Negative truths and truthmaker principles

Synthese 156 (2):383-401 (2007)
Abstract
This paper argues that a consideration of the problem of providing truthmakers for negative truths undermines truthmaker theory. Truthmaker theorists are presented with an uncomfortable dilemma. Either they must take up the challenge of providing truthmakers for negative truths, or else they must explain why negative truths are exceptions to the principle that every truth must have a truthmaker. The first horn is unattractive since the prospects of providing truthmakers for negative truths do not look good neither absences, nor totality states of affairs, nor Graham Priest and J.C. Beall’s ‘polarities’ (Beall, 2000; Priest, 2000) are up to the job. The second horn, meanwhile, is problematic because restricting the truthmaker principle to atomic truths, or weakening it to the thesis that truth supervenes on being, undercuts truthmaker theory’s original motivation. The paper ends by arguing that truthmaker theory is, in any case, an under-motivated doctrine because the groundedness of truth can be explained without appeal to the truthmaker principle. This leaves us free to give the ommonsensical and deflationary explanation of negative truths that common-sense suggests.
Keywords Truthmakers  Negative truths  States of affairs  Truth
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-0007-z
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,861
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Truth.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Clarendon Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.
Truth and Meaning.Donald Davidson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Synthese. Routledge. pp. 304 - 323.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
How to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):410 - 421.
Presentism and Truth-Making.Jonathan Tallant - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):407-416.
Putting Pluralism in its Place.Jamin Asay - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:175-191.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Negative Truths From Positive Facts.Colin Cheyne & Charles Pigden - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):249 – 265.
Negative Truth and Falsehood.Stephen Mumford - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):45 - 71.
Truthmakers.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (2):186–200.
Comments on Merricks's Truth and Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (4):292-301.
The Legacy of Linguisticism.John Heil - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):233 – 244.
Negative Truths From Positive Facts?Josh Parsons - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):591 – 602.
The Truthmaker Non-Maximalist's Dilemma.Mark Jago - 2012 - Mind 121 (484):903-918.
How to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):410 - 421.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
217 ( #19,983 of 2,210,666 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #52,078 of 2,210,666 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature