How to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist

Noûs 42 (3):410 - 421 (2008)
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Abstract

When there is truth, there must be some thing (or things) to account for that truth: some thing(s) that couldn’t exist and the true proposition fail to be true. That is the truthmaker principle. True propositions are made true by entities in the mind-independently existing external world. The truthmaker principle seems attractive to many metaphysicians, but many have wanted to weaken it and accept not that every true proposition has a truthmaker but only that some important class of propositions require truthmakers.1 Let us, following Armstrong, call the claim that all true propositions, without exception, have a truthmaker, Truthmaker Maximalism. Why might one be tempted to the spirit of truthmaker theory but reject Truthmaker Maximalism? Well, you might deny that necessary truths need truthmakers, for one, and insist that only contingent truths have truthmakers. But I think it’s fair to say that the most common motivation for rejecting maximalism concerns negative truths. The thought that negative truths are exempt from the demand for truthmakers could be justified in one of two ways: there is the claim that we don’t need truthmakers for negative truths, and there is the claim that we can’t have..

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Ross Cameron
University of Virginia

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References found in this work

A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Truth and truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.

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