About this topic
Summary Minimalism or deflationism about truth says that truth is not a substantial property (whether of sentences, propositions or entities of other sorts). Rather (in a typical formulation), to say that 'S' is true is just equivalent to asserting that S. Minimalism is attractive for its simplicity and lack of deep metaphysical commitments. Critics argue that it is too simple to answer fundamental questions about truth, for example: why is truth valued over falsehood? Minimalism may also be threatened by semantic paradoxes because it seems to require unqualified commitment to the equivalence principle "'S' is true iff S". 
Key works The deflationary theory of truth has its origin in Frege 1956, Ramsey 1927, and Ayer 1935. Contemporary expressions of deflationary truth include disquotationalism: Field 1994, McGee 1993, Quine 1970; minimalism: Horwich 1998 Horwich 1999 Horwich 1998 Horwich 2009 Horwich 2001 Horwich 2004; prosententialism: Grover et al 1975, Grover 1992, Brandom 1994, Brandom 2002
Introductions Armour-Garb 2012 and Armour-Garb 2012 present not only a general account of deflationism about truth but also the primary challenges such a theory faces from its critics. Beall & Armour-Garb 2005 includes several influential papers on deflationism about truth. For a helpful overview of deflationary accounts of truth, see Stoljar 2008
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  1. From Success to Truth.Peter Achinstein - 1960 - Analysis 21 (1):6 - 9.
  2. Acta Philosophica Fennica.Tuomo Aho Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen (ed.) - 2006
  3. A Deflationist Approach to Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Ken Akiba - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 107 (1):69 - 86.
    Deflationists cannot make sense of the notion of referential indeterminacy because they deny the existence of substantive reference. One way for them to make sense of the objective existence of linguistic indeterminacy is by embracing the worldly (or objectual) view of indeterminacy, the view that indeterminacy exists not in reference relations but in the(non-linguistic) world itself. On this view, the entire world is divided into precisified worlds, just as it is divided into temporal slices and (arguably) alethic possible worlds. Supervaluationism (...)
  4. Can Deflationism Allow for Hidden Indeterminacy?Ken Akiba - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (3):223–234.
    Field (2000) claims that both inflationists and deflationists can and should accept the existence of linguistic indeterminacy in their own language. This paper shows that inflationists and deflationists consider the nature of indeterminacy quite differently; in particular, deflationists’ notion of indeterminacy lacks the kind of objectivity inflationists’ notion has; as a result, while both inflationists and deflationists can and should accept the existence of manifest indeterminacy such as vagueness, only inflationists can accept the existence of hidden indeterminacy such as the (...)
  5. Incertidumbres Lingüísticas y la Cuestión de la Verdad: Reflexiones Al Hilo de la Concepción de la Verdad de F. Ramsey.María A. Albisu - 1997 - Anuario Filosófico 30 (57):237-276.
    Current philosophical studies of the implications of a "minimalist" theory of truth reveal how problems otherwise unnoticed are arisen by the issue of true or false. As catalyzer of linguistic problems, this issue appears even today as a dark mirror wherein language reflects its profound enigmas and unavoidable uncertainties.
  6. On Truth. [REVIEW]Samuel Alexander - 1889 - Mind 14 (55):420-425.
  7. Critical Notice: St. George Mivart, On Truth: A Systematic Inquiry. [REVIEW]Samuel Alexander - 1889 - Mind 14 (55):420-425.
  8. Correspondence Via the Backdoor and Other Stories.Peter Alward - 2003 - Disputatio 14:3-21.
    Much has been written of late concerning the relative virtues and views of correspondence and deflationary theories of Truth. What is troubling, however, is that it is not always entirely clear exactly what distinguishes different conceptions of truth. Characterizations of the distinction are often vague and sometimes vary from writer to writer. One central thing I want to do here is to diagnose the source of the difficulty in providing a clear characterization of the distinction. In light of this diagnosis, (...)
  9. Incertidumbres Lingüísticas y la Cuestión de la Verdad: Reflexiones Al Hilo de la Concepción de la Verdad de F. Ramsey.María Albisu Aparicio - 1997 - Anuario Filosófico 30 (57):237-276.
    Current philosophical studies of the implications of a "minimalist" theory of truth reveal how problems otherwise unnoticed are arisen by the issue of true or false. As catalyzer of linguistic problems, this issue appears even today as a dark mirror wherein language reflects its profound enigmas and unavoidable uncertainties.
  10. The Concept of Truth.Leslie Armour - 1969 - Assen, Van Gorcum.
  11. Deflationism and the Meaningless Strategy.B. Armour-Garb - 2001 - Analysis 61 (4):280-289.
  12. Minimalism and the Dialetheic Challenge.B. Armour-Garb & Jc Beall - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):383 – 401.
    Minimalists, following Horwich, claim that all that can be said about truth is comprised by all and only the nonparadoxical instances of (E) p is true iff p. It is, accordingly, standard in the literature on truth and paradox to ask how the minimalist will restrict (E) so as to rule out paradox-inducing sentences (alternatively: propositions). In this paper, we consider a prior question: On what grounds does the minimalist restrict (E) so as to rule out paradox-inducing sentences and, thereby, (...)
  13. A Minimalist Theory of Truth.Bradley Armour-Garb - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):53-57.
    This article, after briefly discussing Alfred Tarski's influential theory of truth, turns to a more recent theory of truth, a deflationary, or minimalist, theory. One of the chief elements of a deflationary, or minimalist, theory of truth is that it replaces the question of what truth is with the question of what “true” does. After setting out the central features of the minimalist theory of truth, the article explains the motivation for opting for such a position. In addition, it provides (...)
  14. Deflationism (About Theories of Truth).Bradley Armour-Garb - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (4):267-277.
    In this article, I provide a general account of deflationism. After doing so, I turn to truth-defla- tionism, where, after first describing some of the species, I highlight some challenges for those who wish to adopt it.
  15. Challenges to Deflationary Theories of Truth.Bradley Armour-Garb - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (4):256-266.
    In this paper, I address some of the chief challenges, or problems, for Deflationary Theories of Truth, viz., the Generalization Problem, the Conservativeness Argument, and the Success Argument.
  16. Goodness Deflated?Bradley Armour-Garb - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (3pt3):373-381.
    In his 2009 Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society, Simon Blackburn draws an analogy between the deflationist's view of the truth predicate and the quasi-realist's view of the good predicate, one that he has further elaborated elsewhere. The purpose of this note is to establish that Blackburn's analogy fails.
  17. Minimalism, the Generalization Problem and the Liar.Bradley Armour-Garb - 2004 - Synthese 139 (3):491 - 512.
    In defense of the minimalist conception of truth, Paul Horwich(2001) has recently argued that our acceptance of the instances of the schema,`the proposition that p is true if and only if p', suffices to explain our acceptanceof truth generalizations, that is, of general claims formulated using the truth predicate.In this paper, I consider the strategy Horwich develops for explaining our acceptance of truth generalizations. As I show, while perhaps workable on its own, the strategy is in conflictwith his response to (...)
  18. Deflationism and the Meaningless Strategy.Bradley Armour-Garb - 2001 - Analysis 61 (4):280–289.
  19. Deflating Deflationism.Bradley Philip Armour-Garb - 1999 - Dissertation, City University of New York
    In this dissertation, I take a close look at the deflationary theory of truth, and deflationary semantics, generally. My thesis is that, as a theory about the nature and function of the property of truth, deflationism is well supported. However, deflationary semantics, which combines deflationism about truth with deflationism about meaning cannot be argued for by pointing to the expressive function of the truth predicate. ;Having shown that deflationism about meaning cannot be argued for in this way, I develop a (...)
  20. Deflationary Truth.Bradley Armour-Garb & J. C. Beall (eds.) - 2005 - Open Court Press.
  21. Deflationism: The Basics.Bradley Armour-Garb & J. C. Beall - 2005 - In J. C. Beall & B. Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationary Truth. Open Court. pp. 1--1.
  22. Can Deflationists Be Dialetheists?Bradley Armour-Garb & J. C. Beall - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 30 (6):593-608.
    Philosophical work on truth covers two streams of inquiry, one concerning the nature (if any) of truth, the other concerning truth-related paradox, especially the Liar. For the most part these streams have proceeded fairly independently of each other. In his "Deflationary Truth and the Liar" (JPL 28:455-488, 1999) Keith Simmons argues that the two streams bear on one another in an important way; specifically, the Liar poses a greater problem for deflationary conceptions of truth than it does for inflationist conceptions. (...)
  23. Alethic Fictionalism, Alethic Nihilism, and the Liar Paradox.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3083-3096.
    Recently, several philosophers have proposed fictionalist accounts of truth-talk, as a means for resolving the semantic pathology that the Liar Paradox appears to present. These alethic fictionalists aim to vindicate truth-talk as a kind of as if discourse, while rejecting that the talk attributes any real property of truth. Liggins has recently critically assessed one such proposal, Beall’s constructive methodological deflationist, offering objections to Beall’s proposed alethic fictionalism that potentially generalize to other alethic fictionalist accounts. Liggins further argues that CMD (...)
  24. Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this book, Bradley Armour-Garb and James A. Woodbridge distinguish various species of fictionalism, locating and defending their own version of philosophical fictionalism. Addressing semantic and philosophical puzzles that arise from ordinary language, they consider such issues as the problem of non-being, plural identity claims, mental-attitude ascriptions, meaning attributions, and truth-talk. They consider 'deflationism about truth', explaining why deflationists should be fictionalists, and show how their philosophical fictionalist account of truth-talk underwrites a dissolution of the Liar Paradox and its kin. (...)
  25. Truth, Pretense and the Liar Paradox.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2015 - In Kentaro Fujimoto, José Martínez Fernández, Henri Galinon & Theodora Achourioti (eds.), Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Springer Verlag. pp. 339-354.
    In this paper we explain our pretense account of truth-talk and apply it in a diagnosis and treatment of the Liar Paradox. We begin by assuming that some form of deflationism is the correct approach to the topic of truth. We then briefly motivate the idea that all T-deflationists should endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk, and, after distinguishing pretense-involving fictionalism (PIF) from error- theoretic fictionalism (ETF), explain the merits of the former over the latter. After presenting the basic framework (...)
  26. Sellars and Pretense on "Truth & 'Correspondence'".Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2012 - Discusiones Filosóficas 13 (21):33-63.
    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 that we have developed elsewhere.
  27. Why Deflationists Should Be Pretense Theorists (and Perhaps Already Are).Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2010 - In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 59-77.
    In this paper, we do two things. First, we clarify the notion of deflationism, with special attention to deflationary accounts of truth. Seocnd, we argue that one who endorses a deflationary account of truth (or of semantic notions, generally) should be, or perhaps already is, a pretense theorist regarding truth-talk. In §1 we discuss mathematical fictionalism, where we focus on Yablo’s pretense account of mathematical discourse. §2 briefly introduces the key elements of deflationism and explains deflationism about truth in particular. (...)
  28. From Mathematical Fictionalism to Truth‐Theoretic Fictionalism.Bradley Armour‐Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):93-118.
    We argue that if Stephen Yablo (2005) is right that philosophers of mathematics ought to endorse a fictionalist view of number-talk, then there is a compelling reason for deflationists about truth to endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk. More specifically, our claim will be that, for deflationists about truth, Yablo’s argument for mathematical fictionalism can be employed and mounted as an argument for truth-theoretic fictionalism.
  29. TRUTH: A Concept Unlike Any Other.Jamin Asay - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    This paper explores the nature of the concept of truth. It does not offer an analysis or definition of truth, or an account of how it relates to other concepts. Instead, it explores what sort of concept truth is by considering what sorts of thoughts it enables us to think. My conclusion is that truth is a part of each and every propositional thought. The concept of truth is therefore best thought of as the ability to token propositional thoughts. I (...)
  30. The Role of Truth in Psychological Science.Jamin Asay - 2018 - Theory and Psychology 28 (3):382-397.
    In a recent paper, Haig and Borsboom explore the relevance of the theory of truth for psychological science. Although they conclude that correspondence theories of truth are best suited to offer the resources for making sense of scientific practice, they leave open the possibility that other theories might accomplish those same ends. I argue that deflationary theories of truth, which deny that there is any substantive property that unifies the class of truths, makes equally good sense of scientific practice as (...)
  31. Putting Pluralism in its Place.Jamin Asay - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:175-191.
    Pluralism about truth is the view that there are many properties, not just one, in virtue of which things are true. Pluralists hope to dodge the objections that face traditional monistic substantive views of truth, as well as those facing deflationary theories of truth. More specifically, pluralists hope to advance an explanatorily potent understanding of truth that can capture the subtleties of various realist and anti-realist domains of discourse, all while avoiding the scope problem. I offer a new objection to (...)
  32. Epistemicism and the Liar.Jamin Asay - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):679-699.
    One well known approach to the soritical paradoxes is epistemicism, the view that propositions involving vague notions have definite truth values, though it is impossible in principle to know what they are. Recently, Paul Horwich has extended this approach to the liar paradox, arguing that the liar proposition has a truth value, though it is impossible to know which one it is. The main virtue of the epistemicist approach is that it need not reject classical logic, and in particular the (...)
  33. Against Truth.Jamin Asay - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):147-164.
    I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties. I (...)
  34. Truthmaking, Metaethics, and Creeping Minimalism.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):213-232.
    Creeping minimalism threatens to cloud the distinction between realist and anti-realist metaethical views. When anti-realist views equip themselves with minimalist theories of truth and other semantic notions, they are able to take on more and more of the doctrines of realism (such as the existence of moral truths, facts, and beliefs). But then they start to look suspiciously like realist views. I suggest that creeping minimalism is a problem only if moral realism is understood primarily as a semantic doctrine. I (...)
  35. The Primitivist Theory of Truth.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    Jamin Asay's book offers a fresh and daring perspective on the age-old question 'What is truth?', with a comprehensive articulation and defence of primitivism, the view that truth is a fundamental and indefinable concept. Often associated with Frege and the early Russell and Moore, primitivism has been largely absent from the larger conversation surrounding the nature of truth. Asay defends primitivism by drawing on a range of arguments from metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophy of logic, and navigates between correspondence (...)
  36. Truthmaking, Truth, and Realism: New Work for a Theory of Truthmakers.Jamin Asay - 2011 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Truthmaker theory begins with the idea that truth depends upon reality. When a truth-bearer is true, that is because something or other in the world makes it true. My dissertation offers a theory of truthmakers that shows how we should flesh out this thought while avoiding the contentious metaphysical commitments that are built into other truthmaker theories. Because of these commitments, many philosophers have come to view truthmaker theory as being essentially tied to correspondence theories of truth, and to metaphysical (...)
  37. Constructive Empiricism and Deflationary Truth.Jamin Asay - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (4):423-443.
    Constructive empiricists claim to offer a reconstruction of the aim and practice of science without adopting all the metaphysical commitments of scientific realism. Deflationists about truth boast of the ability to offer a full account of the nature of truth without adopting the metaphysical commitments accompanying substantive accounts. Though the two views would form an attractive package, I argue that the pairing is not possible: constructive empiricism requires a substantive account of truth. I articulate what sort of account of truth (...)
  38. Truth in Constructive Empiricism.Jamin Asay - 2007 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Constructive empiricism, the scientific anti-realism championed by Bas van Fraassen, claims to offer an adequate reconstruction of the aim and practice of scientific inquiry without adopting the inflationary metaphysical excesses of scientific realism. In articulating the positions of the realist and the empiricist, van Fraassen freely makes use of the concept of truth. Theories of truth come in a variety of flavors, some more metaphysically stark than others. Deflationary theories of truth, for instance, boast of the ability to offer a (...)
  39. Truths Are Valuable, Truth Isn't.Alexander auf der Straße - 2013 - Abstracta 7 (2):3-17.
    This paper deals with the relationship that is sometimes said to hold between true beliefs and success. It argues for deflationism about truth. In particular, a position will be defended according to which the instrumental value of true beliefs can be accounted for within a deflationary framework. The paper denies that truth has any non-instrumental value in the sense that truth is pursued for its own sake. Moreover, the instrumental value of true beliefs will be explained in terms of psychological (...)
  40. The Criterion of Truth.A. J. Ayer - 1935 - Analysis 3 (1/2):28-31.
    The criterion of truth is the measure of the truthfulness and reliability of our knowledge. It is also the basis for determining the correctness of our concepts and how much our perceptions, ideas, and concepts accord with objective reality. Idealism holds to the idea that the criterion of truth does not involve the integration between theory as created by human intelligence and objective reality, but rather that the criterion of truth involves the "clarity and correctness" of perception, viewpoints, and concepts (...)
  41. A Proposal for a Non-Realist Theory of Truth.María Ponte Azcárate - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:105-109.
    My aim in this article is to analyze and to discuss what I think are the two most important approaches to a theory of truth from a non-realist standpoint: the proposal of Crispin Wright and the proposal enounced by Putnam in Reason, Truth and History. Wright argues for a minimalist theory of truth according to which truth has to be a metaphysically neutral notion and admits several possible models. One of these possible models is Putnam's notion of "rational acceptability under (...)
  42. A Proposal for a Non-Realist Theory of Truth.María Ponte Azcárate - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:105-109.
    My aim in this article is to analyze and to discuss what I think are the two most important approaches to a theory of truth from a non-realist standpoint: the proposal of Crispin Wright and the proposal enounced by Putnam in Reason, Truth and History. Wright argues for a minimalist theory of truth according to which truth has to be a metaphysically neutral notion and admits several possible models. One of these possible models is Putnam's notion of "rational acceptability under (...)
  43. Statements and Beliefs Without Truth-Aptitude.Kent Bach - manuscript
    Minimalism about truth-aptitude, if correct, would undercut expressivism about moral discourse. Indeed, it would undercut nonfactualism about any area of discourse. But it cannot be correct, for there are areas, about which people hold beliefs and make statements, to which nonfactualism uncontroversially applies. Or so I will argue. I will be thereby challenging John Divers and Alexander Miller’s [3] appeal to minimalism about truth-aptitude in defending a certain argument against expressivism about value. But I will not be defending expressivism. For (...)
  44. The Use of Force Against Deflationism: Assertion and Truth.Dorit Bar-On & Keith Simmons - 2007 - In Dirk Greimann & Geo Siegwart (eds.), Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 61--89.
  45. Varieties of Deflationism.Dorit Bar-On & Keith Simmons - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    There is a core metaphysical claim shared by all deflationists: truth is not a genuine, substantive property. But anyone who denies that truth is a genuine property must still make sense of our pervasive truth talk. In addressing questions about the meaning and function of ‘true’, deflationists engage in a linguistic or semantic project, a project that typically goes hand-in-hand with a deflationary account of the concept of truth. A thoroughgoing deflationary account of truth will go beyond the negative metaphysical (...)
  46. Disquotation, Conditionals, and the Liar.John Barker - 2009 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):5-21.
    In this paper I respond to Jacquette’s criticisms, in (Jacquette, 2008), of my (Barker, 2008). In so doing, I argue that the Liar paradox is in fact a problem about the disquotational schema, and that nothing in Jacquette’s paper undermines this diagnosis.
  47. Truth-Bearers and the Unsaid.Stephen Barker - 2011 - In Ken Turner (ed.), Making Semantics Pragmatic. Cambridge University Press.
    I argue that conventional implicatures embed in logical compounds, and are non-truth-conditional contributors to sentence meaning. This, I argue has significant implications for how we understand truth, truth-conditional content, and truth-bearers.
  48. Truth and Conventional Implicature.Stephen Barker - 2003 - Mind 112 (445):1-34.
    Are all instances of the T-schema assertable? I argue that they are not. The reason is the presence of conventional implicature in a language. Conventional implicature is meant to be a component of the rule-based content that a sentence can have, but it makes no contribution to the sentence's truth-conditions. One might think that a conventional implicature is like a force operator. But it is not, since it can enter into the scope of logical operators. It follows that the semantic (...)
  49. Tarski’s 1944 Polemical Remarks and Naess’ “Experimental Philosophy”.Robert Barnard & Joseph Ulatowski - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):457-477.
    Many of Tarski’s better known papers are either about or include lengthy discussions of how to properly define various concepts: truth, logical consequence, semantic concepts, or definability. In general, these papers identify two primary conditions for successful definitions: formal correctness and material adequacy. Material adequacy requires that the concept expressed by the formal definition capture the intuitive content of truth. Our primary interest in this paper is to better understand Tarski’s thinking about material adequacy, and whether components of his view (...)
  50. Warrant and Objectivity.Jon Barton - 2008 - Dissertation, Kings College London
    Wright's _Truth and Objectivity_ seeks to systematise a variety of anti-realist positions. I argue that many objections to the system are avoided by transposing its talk of truth into talk of warrant. However, a problem remains about debates involving 'direction-of-fit'. -/- Dummett introduced 'anti-realism' as a philosophical view informed by mathematical intuitionism. Subsequently, the term has been associated with many debates, ancient and modern. _Truth and Objectivity_ proposes that truth admits of different characteristics; these various debates then concern which characteristics (...)
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