it lacks profundity. David contrasts the correspondence theory with disquotationalism and then develops the latter position in rich detail--more than has been available in previous literature--to show its faults. He demonstrates that disquotationalism is not a tenable theory of truth, as it has too many absurd consequences. (shrink)
This work presents a version of the correspondence theory of truth based on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and Russell's theory of truth and discusses related metaphysical issues such as predication, facts, and propositions. Like Russell and one prominent interpretation of the Tractatus it assumes a realist view of universals. Part of the aim is to avoid Platonic propositions, and although sympathy with facts is maintained in the early chapters, the book argues that facts as real entities are not needed. (...) It includes discussion of contemporary philosophers such as David Armstrong, William Alston, and Paul Horwich, as well as those who write about propositions and facts, and a number of recent students of Bertrand Russell. It will interest teachers and advanced students of philosophy who are interested in the realistic conception of truth and in issues in metaphysics related to the correspondence theory of truth, and those interested in Russell and the Tractatus. (shrink)
Nearly every common theory of truth has been attributed to Nietzsche, while some commentators have argued that he simply has no theory of truth. This essay argues that Nietzsche’s remarks on truth are better situated within either the coherence or pragmatist theories of truth rather than the correspondence theory. Nietzsche’s thoughts conflict with the correspondence framework because he believes that the truth-conditions of propositions are constitutively related to our interests and that truth is approximate.
A line of argument, presented by David Lewis, to show that the correspondence theory of truth is not a real alternative to deflationism is developed. It is shown that truthmakers, construed as concrete events or states of affairs, are unsatisfactory entities, since we do not know how to individuate them or how to identify their essential qualities. Furthermore, the real work is usually done by supervenience relations, which have little to do with truth. It is argued that the Equivalence (...) Schema is quite sufficient to yield a unitary property of being true, and that this generates a weak, but non-trivial, version of the correspondence theory of truth. (shrink)
What is exemplification? A proposition that attributes a property to an object is true if the object exemplifies the property. But according to the correspondence theory, a proposition is true if the corresponding fact exists. So if the correspondence theory is correct, an exemplification of a temporal property by an object is simply the concrete circumstance of the object’s having the property. But since not all properties are temporal, not all exemplifications are circumstances, and we need to recognise (...) timeless as well as temporal facts. This distinction allows us to solve the problem of converse relations, and to give an account of the logically complex facts which deduction allows us to know. (shrink)
The problem of reconciling the philosophical denial of ontological vagueness with common-sense beliefs positing vague objects, properties and relations is addressed. This project arises for any view denying ontological vagueness but is especially pressing for transvaluationism, which claims that ontological vagueness is impossible. The idea that truth, for vague discourse and vague thought-content, is an indirect form of language-thought correspondence is invoked and applied. It is pointed out that supervaluationism provides one way, but not necessarily the only way, of (...) implementing the idea of indirect correspondence. (shrink)
This volume not only provides the first critical edition with an English translation of the famous correspondence of Nicholas of Autrecourt (c. 1300-1369), but also an assessment of his views and the views of those to whom the letters were ...
Square billiards are quantum systems complying with the dynamical quantum-classical correspondence. Hence an initially localized wavefunction launched along a classical periodic orbit evolves along that orbit, the spreading of the quantum amplitude being controlled by the spread of the corresponding classical statistical distribution. We investigate wavepacket dynamics and compute the corresponding de Broglie-Bohm trajectories in the quantum square billiard. We also determine the trajectories and statistical distribution dynamics for the equivalent classical billiard. Individual Bohmian trajectories follow the streamlines of (...) the probability flow and are generically non-classical. This can also hold even for short times, when the wavepacket is still localized along a classical trajectory. This generic feature of Bohmian trajectories is expected to hold in the classical limit. We further argue that in this context decoherence cannot constitute a viable solution in order to recover classicality. (shrink)
The logic of a physical theory reflects the structure of the propositions referring to the behaviour of a physical system in the domain of the relevant theory. It is argued in relation to classical mechanics that the propositional structure of the theory allows truth-value assignment in conformity with the traditional conception of a correspondence theory of truth. Every proposition in classical mechanics is assigned a definite truth value, either ‘true’ or ‘false’, describing what is actually the case at a (...) certain moment of time. Truth-value assignment in quantum mechanics, however, differs; it is known, by means of a variety of ‘no go’ theorems, that it is not possible to assign definite truth values to all propositions pertaining to a quantum system without generating a Kochen–Specker contradiction. In this respect, the Bub–Clifton ‘uniqueness theorem’ is utilized for arguing that truth-value definiteness is consistently restored with respect to a determinate sublattice of propositions defined by the state of the quantum system concerned and a particular observable to be measured. An account of truth of contextual correspondence is thereby provided that is appropriate to the quantum domain of discourse. The conceptual implications of the resulting account are traced down and analyzed at length. In this light, the traditional conception of correspondence truth may be viewed as a species or as a limit case of the more generic proposed scheme of contextual correspondence when the non-explicit specification of a context of discourse poses no further consequences. (shrink)
When the creationism issue rose to the surface in the late 1970s, an organized opposition to the creationist campaign came from an unexpected source. Local groups of rank and file evolution defenders, led by a retired biology teacher, organized a grassroots network of anti-creationism called the Committees of Correspondence. They basically approached the creationism issue as a political rather than a scientific problem and fought the battle on local fronts, where creationists were heavily engaged in legal campaigns to include (...) their ideas in the public schools. Grassroots anti-creationism was, however, eventually replaced by a centralized national operation with an educational emphasis. In this paper, I will document the development of this neglected part of the creation-evolution controversy and discuss related issues, namely the politics of science that became clearly visible in the course of evolutionists' disputes over anti-creation strategies. (shrink)
This paper utilizes a logical correspondence theorem (which has been proved elsewhere) for the justification of weak conceptions of scientific realism and convergence to truth which do not presuppose Putnam's no-miracles-argument (NMA). After presenting arguments against the reliability of the unrestricted NMA in Sect. 1, the correspondence theorem is explained in Sect. 2. In Sect. 3, historical illustrations of the correspondence theorem are given, and its ontological consequences are worked out. Based on the transitivity of the concept (...) of correspondence, a correspondence-based notion of convergence to truth is developed in Sect. 4. In the final Sect. 5 it is argued that the correspondence theorem together with the assumption of ' minimal realism' yields a justification of a weak version of scientific realism, which is then compared to metaphysical realism and to instrumentalism. (shrink)
We investigate a lattice of conditional logics described by a Kripke type semantics, which was suggested by Chellas and Segerberg – Chellas–Segerberg (CS) semantics – plus 30 further principles. We (i) present a non-trivial frame-based completeness result, (ii) a translation procedure which gives one corresponding trivial frame conditions for arbitrary formula schemata, and (iii) non-trivial frame conditions in CS semantics which correspond to the 30 principles.
When talking about truth, we ordinarily take ourselves to be talking about one-and-the-same thing. Alethic monists suggest that theorizing about truth ought to begin with this default or pre-reflective stance, and, subsequently, parlay it into a set of theoretical principles that are aptly summarized by the thesis that truth is one. Foremost among them is the invariance principle.
In this paper, we show how an internal tension in Wilfrid Sellars’s understanding of truth, as well as an external tension in his account of meaning attribution, can be resolved while adhering to a Sellarsian spirit, by appealing to the particular fictionalist accounts of truth-talk and proposition-talk (including meaning-attribution) that we have developed elsewhere.
v. 1. 1752-76.--v. 2. 1777-80.--v. 3. January 1781 to October 1788.--v. 4. 1788-1793.--v. 5. 1794-1797.--v. 6. January 1798 to December 1801.--v. 7. January 1802 to December 1808.--v. 8. January 1809 to December 1816.--v. 9. January 1817 to June 1820.-- v. 10. July 1820 to December 1821.--v. 11. January 1822 to June 1824.--v. 12. July 1824-June 1828.
There is no distinct correspondence theory of truth, truth is correspondence to fact. If facts are taken to be true propositions, we wind up with just another version of the correspondence theory's ostensible competitor, the redundancy theory of truth. If instead facts are taken to be Armstrong's states of affairs, or Tractarian facts, or Mellor's _facta, we get a _truthmaker principle, that for every truth there is a truthmaker; something whose existence implies the proposition in question. Truthmaker (...) principles are interesting and useful, but go far beyond truth as correspondence with fact, and so are not really theories of truth at all. (shrink)
Narrowly speaking, the correspondence theory of truth is the view that truth is correspondence to a fact -- a view that was advocated by Russell and Moore early in the 20 th century. But the label is usually applied much more broadly to any view explicitly embracing the idea that truth consists in a relation to reality, i.e., that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). (...) During the last 2300 years this basic idea has been expressed in many ways, resulting in a rather extended family of views, theories, and theory sketches. The members of the family employ various concepts for the relevant relation (correspondence, conformity, congruence, agreement, accordance, copying, picturing, signification, representation, reference, satisfaction) and/or various concepts for the relevant portion of reality (facts, states of affairs, situations, events, objects, sequences of objects, sets, properties, tropes). The resulting multiplicity of versions and reformulations of the theory is due to a blend of substantive and terminological differences. (shrink)
Contra Lewis, it is argued that the correspondence theory is a genuine rival theory of truth: it goes beyond the redundancy theory; it competes with other theories of truth; it is aptly summarized by the slogan 'truth is correspondence to fact'; and it really is a theory of truth.
It is often thought that instances of the T-schema such as snow is white is true if and only if snow is white state correspondences between sentences andthe world, and that therefore such sentences play a crucial role in correspondence theories oftruth. I argue that this assumption trivializes the correspondence theory: even a disquotationaltheory of truth would be a correspondence theory on this conception. This discussionallows one to get clearer about what a correspondence theory does claim, (...) and toward the end of thepaper I discuss what a true correspondence theory of truth would involve. (shrink)
Leibniz's correspondence with Thomas Burnett of Kemnay is probably best known for Leibniz's attempts to communicate with Locke via Burnett. But Burnett was also, more generally a source of English intellectual news for Leibniz. As such, Burnett provided an important part of the context in which Locke was presented to and understood by Leibniz. -/- This paper examines the Leibniz-Burnett correspondence, and argues against Jolley's suggestion that "the context in which Leibniz learned about Locke was primarily a theological (...) one". That said, in thinking about Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, and his subsequent defenses of it, Leibniz does offer an argument against Locke's book -- but not one that's closely related to Locke's theological views, or to any accusation of Socinianism. -/- The paper also considers, by way of contrast, the way Leibniz and Burnett talk about the more obviously controversial figure John Toland. (shrink)
This paper elaborates on the following correspondence theorem (which has been defended and formally proved elsewhere): if theory T has been empirically successful in a domain of applications A, but was superseded later on by a different theory T* which was likewise successful in A, then under natural conditions T contains theoretical expressions which were responsible for T’s success and correspond (in A) to certain theoretical expressions of T*. I illustrate this theorem at hand of the phlogiston versus oxygen (...) theories of combustion, and the classical versus relativistic theories of mass. The ontological consequences of the theorem are worked out in terms of the indirect reference and partial truth. The final section explains how the correspondence theorem may justify a weak version of scientific realism without presupposing the no-miracles argument. (shrink)
Ever since the works of Alfred Tarski and Frank Ramsey, two views on truth have seemed very attractive to many people. On the one hand, the correspondence theory of truth seemed to be quite promising, mostly, perhaps, for its ability to accomodate a realistic attitude towards truth. On the other hand, a minimalist conception seemed appropriate since it made things so simple and unmysterious. So even though there are many more theories of truth around - the identity theory, the (...) prosentential theory, etc. -, it is fair to say that these two views have acquired the status of the main contenders in the field. Most recently, John Searle and David Lewis have taken sides on the issue. Searle defends a new version of the correspondence theory which takes facts to be the correspondents of true statements, whereas Lewis wants to hold on to a minimalist conception of truth - allowing for an appendix of purely ontological claims that he extracts from the correspondence theory. What is new is that both have tried to see the correspondence theory not as a rival to the minimalist conception, but rather as essentially compatible with it. Still, in the end, Searle arrives at his version of the correspondence theory, and Lewis votes for minimalism. Both philosophers have sympathy with the spirit of the correspondence theory, to say the least. So one wonders why it is that they come to so different conclusions. Both start from the spirit of the correspondence theory, and both see it as essentially compatible with the heart of the minimalist conceptions, and still is there no agreement on what theory is to be accepted in the end. (shrink)
A correspondence theory of truth explains truth in terms of various correspondence relations (e.G., Reference) between words and the extralinguistic world. What are the consequences of quine's doctrine of indeterminacy for correspondence theories? in "ontological relativity" quine implicitly claims that correspondence theories are impossible; that is what the doctrine of 'relative reference' amounts to. But quine's doctrine of relative reference is incoherent. Those who think the indeterminacy thesis valid should not try to relativize reference, They should (...) abandon the relation and replace it by certain more general correspondence relations between words and extralinguistic objects. Doing so will not interfere with the task of defining truth in terms of correspondence relations. (shrink)
I argue that one good reason for Scientific Realists to be interested in correspondence theories is the hope they offer us of being able to state and defend realistic theses in the face of well-known difficulties about modern physics: such theses as, that our theories are approximately true, or that they will tend to approach the truth. I go on to claim that this hope is unlikely to be fulfilled. I suggest that Realism can still survive in the face (...) of these difficulties, as a claim about the kind of theories we want to aim for. I relate this conception of Realism to various contemporary discussions, both by realists and antirealists. (shrink)
Ernst Cassirer claimed that Kant's notion of actual object presupposes the notion of truth. Therefore, Kant cannot define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object. In this paper, I discuss the relations between Kant's notions of truth, object, and actuality. I argue that's notion of actual object does not presuppose the notion of truth. I conclude that Kant can define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object.
I argue in this paper that Heidegger, contrary to the view of many scholars, in fact endorsed a view of truth as a sort of correspondence. I first show how it is a mistake to take Heidegger's notion of 'unconcealment' as a definition of propositional truth. It is thus not only possible but also essential to disambiguate Heidegger's use of the word 'truth', which he occasionally used to refer to both truth as it is ordinarily understood and unconcealment understood (...) as the condition of the possibility of truth. I then show how Heidegger accepted that propositional truth, or 'correctness', as he sometimes called it, consists in our utterances or beliefs corresponding to the way things are. Heidegger's objection to correspondence theories of truth was not directed at the notion of correspondence as such, but rather at the way in which correspondence is typically taken to consist in an agreement between representations and objects. Indeed, Heidegger took his account of unconcealment as explaining how it is possible for propositions to correspond to the world, thus making unconcealment the ground of propositional truth. I conclude by discussing briefly some of the consequences for Heidegger interpretation which follow from a correct understanding of Heidegger's notion of propositional truth. (shrink)
Physics Department, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH, U.K October, 1990. We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain. Accompanying material for a talk at The Second Mind and Brain Symposium held at (...) the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London on 20th October, 1990. (shrink)
It is argued that seemingly “merely technical” issues about the existence and uniqueness of self-adjoint extensions of symmetric operators in quantum mechanics have interesting implications for foundations problems in classical and quantum physics. For example, pursuing these technical issues reveals a sense in which quantum mechanics can cure some of the forms of indeterminism that crop up in classical mechanics; and at the same time it reveals the possibility of a form of indeterminism in quantum mechanics that is quite distinct (...) from the indeterminism of state vector collapse. More generally, the examples considered indicate that the classical–quantum correspondence is more intricate and delicate than is generally appreciated. The aim of the article is to give a series of examples that reveal why the technical issues about self-adjointness are relevant to the philosophy of science and that help to make the issues accessible to philosophers of science. (shrink)
How does a predecessor theory relate to its successor? According to Heinz Post’s General Correspondence Principle, the successor theory has to account for the em- pirical success of its predecessor. After a critical discussion of this principle, I outline and discuss various kinds of correspondence relations that hold between successive scientific theories. I then look in some detail at a case study from contemporary physics: the various proposals for a theory of high-temperature superconductivity. The aim of this case (...) study is to understand better the prospects and the place of a methodological principle such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle. Generalizing from the case study, I will then argue that some such principle has to be considered, at best, as one tool that might guide scientists in their theoriz- ing. Finally I present a tentative account of why principles such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle work so often and why there is so much continuity in scientific theorizing. (shrink)