Synthese 198 (12):11351-11377 (2020)

Authors
Will Gamester
University of Leeds
Abstract
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.
Keywords truth  truth pluralism  ontological pluralism  Michael Lynch  Douglas Edwards
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02792-z
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Language, Truth, and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.

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