A theory of truth is an explanation of the nature of truth and set of rules that true things obey. A theory of truth is basically an attempt to enlighten on the nature of truth and formulate a set of laws that ‘true’ things follow. When we recall a memory, or analyze a statement, or appeal to evaluate within our brain, in fact, we are in quest for truth.Different theories of truth try to understand it from different perspectives. Attempts to (...) analyze truth down the history can neatly be divided into two: Classical and Contemporary theories. The classical or otherwise known as the traditional theories of truth are, Correspondence theory, Coherence theory, Pragmatic theory. Contemporary theories or otherwise known as modern theories of truth are mostly deflationary theories. Over and above these two categories we shall discuss a new theory of truth known as Functional theory of truth. When we analyze contemporary theories of truth, such as functionalist theory of truth, specifically alethic pluralism which commits the problem of mixed compound and also suggest the solution for the same. (shrink)
According to alethic pluralism, sentences belonging to different domains of discourse can be true by having different alethic (i.e., truth-constituting) properties. Against this pluralistic view, Jamin Asay has recently argued that pluralists' appeal to multiple alethic properties is ill-motivated because the main advantages of pluralism can already be obtained within the framework of standard truthmaker theory. In response to this objection, this paper argues that Asay's claim does not hold with respect to one of the central advantages of pluralism, namely, (...) the ability to offer a proper understanding of the realism/anti-realism debate. This is because, first, when simply construed, truthmaker theory can only provide an inadequate understanding of the debate, and second, when construed in certain ways that allow it to avoid inadequacy, it becomes committed to multiple alethic properties. (shrink)
Alethic pluralists often claim that accommodating certain alethic platitudes motivates rejecting deflationism in favour of a pluralist inflationism about truth. Deflationists claim that the logical role of the truth predicate, viz providing something equivalent to variables for sentence-in-use positions and quantifiers governing them, is sufficient to account for the appeal to truth in the alethic platitudes. Surprisingly, however, most deflationists face an insufficiently acknowledged problem with respect to explaining how this mode of generalizing works. The standard substitutional or higher-order interpretations (...) of sentential quantifiers and variables do not meet two desiderata that we claim any adequate account of them must satisfy. To address this issue, we review and extend A. N. Prior's adverbial understanding of sentential quantification, explain how it satisfies the desiderata, and respond to some objections. This shows that deflationists can accommodate and account for the alethic platitudes by applying this non-nominal understanding of generalizing on sentence positions. (shrink)
I critically discuss Douglas Edwards' construal of the debate over truth, and his case for truth pluralism. Toward the end I present a constructive suggestion on Edwards' behalf. This suggestion avoids the problems I have presented, whatever in the end its fate.
Truth pluralists say that there are many ways to be true. Aaron Cotnoir (“Pluralism and Paradox” in: Pedersen and Wright (eds) Truth and pluralism: current debates, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) has suggested a “uniquely pluralist response to the liar”. The basic idea is to maintain that, if a sentence says of itself that it is not true in a certain way, then that sentence is not apt to be true in that way, but is instead apt to be true (...) in a different way. While this is consistent with the basic tenets of truth pluralism, it is an open question whether or not it is amenable to any actual pluralist theory. The primary goal of this paper is to argue that Cotnoir's proposal is amenable to form-based pluralism, rather than domain-based pluralism. In particular, in Section 1, I argue that there are several serious obstacles in the way of the domain-based pluralist who wishes to endorse Cotnoir's proposal; in Section 2, I show how the form-based pluralist can overcome these difficulties. The secondary goal of the paper is to argue that most, if not all, substantivists about truth should find form-based pluralism independently attractive. As such, the possibility of a form-based pluralist solution to the liar is not merely a technical curiosity, but something in which substantivists about truth have a vested interest. (shrink)
Deflationists believe that the question “What is truth?” should be answered not by means of a metaphysical inquiry into the nature of truth, but by figuring out what use we make of the concept of truth, and the word ‘true’, in practice. This article accepts this methodology, and it thereby rejects pluralism about truth that is driven by ontological considerations. However, it shows that there are practical considerations for a pluralism about truth, formulated at the level of use. The theory (...) expounded by this article states that truth is a dual-purpose tool; it can be used as a device for transferring justificatory burdens and, for select areas of discourse, it can also be used as a standard, a norm. This contrast in how truth is used introduces a bifurcation in our discourse that is reminiscent of metaphysical divides traced by more traditional versions of alethic pluralism. However, my pluralism “at the level of use” states that truth is plural solely at the level of use. It is unified at both the conceptual as well as the metaphysical level. At those levels, the theory takes its cue from deflationism. As such, this theory is offered as a midway point and as a potential way forward in the debate between deflationism and pluralism. (shrink)
Two central themes of Douglas Edwards’s The Metaphysics of Truth are anti-deflationism and substantial pluralism. In Part I of this paper I discuss Edwards’s grounds for rejecting deflationism and suggest a few additional grounds. In Part II I discuss Edward's truth-pluralism and respond to his criticism of my correspondence-pluralism. While these pluralisms share significant features, their differences also raise several important questions.
On the correspondence theory of truth, a proposition is true if and only if it corresponds to fact. Criticisms of the correspondence theory of truth have argued that such a strict interpretation of the correspondence relation will not be able to account for the truth of statements about fiction or mathematics. This challenge has resulted in the introduction of more permissive correspondence relations, such as Austin’s correspondence as correlation or Tarski’s correspondence as reference satisfaction. Recently, some mediated correspondence theorists of (...) truth have proposed that the correspondence relation holds not only between thought and world but also between thought and language. In this paper, I argue that correspondence truth, direct or mediated, is not a monistic theory of truth, the view that there is one and only way for a proposition to be true. To argue for this position, I will have to show that each of the correspondence theories accept direct and indirect ways of understanding the correspondence relation as well as address potential objections to the view that correspondence theory is not singular and monolithic. (shrink)
Truth pluralists say that truth-bearers in different “discourses”, “domains”, “domains of discourse”, or “domains of inquiry” are apt to be true in different ways – for instance, that mathematical discourse or ethical discourse is apt to be true in a different way to ordinary descriptive or scientific discourse. Moreover, the notion of a “domain” is often explicitly employed in formulating pluralist theories of truth. Consequently, the notion of a “domain” is attracting increasing attention, both critical and constructive. I argue that (...) this is a red herring. First, I identify the theoretical role for which pluralists appeal to domains, which is to answer what I call the “Individuation Problem”: saying what determines the way in which a particular truth-bearer is apt to be true. Second, I argue that pluralists need not appeal to domains for this purpose. I thus conclude that, despite the usual way of glossing the view, there is no role for the notion of a “domain” to play in the pluralist’s theory of truth. I argue that this defuses the “Problem of Mixed Atomics” and allows the pluralist to sidestep potentially intractable disputes about the nature of domains. (shrink)
Pragmatism and the correspondence theory of truth are longtime foes. Nevertheless, there is an argument to be made that pragmatists must embrace truth as correspondence. I show that there is a distinctive pragmatic utility to taking truth to be correspondence, and I argue that it would be inconsistent for pragmatists to accept the utility of the belief that truth is correspondence while resisting the premise that this belief is correct. -/- In order to show how pragmatists can embrace truth as (...) correspondence, I develop a kind of alethic pluralism, which treats pragmatist truth as theoretically fundamental to truth as correspondence. This theoretical fundamentality of pragmatist truth allows the pragmatist to conditionally accept truth as correspondence for certain discourses without falling prey to the typical pragmatist objections to correspondence. This pluralist account of truth thus allows pragmatists to concede that, for certain domains of discourse, truth is correspondence, without thereby betraying their pragmatist principles. (shrink)
In this paper, we propose and justify the cross‐linguistic study of the concept of truth through empirical studies of truth predicates, with results of such studies. We first conceptually explore the possibility of cross‐linguistic disagreement about truth purely due to linguistic norms governing truth predicates, which may imply a kind of pluralism about the concept of truth. We then consider the conditions under which we would be justified in inferring this sort of pluralism from the fact of such cross‐linguistic disagreement. (...) Next, we report results of three studies on the use of English “is true” and Japanese two truth predicates, as well as “is correct” and its Japanese counterpart. We then report another set of studies using a different vignette, where the radical cross‐linguistic difference observed in earlier studies disappeared. These data together suggest that the moral‐political factor in the truth‐bearer (utterance) strongly affects the uses of Japanese truth predicates but not those of English. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the studies and results reported here, and the empirical possibility of what we call lexical alethic pluralism, for debates over relativism, theories of meaning, and the deflationary and inflationary theories of truth. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a pluralistic framework for disagreement and I develop a strategy to account for the varieties of disagreement on the basis of the varieties of the truth across different domains of discourse. Truth-pluralism is thus sufficient for delivering pluralism about disagreement—that is, diaphonic pluralism.
This paper discusses the relation between Crispin Wright’s alethic pluralism and my global expressivism. I argue that on many topics Wright’s own view counts as expressivism in my sense, but that truth itself is a striking exception. Unlike me, Wright never seems to countenance an expressivist account of truth, though the materials needed are available to him in his approaches to other topics.
This paper aims to show how Kant’s account of theoretical reason can inform the contemporary debate over unity and pluralism of science. Although the unity of science thesis has been severely criticized in recent decades, I argue that pluralism as the sole epistemic principle guiding science is both too strong and too weak a principle. It is too strong because it does not account for the process of theory unification in science. It is too weak because it does not answer (...) the question of how science ought to be done. I then look at a promising ‘perspectival’ (i.e., epistemically situated) approach to the problem Kant presents in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic. I argue that the logical principles of systematicity (homogeneity, specification, continuity) form a ‘perspectival space’ within which scientists can pursue both unity and disunity of cognition. Finally, I suggest that the existing conflict between pluralism and unity ultimately resides in a metaphysical characterization of unity that does not correctly capture its epistemic significance in science. Looking at Kant’s ‘perspectivism’ not only allows us to resolve this apparent antinomy, but also to rethink unity and pluralism as mutually inclusive regulative principles. (shrink)
Truth and Norms develops a novel pluralistic view of the normative role that truth exerts on judgements. This view, labeled normative alethic pluralism, provides the best explanation of the variable normative significance that disagreement exhibits in different areas of discourse and is fully compatible with a minimalist conception of truth.
Hilary Putnam spent much of his career criticizing the fact/value dichotomy, and this became apparent already during the phase when he defended internal realism. He later changed his epistemological and metaphysical view by endorsing natural realism, with the consequence of embracing alethic pluralism, the idea that truth works differently in various discourse domains. Despite these changes of mind in epistemology and in theory of truth, Putnam went on criticizing the fact/value dichotomy. However, alethic pluralism entails drawing distinctions among discourse domains, (...) especially between factual and nonfactual domains, and these distinctions are in tension with the rejection of the fact/value dichotomy, as this would in principle hinder factual domains as genuine. This issue raises, prima facie, some doubts about the effective compatibility of these views. (shrink)
According to truth pluralism, sentences from different areas of discourse can be true in different ways. This view has been challenged to make sense of logical validity, understood as necessary truth preservation, when inferences involving different areas are considered. To solve this problem, a natural temptation is that of replicating the standard practice in many-valued logic by appealing to the notion of designated values. Such a simple approach, however, is usually considered a non-starter for strong versions of truth pluralism, since (...) designation seems to embody nothing but a notion of generic truth. In this paper, I explore the analogy with many-valued logic by comparing the problem of mixed inferences with Suszko’s thesis, and argue that the strong pluralist has room to resist the commitment to a generic property of truth by undermining the semantic significance of Suszko’s reduction. (shrink)
Alethic pluralism holds that there are many ways of being true. The view has been accused of being unable to do justice to the traditional account of logical validity, understood as necessary truth preservation. In this paper I reformulate the debate in terms of the naturalness of generic truth, and discuss some notable consequences of this more careful reformulation. I show not only that some alleged solutions, like the resort to plural quantification, are ineffective, but also that the problem is (...) not really posed by mixed inferences, as usually thought. Finally, I argue that the traditional account of logical validity does carry a commitment to generic truth, so that a strong version of alethic pluralism can hardly vindicate it. (shrink)
Truth pluralism offers the latest extension in the tradition of substantive theorizing about truth. While various forms of this thesis are available, most frameworks commit to domain reliance. According to domain reliance, various ways of being true, such as coherence and correspondence, are tied to discourse domains rather than individual sentences. From this follows that the truth of different types of sentences is accounted for by their domain membership. For example, sentences addressing ethical matters are true if they cohere and (...) those addressing extensional states of affairs if they correspond. By tying distinct truth-grounding properties to domains rather than individual sentences, truth pluralists avoid certain issues with definitional ambiguity and indeterminacy. I argue that contrary to the ideal situation, domains fail to provide the sought-after benefits of achieving definitional unambiguity and determinacy in the standard domain reliant pluralist frameworks. The reason is that, when combined with the inherently ambiguous nature of certain truth-relevant terms of sentences, fringe cases emerge, causing some of them to count as members of multiple domains. Consequently, some sentences end up being both true and false in the standard domain reliant pluralist frameworks, thus conflicting with both standard laws of non-contradiction and identity. Finally, I argue that truth pluralists should pay closer attention to the hitherto neglected question of inherent natural language ambiguity. (shrink)
Douglas Edwards is arguably the most prominent contemporary advocate of moderate alethic pluralism. Significantly influenced by Crispin Wright and Michael Lynch, his work on the nature of truth has become widely discussed in the topical literature. Edwards labels his version of moderate alethic pluralism determination pluralism. At first blush, determination pluralism appears philosophically promising. The position deserves thoughtful consideration, particularly because of its capacity to accommodate the scope problem. I argue, however, that upon analysis the view is better understood as (...) a form of metaphysical dualism or what I will call meta-dualism. Furthermore, determination pluralists face a dilemma; there appears to be an instability at the core of their dualistic model. On the one horn of the dilemma, they need a clear metaphysical demarcation at the interface of their two necessary domains. On the other horn, they seem to need to a metaphysically vague boundary at the interface of their two necessary domains. Determination pluralism needs substantial revision. (shrink)
Metasemantic inferentialismhas gained popularity in the last few decades. Traditionally, inferentialism is combined with a deflationary attitude towards semantic terms such as truth and reference, i.e., many inferentialists hold that when we use these semantic terms we do not purport to refer to substantive properties. This combination makes inferentialism attractive for philosophers who see themselves as antirealists. Although the attractions of combining inferentialism and deflationism are easy to see, deflationism is also a controversial position. For one, deflationists maintain that truth (...) is an insubstantive property, but it is not altogether clear what an insubstantive property is. Secondly, as deflationists maintain that truth does not play an explanatory role, it is incompatible with the position that truth can explain the normativity of truth talk. Given that deflationism faces these objections, it would be preferable if the success of inferentialism did not depend on the deflationist’s ability to respond to these objections. I argue that someone attracted to inferentialism for its ability to accommodate antirealist intuitions about a domain (e.g. morality) is not committed to deflationism about truth. More specifically, I will show that inferentialism combined with a straightforward account of inferentialist truth-conditions is compatible with a version of truth pluralism. I call this position Inferentialist Truth Pluralism. (shrink)
One of the most important “folk” anti-realist thoughts about certain areas of our thought and discourse—basic taste, for instance, or comedy—is that their lack of objectivity crystallises in the possibility of “faultless disagreements”: situations where one party accepts P, another rejects P, and neither is guilty of any kind of mistake of substance or shortcoming of cognitive process. On close inspection, however, it proves challenging to make coherent sense of this idea, and a majority of theorists have come to reject (...) it as incoherent. There are two significant exceptions in the contemporary literature: relativists often hold it up as something of a coup for their view that it can make straightforward sense of faultless disagreement; and the author of this paper has argued (Wright 2006) that making judicious intuitionistic revisions to classical logic can provide resources that suffice to stabilise the notion. The present paper argues that neither relativism nor intuitionism in fact provides a satisfactory account and indicates how an alethic pluralist framework enables us to do better. (shrink)
I have two objectives in this paper. The first is to investigate whether, and to what extent, truth is valuable. I do this by first isolating the value question from other normative questions. Second, I import into the debate about the nature of truth some key distinctions hailing from value theory. This will help us to clarify the sense in which truth is valuable. I then argue that there is significant variability in the value of truth in different areas of (...) discourse. I shall call this the axiological variability conjecture. I illustrate and substantiate AVC by contrasting the occurrence of disagreement in two paradigmatically evaluative areas of discourse, viz. matters of taste, on the one hand, and morality, on the other. I claim that there is a reasonable tendency to care much more about settling moral disagreements than taste disagreements and that this difference has to do, at least partly but significantly, with the different value that truth exhibits in these two areas of discourse. I then turn to the second objective of the paper—namely, to discuss how pluralistic accounts of the nature of truth may deal with the value of truth in light of AVC. I will argue that AVC is a problem for all versions of truth pluralism that are committed to the following two theses: that truth is a value concept; and that this characteristic of the concept has to be reflected in the metaphysical nature of any admissible truth properties—i.e., all the various properties that are admissible in the pluralist account are value-conferring properties and thus intrinsically valuable. In so doing, I will focus primarily on Michael Lynch’s functionalist incarnation of truth pluralism. Lynch terms this “Manifestation Alethic Pluralism”. My reason for this is twofold: first and foremost, MAP is a paradigmatic exemplification of a model of truth pluralism that is committed to both and ; second, MAP has, to date, enjoyed the most discussion, and currently provides the most developed account of truth pluralism. However, I argue that MAP lacks the resources to account for AVC. Owing to this, I suggest two ways out for an advocate of MAP, which force various structural changes in her view. (shrink)
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim.1 This argument has been taken, together with the scope problem,2 as one of the main motivations for alethic pluralism.3 We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument (henceforth IA) aimed at highlighting what are the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter (...) is accepted, a local counterexample to IA can be constructed. We focus on the domain of basic taste and we develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seems palatable in that domain. Although we undertake no commitment to this being the right metaphysical cum epistemological package for basic taste, we contend that if the metaphysics and the epistemology of basic taste are understood along these lines, they call for a truth property whose nature is not distinctively normative—contra what IA predicts. This result shows that the success of IA requires certain substantial metaphysical and epistemological principles and that, consequently, a proper assessment of IA cannot avoid taking a stance on the metaphysics and the epistemology of the domain where it is claimed to be successful. Although we conjecture that IA might succeed in other domains, in this paper we don’t take a stand on this issue. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
Truth pluralists say that the nature of truth varies between domains of discourse: while ordinary descriptive claims or those of the hard sciences might be true in virtue of corresponding to reality, those concerning ethics, mathematics, institutions might be true in some non-representational or “anti-realist” sense. Despite pluralism attracting increasing amounts of attention, the motivations for the view remain underdeveloped. This paper investigates whether pluralism is well-motivated on ontological grounds: that is, on the basis that different discourses are concerned with (...) different kinds of entities. Arguments that draw on six different ontological contrasts are examined: concrete versus abstract entities; mind-independent versus mind-dependent entities; sparse versus merely abundant properties; objective versus projected entities; natural versus non-natural entities; and ontological pluralism. I argue that the additional premises needed to move from such contrasts to truth pluralism are either implausible or unmotivated, often doing little more than to bifurcate the nature of truth when a more theoretically conservative option is available. If there is a compelling motivation for pluralism, I suggest, it’s likely to lie elsewhere. (shrink)
According to moderate truth pluralism, truth is both One and Many. There is a single truth property that applies across all truth‐apt domains of discourse, but instances of this property are grounded in different ways. Propositions concerning medium‐sized dry goods might be true in virtue of corresponding with reality while propositions pertaining to the law might be true in virtue of cohering with the body of law. Moderate truth pluralists must answer two questions concerning logic: (Q1) Which logic governs inferences (...) concerning each truth‐apt domain considered separately? (Q2) Which logic governs inferences that involve several truth‐apt domains? This paper has three objectives. The first objective is to present and explain the moderate pluralist’s answers to (Q1) and (Q2). The second objective is to argue that there is a tension between these answers. The answer to (Q1) involves a commitment to a form of logical pluralism. However, reflection on the moderate truth pluralist’s answer to (Q2) shows that they are committed to taking logic to be topic neutrality. This, in turn, forces a commitment to logical monism. It would seem that the moderate truth pluralist cannot have it both ways. The third objective is constructive in nature. I offer an account of what moderate truth pluralists should say about logic and how they might resolve the tension in their view. I suggest that, just like moderate truth pluralists distinguish truth proper and “quasi‐truth,” they should endorse a distinction between logic proper and “quasi‐logic.” Quasi‐truth is truth‐like in the sense that instances of quasi‐truth ground instances of truth. Quasi‐logic is logic‐like in the sense that it concerns arguments that are necessarily truth‐preserving but are not generally so in a topic neutral way. I suggest that moderate truth pluralists should be monists about truth proper and logic proper but pluralists about quasi‐truth and quasi‐logic. This allows them to say that logic proper is topic neutral while still accommodating the idea that, for different domains, different arguments may be necessarily truth‐preserving. (shrink)
Two currently much discussed views about truth, truth pluralism and truth relativism, are found in Sellars’s writings. I show that his motivations for adoping these views are interestingly different from those shared by most of their recent advocates. First, I explain how Sellars comes to embrace a version of truth pluralism. I argue that his version overcomes a difficulty confronting pluralists, albeit at a serious cost. Then I argue that Sellars’s truth pluralism isn’t motivated by his interest in domains of (...) discourse beyond the “matter-of-factual.” Rather, the key to his truth pluralism, his analysis of truth as “semantical assertibility,” is motivated by the same consideration that leads him to adopt truth relativism. This is his interest in applying semantic notions to discourse that embodies conceptual structures other than ours. Despite their common motivation, I conclude that Sellars’s relativism is independent of, and indeed stands in tension with, the analysis of truth that underlies his pluralism. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate how differences in approach to truth and logic (in particular, a deflationist vs. a substantivist approach to these fields) affect philosophers’ views concerning pluralism and normativity in these fields. My perspective on truth and logic is largely epistemic, focusing on the role of truth in knowledge (rather than on the use of the words “true” and “truth” in natural language), and my reference group includes Carnap (1934), Harman (1986), Horwich (1990), Wright (1992), Beall and Restall (...) (2006), Field (2009), Lynch (2009), and Sher (2016a).1 Whenever possible, I focus on positive rather than negative views on the issues involved, although in some cases this is not possible. (shrink)
It has been argued that alethic pluralists -- who hold that there are several distinct truth properties -- face a problem when it comes to defining validity. Via consideration of the classical concept of logical consequence, and of strategies for defining validity in many-valued logics, this paper proposes two new kinds of solution to the problem.
According to strong pluralist theories of truth, ‘true’ designates different properties depending on which sentences it’s applied to. An influential objection to strong pluralism claims it can’t make sense of logically complex sentences whose components have different truth-properties. For example, if ‘true’ designates correspondents for ‘Tabby is a cat’, and it designates coherence for ‘Tabby is beautiful’, what does it designate for ‘Tabby is a beautiful cat’ (Tappolet 1997)? Will Gamester (2019) has proposed a novel pluralist theory meant to avoid (...) the problem. The theory construes ‘true’ as designating a different property for each possible logical structure, and he has challenged monists to identify shortcomings of the theory in virtue of its pluralism. This paper answers Gamester’s challenge and identifies three such shortcomings. (1) The theory can’t make sense of the idea that all true conjunctions share the property of having true conjuncts, in virtue of which they are true. (2) The theory imposes unmotivated syntactic constraints on the language in which the theory of truth is formulated. (3) Avoiding the second shortcoming requires arbitrary choices among equally good candidates for “the” logical form of sentences and hence the designation of ‘true’ as applied to them. (shrink)
The core of alethic pluralism is the idea that truth is a different property in some discourses from others. Orthodox pluralists such as Crispin Wright and Michael Lynch share three commitments that motivate their view. One is Ecumenicalism, the view that scientific and moral claims are both truth-apt. The second is Occasional Realism, the view that truth in science is a matter of justification-independent, accurate representation, while truth in ethics is a matter of ideal epistemic justifiability. The third is Normativism, (...) the view that truth-attributions are normative in a way deflationary theories cannot accommodate. This paper articulates the “aletheiological dilemma” for orthodox pluralists. The dilemma arises when we ask whether the truth-property relevant to truth-attributions is epistemic. Occasional Realism requires it not be, but Normativism and the pluralists’ other commitments require truth for truth-attributions to be a matter of ideal justifiability. The paper also considers some ways around the dilemma, none of which looks very promising for pluralists. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEcumenical Alethic Pluralism is a novel kind of alethic pluralism. It is ecumenical in that it widens the scope of alethic pluralism by allowing for a normatively deflated truth property alongside a variety of normatively robust truth properties. We establish EAP by showing how Wright’s Inflationary Arguments fail in the domain of taste, once a relativist treatment of the metaphysics and epistemology of that domain is endorsed. EAP is highly significant to current debates on the nature of truth insofar as (...) it involves a reconfiguration of the dialectic between deflationists and pluralists. (shrink)
Monists say that the nature of truth is invariant, whichever sentence you consider; pluralists say that the nature of truth varies between different sets of sentences. The orthodoxy is that logic and logical form favour monism: there must be a single property that is preserved in any valid inference; and any truth-functional complex must be true in the same way as its components. The orthodoxy, I argue, is mistaken. Logic and logical form impose only structural constraints on a metaphysics of (...) truth. Monistic theories are not guaranteed to satisfy these constraints, and there is a pluralistic theory that does so. (shrink)
I challenge the assumption that the pragmatist-, coherence-, identity- and deflationary theories of truth are essentially incompatible and rival views to the correspondence theory, without endorsing pluralism. With the exception of some versions of the identity theory, the alternative theories only appear to genuinely contradict the correspondence theory, either when they are wedded to a rejection of an objective reality, or when it is assumed that a ‘theory of truth’ is a theory of the function of the truth-predicate. I argue (...) that the correspondence theory should not be understood as a theory about the function of the truth-predicate, and that the core ideas of the alternative views, once separated from any anti-realist convictions, are best understood as complementary views about different aspects of a fairly complex phenomenon, notably of how our beliefs relate to their subject matter and how we reason and talk about that relation. (shrink)
The answers to the questions in the title depend on the kind of pluralism one is talking about. We will focus here on our own views. The purpose of this article is to trace out some possible connections between these kinds of pluralism. We show how each of them might bear on the other, depending on how certain open questions are resolved.
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 (...) pluralism that challenges its fundamental commitment to there being a set of alethic properties in virtue of which claims are true. In its place I offer an alternative view that merges standard truthmaker theory with a primitivist conception of truth. This combination of views satisfies the theoretical desires that pluralists claim for themselves, but without taking on pluralism's host of challenges and problems. (shrink)
What is truth? What role does truth play in the connections between language and the world? What is the relationship between truth and being? Douglas Edwards tackles these questions and develops a distinctive metaphysical worldview. He argues that in some domains language responds to the world, whereas in others language generates the world.
Some philosophers have argued that truth is a norm of judgement and have provided a variety of formulations of this general thesis. In this paper, I shall side with these philosophers and assume that truth is a norm of judgement. What I am primarily interested in here are two core questions concerning the judgement-truth norm: (i) what are the normative relationships between truth and judgement? And (ii) do these relationships vary or are they constant? I argue for a pluralist picture—what (...) I call Normative Alethic Pluralism (NAP)—according to which (i) there is more than one correct judgement-truth norm and (ii) the normative relationships between truth and judgement vary in relation to the subject matter of the judgement. By means of a comparative analysis of disagreement in three areas of the evaluative domain—refined aesthetics, basic taste and morality—I show that there is an important variability in the normative significance of disagreement—I call this the variability conjecture. By presenting a variation of Lynch’s scope problem for alethic monism, I argue that a monistic approach to the normative function of truth is unable to vindicate the conjecture. I then argue that normative alethic pluralism provides us with a promising model to account for it. (shrink)
In this paper, I ask whether we should see different logical systems as appropriate for different domains (or perhaps in different contexts) and whether this would amount to a form of logical pluralism. One, though not the only, route to this type of position, is via pluralism about truth. Given that truth is central to validity, the commitment the typical truth pluralist has to different notions of truth for different domains may suggest differences regarding validity in those different domains. Indeed, (...) as we’ll see, the differences between the proposed multiple notions of truth are often of a type that is clearly significant in relation to logical features, such as whether or not a constructive notion of truth is at issue. I criticise domain-based logical pluralism. Having done so I introduce a context-based framework that operates with a context-relative notion of validity. I show that this context-based framework can be employed by the domain-specific logical pluralist, but that framework also allows for logical pluralism that does not involve several domains. Different contexts may demand rules of classical logic, where others only justify intuitionistic rules, even when the same domain (e.g. mathematics) is at issue. (shrink)