Tarski's correspondence theory of truth (which he spells out in his semantic conception of truth) is open to two interpretations. This ambiguity in the theory has led philosophers to find support in it for metaphysical realism. In fact, Tarski's theory turns out to support a form of ontological relativism. In different passages Tarski himself gives support to each of these interpretations. The first interpretation leads to ontological relativism, while the second sacrifices the connection between language and the world. I clarify the dilemma that I see in having to choose between these two interpretations, explain how these interpretations have their source in different problems which occupied Tarski, and consider a possible solution to the dilemma. Finally, finding good reasons to claim that Tarski's theory is indeed a correspondence theory of truth, I argue in favour of the first interpretation with its relativistic implications.
Keywords Alfred Tarski  Truth
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201748708602115
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: 69,979
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.Alfred Tarski - 1956 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics.Alfred Tarski - 1943 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (3):341-376.
True to the Facts.Donald Davidson - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (21):748-764.
Is It True What They Say About Tarski?Susan Haack - 1976 - Philosophy 51 (197):323 - 336.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Theories, Theoretical Models, Truth.Ryszard Wójcicki - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (4):337-406.
Was Tarski's Theory of Truth Motivated by Physicalism?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):265-280.
Is It True What They Say About Tarski?Susan Haack - 1976 - Philosophy 51 (197):323 - 336.
More on Putnam and Tarski.Panu Raatikainen - 2003 - Synthese 135 (1):37 - 47.
What Were Tarski's Truth-Definitions For?John F. Fox - 1989 - History and Philosophy of Logic 10 (2):165-179.
Tarski's Physicalism.Richard L. Kirkham - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (3):289-302.
Tarski, Truth and Model Theory.Peter Milne - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (2):141–167.
Circularity or Lacunae in Tarski’s Truth-Schemata.Dale Jacquette - 2010 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 19 (3):315-326.
Tarski's Definition and Truth-Makers.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 126 (1-3):57-76.


Added to PP index

Total views
39 ( #290,758 of 2,505,145 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,587 of 2,505,145 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes