Truths and Processes: A Critical Approach to Truthmaker Theory

Philosophia 42 (3):713-739 (2014)
The starting point of this paper is the idea that linguistic representation is the result of a global process: a process of interaction of a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. I maintain that the study of truth, meaning and related notions should be addressed without losing perspective of this process, and I oppose the ‘static’ or ‘analytic’ approach, which is fundamentally based on our own knowledge of the conventional meaning of words and sentences, and the ability of using them that we have as competent speakers. I argue that the analytic perspective is responsible for five recurring difficulties in truthmaker theory: (1) the lack of attention to the difference of explanatory role between the distinct notions proposed as primary truthbearer; (2) the adscription of purely extra-linguistic truthmakers to ‘synthetic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the linguistic factor; (3) the adscription of purely linguistic truthmakers to ‘logical’ and ‘analytic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the worldly factor; (4) the difficulties in the search for minimal truthmakers; (5) the problems in the treatment of ‘negative facts’ and of other ‘logically complex facts’. I do not provide an account of how to solve these difficulties, but I do show how the ‘process model’ helps to clear up confusion regarding them
Keywords Truthmaker  Negative fact  Minimal truthmaker  Truth  Meaning  Proposition  Logical atomism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-014-9533-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Least Discerning and Most Promiscuous Truthmaker.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):307 - 324.
Conceptions of Truth.Wolfgang Künne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 79 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Truthmaker Explanations.Barry Smith & Jonathan Simon - 2007 - In Jean-Maurice Monnoyer (ed.), Metaphysics and Truthmakers. Ontos Verlag. pp. 79-98.
How to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):410 - 421.
Negative Truth and Falsehood.Stephen Mumford - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):45 - 71.
The World and Truth About What Is Not.Noël B. Saenz - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):82-98.
Minimal Truthmakers.Donnchadh O'Conaill & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):228-244.
Priority Monism, Partiality, and Minimal Truthmakers.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):477-491.
Comments on Merricks's Truth and Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (4):292-301.
Truthmakers.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (2):186–200.
Unstable Truthmaking.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):230-238.
The Cost of Truthmaker Maximalism.Mark Jago - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):460-474.
Truthmaker Necessitarianism and Maximalism.Ross P. Cameron - 2005 - Logique Et Analyse 48 (189-192):43-56.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
103 ( #63,843 of 2,308,619 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #35,420 of 2,308,619 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature