Pluralism about Truth

Edited by Cory Wright (California State University, Long Beach)
Assistant editor: Shawn Xavier Hernandez (California State University, Long Beach)
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  1. Alethic pluralism and the value of truth.Filippo Ferrari - forthcoming - Synthese:1–25.
    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 (...)
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  2. Deflating Truth About Taste.Filippo Ferrari & Sebastiano Moruzzi - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (4).
    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 (...)
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  3. Shopping for Truth Pluralism.Will Gamester - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    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 (or modality, aesthetics, comedy…) 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 (...)
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  4. The Nature of Truth (Second Edition).Michael Lynch, Jeremy Wyatt, Junyeol Kim & Nathan Kellen (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
  5. Does Logical Pluralism Imply, or Suggest, Truth Pluralism, or Vice Versa?Stewart Shapiro & Michael Lynch - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    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.
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  6. Alethic Pluralism and Logical Consequence.Nicholas J. J. Smith - forthcoming - In Igor Sedlár & Martin Blicha (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2019. London, UK:
    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.
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  7. Review of Wright & Pedersen (Eds.), New Waves in Truth. [REVIEW]Andreas Stokke - forthcoming - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  8. Algebraic Semantics and Mixed Validities: A Reply to Cotnoir.Andrea Strollo - forthcoming - Logique Et Analyse.
    Alethic pluralism holds that there are many ways of being true. Such a view has been challenged to make sense of the standard account of logical validity as necessary truth preservation. In this paper, the recent solution elaborated by Aaron Cotnoir, based on an algebraic approach, is shown to be untenable. Some reflections about the relation of many-valued logics with truth pluralism are also discussed.
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  9. A Dilemma for Determination Pluralism.Ragnar van der Merwe - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-17.
    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 (...)
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  10. Alethic Pluralism and Logical Form.Chase Wrenn - forthcoming - Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    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 (...)
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  11. On Moderate Pluralism About Truth and Logic.Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen - 2020 - Philosophical Forum 51 (2):143–160.
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  12. Sellars, Truth Pluralism, and Truth Relativism.Lionel Shapiro - 2020 - In Stefan Brandt & Anke Breunig (eds.), Wilfrid Sellars and Twentieth-Century Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 174–206.
    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 (...)
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  13. Editorial Introduction to ‘Truth: Concept Meets Property’.Jeremy Wyatt - 2020 - Synthese 198 (2):591-603.
  14. Ecumenical Alethic Pluralism.Filippo Ferrari & Sebastiano Moruzzi - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):368-393.
    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 (...)
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  15. Logic, Logical Form and the Disunity of Truth.Will Gamester - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):34-43.
    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 (...)
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  16. Review of Douglas Edwards, The Metaphysics of Truth. [REVIEW]Mark Jago - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):970–976.
    The Metaphysics of Truth, by EdwardsDouglas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 208.
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  17. Epistemic Friction: An Essay on Knowledge, Truth and Logic, by Gila Sher: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, Pp Xviii + 370, £30. [REVIEW]Albert Atkin - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):838-838.
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  18. Postscript: Reply to McLeod.Lajos L. Brons - 2018 - In Bo Mou (ed.), Philosophy of Language, Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement. Brill. pp. 364-370.
    This is my reply to McLeod’s reply (2015a) to my (2015) paper commenting on his (2011) interpretation of Wang Chong 王充 as an alethic pluralist.
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  19. Gila Sher. Epistemic Friction: An Essay on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic.Julian C. Cole - 2018 - Philosophia Mathematica 26 (1):136-148.
    © The Authors [2017]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.comGila Sher believes that our basic epistemic situation — that we aim to gain knowledge of a highly complex world using our severely limited, yet highly resourceful, cognitive capacities — demands that all epistemic projects be undertaken within two broad constraints: epistemic freedom and epistemic friction. The former permits us to employ our cognitive resourcefulness fully while undertaking epistemic projects, while the latter requires that (...)
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  20. The Metaphysics of Truth.Douglas Edwards - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    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.
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  21. Normative Alethic Pluralism.Filippo Ferrari - 2018 - In Nathan Kellen, Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Jeremy Wyatt (eds.), Pluralisms in Truth and Logic. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 145-168.
    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 (...)
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  22. Epistemic Friction: An Essay on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic, by Gila Sher.Terry Horgan - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):881-890.
    © Mind Association 2018Gila Sher’s Epistemic Friction is a bold and ambitious book, with many interesting things to say not only about knowledge, truth, and logic but also about matters ontological. It often requires the reader to construe it hermeneutically, but repays the effort of doing so.She coins the expression ‘epistemic friction’ to refer to constraints on a system of knowledge, coming from both the world and the mind. She says, ‘The world as the object or target of our theories (...)
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  23. Methodological Pluralism About Truth.Nathan Kellen - 2018 - In Jeremy Wyatt, Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Nathan Kellen (eds.), Pluralisms in Truth and Logic. pp. 131-144.
    In this paper I argue that contemporary truth pluralists have undersold the connection between their views and the semantic realism/anti-realism debate. I argue that pluralist theories of truth are essentially a combination of accepting both realist and anti-realist intuitions, and that we should take this lesson to heart. I show how we can categorize pluralist views by how realist or anti-realist they are, and introduce two notions to do so: methodological fundamentality and theoretical fundamentality. I show how viewing the pluralist (...)
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  24. Semantic-Truth Approaches in Chinese Philosophy: A Unifying Pluralist Account.Bo Mou - 2018 - Lexington Books.
    The work explains a unifying pluralist account of truth that combines representative truth-concern approaches in Chinese philosophy to posit one foundation of the various movements of thought in Chinese philosophy that pursue “how things are.” Mou contributes a unique, Eastern view to contemporary exploration of the philosophical issue of truth.
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  25. A Simple Notion of Validity for Alethic Pluralism.Andrea Strollo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1529-1546.
    Alethic pluralism holds that there are many truth properties. The view has been challenged to make sense of the notion of logical validity, understood as necessary truth preservation, when inferences involving different areas of discourse are concerned. I argue that the solution proposed by Edwards to solve the analogous problem of mixed compounds can straightforwardly be adapted to give alethic pluralists also a viable account of validity.
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  26. Kierkegaard on Truth: One or Many?Daniel Watts - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):197-223.
    This paper re-examines Kierkegaard's work with respect to the question whether truth is one or many. I argue that his famous distinction between objective and subjective truth is grounded in a unitary conception of truth as such: truth as self-coincidence. By explaining his use in this context of the term ‘redoubling’ [ Fordoblelse ], I show how Kierkegaard can intelligibly maintain that truth is neither one nor many, neither a simple unity nor a complex multiplicity. I further show how these (...)
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  27. Truth in English and Elsewhere: An Empirically-Informed Functionalism.Jeremy Wyatt - 2018 - In Pluralisms in Truth and Logic. pp. 169-196.
    Functionalism about truth, or alethic functionalism, is one of our most promising approaches to the study of truth. In this chapter, I chart a course for functionalist inquiry that centrally involves the empirical study of ordinary thought about truth. In doing so, I review some existing empirical data on the ways in which we think about truth and offer suggestions for future work on this issue. I also argue that some of our data lend support to two kinds of pluralism (...)
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  28. Pluralisms in Truth and Logic.Jeremy Wyatt, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Nathan Kellen (eds.) - 2018 - Palgrave Macmillan.
    This edited volume brings together 18 state-of-the art essays on pluralism about truth and logic. Parts I and II are dedicated to respectively truth pluralism and logical pluralism, and Part III to their interconnections. Some contributors challenge pluralism, arguing that the nature of truth or logic is uniform. The majority of contributors, however, defend pluralism, articulate novel versions of the view, or contribute to fundamental debates internal to the pluralist camp. The volume will be of interest to truth theorists and (...)
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  29. Logic for Alethic, Logical, and Ontological Pluralists.Andy Yu - 2018 - In Jeremy Wyatt, Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Nathan Kellen (eds.), Pluralisms in Truth and Logic. London, UK: pp. 407-427.
    There have been few attempts to answer the challenges for alethic pluralists to maintain standard accounts of the logical operators and of logical consequence in a sufficiently systematic and precise way. This chapter presents a pluralist account of logic and semantics that answers these challenges. The chapter also shows how to accommodate logical pluralism and ontological pluralism within an extension of the framework.
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  30. Alethic Pluralism and the Role of Reference in the Metaphysics of Truth.Brian Ball - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):116-135.
    In this paper, I outline and defend a novel approach to alethic pluralism, the thesis that truth has more than one metaphysical nature: where truth is, in part, explained by reference, it is relational in character and can be regarded as consisting in correspondence; but where instead truth does not depend upon reference it is not relational and involves only coherence. In the process, I articulate a clear sense in which truth may or may not depend upon reference: this involves (...)
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  31. A Framework for Validating is Research Based on a Pluralist Account of Truth and Correctness.John Mingers & Craig Standing - 2017
    Research in information systems includes a wide range of approaches which make a contribution in terms of knowledge, understanding, or practical developments. The measure of any research is, ultimately, its validity – are its finding true, or its recommendations correct? However, empirical studies show that discussion of validity in research is often weak. In this paper we examine the nature of truth and correctness in order to construct a validation framework that can encompass all the varied forms of research. Within (...)
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  32. Plain Truth and the Incoherence of Alethic Functionalism.Jay Newhard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    According to alethic functionalism, truth is a generic alethic property related to lower level alethic properties through the manifestation relation. The manifestation relation is reflexive; thus, a proposition’s truth-manifesting property may be a lower level property or truth itself, depending on the subject matter properties of the proposition. A true proposition whose truth-manifesting property is truth itself, rather than a lower level alethic property, is plainly true. Alethic functionalism relies on plain truth to account for the truth of propositions with (...)
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  33. Commonsense Pluralism About Truth: An Empirical Defence.Joseph Ulatowski - 2017 - Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Truth is a pervasive feature of ordinary language, deserving of systematic study, and few theorists of truth have endeavoured to chronicle the tousled conceptual terrain forming the non-philosopher’s ordinary view. Joseph Ulatowski recasts the philosophical treatment of truth in light of historical and recent work in experimental philosophy. He argues that the commonsense view of truth is deeply fragmented along two axes, across different linguistic discourses and among different demographics. Call this endoxic alethic pluralism. To defend this view, four conclusions (...)
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  34. Parfit’s and Scanlon’s Non-Metaphysical Moral Realism as Alethic Pluralism.Herman Veluwenkamp - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):751-761.
    Thomas Scanlon and Derek Parfit have recently defended a meta-ethical view that is supposed to satisfy realistic intuitions about morality, without the metaphysical implications that many find hard to accept in other realist views. Both philosophers argue that truths in the normative domain do not have ontological implications, while truths in the scientific domain presuppose a metaphysical reality. What distinguishes Scanlon and Parfit’s approach from other realistic meta-ethical theories is that they maintain that normative entities exist in a way that (...)
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  35. Pluralism and the Liar.Cory Wright - 2017 - In Bradley Armour-Garb (ed.), Reflections on the Liar. Oxford University Press. pp. 347–373.
    Pluralists maintain that there is more than one truth property in virtue of which bearers are true. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how they diagnose the liar paradox or what resources they have available to treat it. This chapter considers one recent attempt by Cotnoir (2013b) to treat the Liar. It argues that pluralists should reject the version of pluralism that Cotnoir assumes, discourse pluralism, in favor of a more naturalized approach to truth predication in real languages, which should (...)
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  36. Normativity for Alethic-Logical Pluralists.Andy Demfree Yu - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-21.
    Differences among scientific, mathematical, and ethical subject matters motivate a pluralism where distinct domains of subject matter are associated with distinct truth properties and logics. However, it is unclear how such pluralism might accommodate potentially attractive epistemic norms, such as that one ought to believe only what is true, and that one ought to believe what is logically true. In this paper, I show how such pluralism can accommodate such norms by supplementing the account developed in Yu (2017a,b) with epistemic, (...)
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  37. Can Alethic Pluralists Maintain Compositionality?Andy Demfree Yu - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):625–632.
    The challenge for alethic pluralists to maintain a standard, truth-functional account of the logical operators has received some attention. In this paper, I consider a related but more fundamental challenge, to maintain a compositional account of the logical operators, which has received much less attention. I argue that, given natural assumptions, pluralists cannot answer this challenge.
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  38. Logic for Alethic Pluralists.Andy Demfree Yu - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (6):277–302.
    There have been few attempts to answer the twin challenges for alethic pluralists to maintain standard accounts of the logical operators and of logical consequence in a sufficiently systematic and precise way. In this paper, I propose an account of logic and semantics on behalf of pluralists that answers both challenges in a sufficiently systematic and precise way. Crucially, the account accommodates mixed atomics, and its first-order extension also accommodates quantified sentences. Accordingly, pluralists can answer all the distinctively logical challenges (...)
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  39. 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 (...)
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  40. Putnam’s Conception of Truth.Massimo Dell'Utri - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (2):5-22.
    After stressing how the attempt to provide a plausible account of the connection between language and the world was one of Putnam’s constant preoccupations, this article describes the four stages his thinking about the concepts of truth and reality went through. Particular attention is paid to the kinds of problems that made him abandon each stage to enter the next. The analysis highlights how all the stages but one express a general non-epistemic stance towards truth and reality—the right stance, according (...)
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  41. An Old Solution to the Problem of Mixed Atomics.Adam Stewart-Wallace - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (4):363-372.
    This paper examines a difficulty for various forms of truth pluralism, known in the literature as the problem of ‘mixed atomics’. It is argued that two prominent attempts to respond to the difficulty—those of Jeremy Wyatt and Gila Sher—fail. In their place, an alternative is offered based on parts of Crispin Wright’s Truth and Objectivity programme. It is argued that the Wrightian approach works because it substitutes traditional conceptions of truth-relevant properties, for example correspondence and coherence, for criteria of objectivity (...)
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  42. From One to Many: Recent Work on Truth.Jeremy Wyatt & Michael Lynch - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):323-340.
    In this paper, we offer a brief, critical survey of contemporary work on truth. We begin by reflecting on the distinction between substantivist and deflationary truth theories. We then turn to three new kinds of truth theory—Kevin Scharp's replacement theory, John MacFarlane's relativism, and the alethic pluralism pioneered by Michael Lynch and Crispin Wright. We argue that despite their considerable differences, these theories exhibit a common "pluralizing tendency" with respect to truth. In the final section, we look at the underinvestigated (...)
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  43. Fragmented Truth.Andy Demfree Yu - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis comprises three main chapters—each comprising one relatively standalone paper. The unifying theme is fragmentalism about truth, which is the view that the predicate “true” either expresses distinct concepts or expresses distinct properties. -/- In Chapter 1, I provide a formal development of alethic pluralism. Pluralism is the view that there are distinct truth properties associated with distinct domains of subject matter, where a truth property satisfies certain truth-characterizing principles. On behalf of pluralists, I propose an account of logic (...)
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  44. Wang Chong, Truth, and Quasi-Pluralism.Lajos L. Brons - 2015 - Comparative Philosophy 6 (1):129-148.
    In (2011) McLeod suggested that the first century Chinese philosopher Wang Chong 王充 may have been a pluralist about truth. In this reply I contest McLeod's interpretation of Wang Chong, and suggest "quasi-pluralism" (albeit more as an alternative to pluralism than as an interpretation of Wang Chong), which combines primitivism about the concept of truth with pluralism about justification.
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  45. From Truth Pluralism to Ontological Pluralism and Back.Aaron J. Cotnoir & Douglas Edwards - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (3):113-140.
    Ontological pluralism holds that there are different ways of being. Truth pluralism holds that there are different ways of being true. Both views have received growing attention in recent literature, but so far there has been very little discussion of the connections between the views. The authors suggest that motivations typically given for truth pluralism have analogue motivations for ontological pluralism; they argue that while neither view entails the other, those who hold one view and wish to hold the other (...)
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  46. Truth and Naturalism.Filippo Ferrari, Michael P. Lynch & Douglas Edwards - 2015 - In Kelly J. Clark (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Naturalism. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Is truth itself natural? This is an important question for both those working on truth and those working on naturalism. For theorists of truth, answering the question of whether truth is natural will tell us more about the nature of truth (or lack of it), and the relations between truth and other properties of interest. For those working on naturalism, answering this question is of paramount importance to those who wish to have truth as part of the natural order. In (...)
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  47. Towards a Pluralist Theory of Truthmaking.Aaron M. Griffith - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1157-1173.
    This paper introduces a new approach to the theory of truthmaking. According to this approach, there are multiple forms of truthmaking. Here, I characterize and motivate a specific version of this approach, which I call a ‘Pluralist Theory of Truthmaking.’ It is suggested that truthmaking is a plural, variegated phenomenon wherein different kinds of truths, e.g., positive truths, negative truths, counterfactual truths, etc., are made true in different ways. While the paper only aims to lay the groundwork for a Pluralist (...)
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  48. Rooted and Rootless Pluralist Approaches to Truth: Two Distinct Interpretations of Wang Chong's Account.Bo Mou - 2015 - Comparative Philosophy 6 (1).
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  49. Truth as Composite Correspondence.Gila Sher - 2015 - In Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Springer Verlag. pp. 191-210.
    The problem that motivates me arises from a constellation of factors pulling in different, sometimes opposing directions. Simplifying, they are: (1) The complexity of the world; (2) Humans’ ambitious project of theoretical knowledge of the world; (3) The severe limitations of humans’ cognitive capacities; (4) The considerable intricacy of humans’ cognitive capacities . Given these circumstances, the question arises whether a serious notion of truth is applicable to human theories of the world. In particular, I am interested in the questions: (...)
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  50. Review of Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Cory Wright (Eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. [REVIEW]Paul Simard Smith - 2015 - Philosophy in Review 35 (4):220-224.
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