The transparency of truth

Mind 106 (423):475-497 (1997)
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Abstract

Transparency is the following (alleged) property of truth: if one possesses the concept of truth, then to assert, believe, inquire whether it is true that S just is to assert, believe, inquire whether S (and conversely). It might appear (as it did to Frege in 'Thoughts') that if truth ascriptions were transparent, then the truth predicate must be redundant; but the fact that some truth ascriptions are not transparent-for instance, those that quantify over, name, or describe the proposition(s) to which truth is ascribed-shows that the truth predicate could not be redundant. It is argued that the apparent paradox is resolved by treating content as more basic than truth (and arguing, accordingly, that content cannot be explained, even in part, in terms of truth conditions). This strategy is illustrated by three candidate analyses, each of which treats the truth predicate as non-redundant but can, nevertheless, account for transparency.

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Mark Eli Kalderon
University College London

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