Truth, meaning, and translation

In Douglas Patterson (ed.), New essays on Tarski and philosophy. O.University Press. pp. 247 (2008)
Philosopher’s judgements on the philosophical value of Tarski’s contributions to the theory of truth have varied. For example Karl Popper, Rudolf Carnap, and Donald Davidson have, in their different ways, celebrated Tarski’s achievements and have been enthusiastic about their philosophical relevance. Hilary Putnam, on the other hand, pronounces that “[a]s a philosophical account of truth, Tarski’s theory fails as badly as it is possible for an account to fail.” Putnam has several alleged reasons for his dissatisfaction,1 but one of them, the one I call the modal objection (cf. Raatikainen 2003), has been particularly influential. In fact, very similar objections have been presented over and over again in the literature. Already in 1954, Arthur Pap had criticized Tarski’s account with a similar argument (Pap 1954). Moreover, both Scott Soames (1984) and John Etchemendy (1988) use, with an explicit reference to Putnam, similar modal arguments in relation to Tarski. Richard Heck (1997), too, shows some sympathy for such considerations. Simon Blackburn (1984, Ch. 8) has put forward a related argument against Tarski. Recently, Marian David has criticized Tarski’s truth definition with an analogous argument as well (David 2004, p. 389-390).2 This line of argument is thus apparently one of the most influential critiques of Tarski. It is certainly worthy of serious attention. Nevertheless, I shall argue that, given closer scrutiny, it does not present such an acute problem for the Tarskian approach to truth as many philosophers think. But I also believe that it is important to understand clearly why this is so. Moreover, I think that a careful consideration of the issue illuminates certain important but somewhat neglected aspects of the Tarskian approach.
Keywords Tarski  Truth  Meaning
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Is It True What They Say About Tarski?Susan Haack - 1976 - Philosophy 51 (197):323 - 336.
What Were Tarski's Truth-Definitions For?John F. Fox - 1989 - History and Philosophy of Logic 10 (2):165-179.
Ray on Tarski on Logical Consequence.William H. Hanson - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (6):605-616.
Was Tarski's Theory of Truth Motivated by Physicalism?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):265-280.
Tarski's Definition and Truth-Makers.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 126 (1-3):57-76.
Tarski - a Dilemma.Richard C. Jennings - 1987 - Inquiry 30 (1 & 2):155 – 172.
More on Putnam and Tarski.Panu Raatikainen - 2003 - Synthese 135 (1):37 - 47.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

213 ( #16,687 of 2,019,589 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

63 ( #3,864 of 2,019,589 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums