Analysis 71 (1):38-44 (2011)

Stewart Shapiro
Ohio State University
Michael Lynch’s Truth as One and Many is a contribution to the large body of philosophical literature on the nature of truth. Within that genre, advocates of truth-as-correspondence, advocates of truth-as-coherence, and the like, all hold that truth has a single underlying metaphysical nature, but they sharply disagree as to what this nature is. Lynch argues that many of these views make good sense of truth attributions for a limited stretch of discourse, but he adds that each of the contenders also faces a ‘scope problem’, in that none of them makes sense of all legitimate truth attributions. Some deflationists make similar observations – usually less concessive – and conclude that truth simply has no substantial, underlying nature. There is nothing for the philosopher to articulate and defend. Lynch agrees with deflationists that the realm of discourse is too diverse for any single ‘first-level’ property, such as correspondence or coherence, to fully characterize it, but against deflationism, he holds that truth does have a nature. He presents a functionalist theory. The definition is this: x is true if, and only if, x has a property that plays the truth-role. According to Lynch, the truth-role is given in terms of what he calls the ‘core truisms’ of the folk concept of truth. These are platitudes that hold of the everyday notion, and are such that anyone who denies all of them can be accused of changing the subject – of not talking about truth. A given property T plays the truth-role for a batch of propositions, just in case, for any proposition P in the batch: P is T if, and only if, where P is believed, things are as they are believed to be; other things being equal, it is a worthy goal …
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anq119
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Michael Slote - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (6):327-330.
Free Will Remains a Mystery.Peter van Inwagen - 2000 - Philosophical Perspectives 14:1-20.
Truth as One and Many. [REVIEW]Michael Lynch - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):191-193.

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Citations of this work BETA

Pluralism About Truth as Alethic Disjunctivism.Nikolaj Jang Linding Lee Pedersen & Cory Wright - 2013 - In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press.
Validity for Strong Pluralists.Aaron J. Cotnoir - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):563-579.
Pluralism and Paradox.Aaron J. Cotnoir - 2013 - In Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press. pp. 339.
On Alethic Functionalism’s (Absurdly?) Wide Applicability.Marc Champagne - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):29-39.

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