Truth as a Pretense

In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 134 (2005)
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Truth-talk exhibits certain features that render it philosophically suspect and motivate a deflationary account. I offer a new formulation of deflationism that explains truth-talk in terms of semantic pretense. This amounts to a fictionalist account of truth-talk but avoids an error-theoretic interpretation and its resulting incoherence. The pretense analysis fits especially well with deflationism’s central commitment, and it handles truth-talk’s unusual features effectively. In particular, this approach suggests an interesting strategy for dealing with the Liar paradox. This version of deflationism has advantages over the formulations currently available in the literature, mainly because it offers a more satisfying account of the generalizing role deflationary views take as truth-talk’s central function. Explaining the notion of truth in terms of pretense generates some special concerns, but none we cannot address through careful consideration of how pretense operates in truth-talk and of the attitudes instances of pretending involve.



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James Woodbridge
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Citations of this work

Nothing Is True.Will Gamester - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (6):314-338.
Hermeneutic fictionalism.Jason Stanley - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
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From one to many: recent work on truth.Jeremy Wyatt & Michael Lynch - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):323-340.

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