Synthese 195 (8):3685-3722 (2018)

Authors
Arthur Schipper
Peking University
Abstract
A central problem for any truthmaker theory is the problem of negative truths. In this paper, I develop a novel, piecemeal strategy for solving this problem. The strategy puts central focus on a truth-relevant notion of aboutness within a metaphysically modest version of truthmaker theory and uses key conceptual tools gained by taking a deeper look at the best attempts to solve the problem of intentionality. I begin this task by critically discussing past proposed solutions to P-NEG in light of Russell’s debate with Demos. This reveals a central difficulty with addressing the problem, specifically that one cannot be committed to incompatibility facts in one’s account of negation and of the truth of negative truths. I then present an aboutness-based version of truthmaker theory. Utilising what I call the strict and full account of aboutness, I extract aboutness-based theories of truth and falsity. I use this machinery to present a promising new strategy for solving P-NEG which does not have the problems of alternative approaches. Finally, I present and respond to some potential objections.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1396-x
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