Disquotationalism and the Compositional Principles

In Carlo Nicolai & Johannes Stern (eds.), Modes of Truth: The Unified Approach to Modality, Truth, and Paradox. Routledge. pp. 105--50 (2021)
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Abstract

What Bar-On and Simmons call 'Conceptual Deflationism' is the thesis that truth is a 'thin' concept in the sense that it is not suited to play any explanatory role in our scientific theorizing. One obvious place it might play such a role is in semantics, so disquotationalists have been widely concerned to argued that 'compositional principles', such as (C) A conjunction is true iff its conjuncts are true are ultimately quite trivial and, more generally, that semantic theorists have misconceived the relation between truth, meaning, and logic. This paper argues, to the contrary, that even such simple compositional principles as (C) have substantial content that cannot be captured by deflationist 'proofs' of them. The key thought is that (C) is supposed, among other things, to affirm the truth-functionality of conjunction and that disquotationalists cannot, ultimately, make sense of truth-functionality. This paper is something of a companion to "The Logical Strength of Compositional Principles".

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Richard Kimberly Heck
Brown University

References found in this work

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.
Quantifiers and Propositional Attitudes.Willard van Orman Quine - 1956 - Journal of Philosophy 53 (5):177-187.

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