There is an incompatibility between the deflationist approach to truth, which makes truth transparent on the basis of an antecedent grasp of meaning, and the traditional endeavour, exemplified by Davidson, to explicate meaning through of truth. I suggest that both parties are in the explanatory red: deflationist lack a non-truth-involving theory of meaning and Davidsonians lack a non-deflationary account of truth. My focus is on the attempts of the latter party to resolve their problem. I look in detail at Davidson's more recent work and suggest that it seeks to articulate a primitive notion of truth that may balance between a notion that collapses into deflationism and one that is wholly subsumed under a general theory of interpretation. I conclude that this tightrope walk is ultimately unsuccessful. Equally, however, some reasons are provided for thinking that deflationism might be equally unsuccessful with its problem. 'Truth or meaning?' remains an open question.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00220.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,046
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Language and Mind.Noam Chomsky - 1968 - Cambridge University Press.
Language, Truth, and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.

View all 60 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Deflationary Theory of Truth.Daniel Stoljar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Deflationism, Creeping Minimalism, and Explanations of Content.David E. Taylor - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):101-129.
Truth, Meaning, and Circularity.Claire Horisk - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):269-300.
Empiricist Pragmatism.José L. Zalabardo - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):441-461.
Mainstream Semantics + Deflationary Truth.Alexis Burgess - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (5):397-410.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Truth and Meaning.Robert C. Cummins - 2002 - In Joseph Keim-Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth: Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. pp. 175-197.
Truth and Meaning: In Perspective.Scott Soames - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):1-19.
Truth -- Meaning -- Reality.Paul Horwich - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Hard Cases for Combining Expressivism and Deflationist Truth: Conditionals and Epistemic Modals.Mark Schroeder - forthcoming - In Steven Gross & Michael Williams (eds.), (unknown). Oxford University Press.
Meaning’s Role in Truth.Charles Travis - 1996 - Mind 105 (419):451-466.
The Inconsistency of Deflationary Truth and Davidsonian Meaning.Kari Middleton - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:99-103.


Added to PP index

Total views
243 ( #41,094 of 2,454,504 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #225,727 of 2,454,504 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes