The History of the Concept of "Truth-Making"

Philosophy Study 13 (10):449-461 (2023)
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Abstract

The conception of truth-making, albeit in a rudimentary form, could already be discerned in the writings of G. E. Moore and E. Husserl in the early 1900s. A few years later it was more extensively exploited by William James. It was Wittgenstein, however, who gave the concept a precise meaning. In 1913/1914 Wittgenstein advanced a theory of possible worlds, only one of which was real. Every proposition suggests a part of a possible world which does or does not correspond to parts of the real world. In the first case the proposition is true, in the second case false. Moreover, the part of the real world makes the sentence true. This part is a truth-maker, and the sentence is a truth-bearer. Surprisingly enough, Wittgenstein’s concept of truth-making had its family resemblance with William James’s conception of truth. In 1915 Wittgenstein stopped using the concept of truth-making—it was also not men-tioned in the Tractatus. Unfortunately, Russell did not notice this and in 1918 he adopted the concept of truth-making. In the 1930s, it was used by some second generation analytic philosophers (Schlick, Stebbing, and Wisdom). However, it became rather popular among analytic philosophers only in the 1980s.

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References found in this work

A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The problems of philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - New York: Barnes & Noble.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Introduction to mathematical philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1919 - New York: Dover Publications.

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