Is Truth Primitive?

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1281-1304 (2022)
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Primitivist theories of truth have been defended by some of the luminaries of analytic philosophy, including the early Moore and Russell, Frege, Davidson, and Sosa. In this paper, I take up a contemporary primitivist theory that has been systematically developed throughout a sizeable body of work but has yet to receive sustained critical attention—Jamin Asay's primitivist deflationism. Asay's major ambitions are to defend a novel primitivist account of the concept truth and to harmonise that account with a deflationary theory of the property truth. I will elaborate a thoroughgoing critique of primitivist deflationism, arguing that we have reason to doubt all of the five theses that constitute the view. Along the way, I will also highlight a number of possible escape routes for the primitivist deflationist, explaining how they can make the view more resilient even as they compel us to rework some of its central commitments.



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Jeremy Wyatt
University of Waikato

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New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The structure and content of truth.Donald Davidson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (6):279-328.
Facts and Propositions.Frank P. Ramsey - 1927 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 7 (1):153-170.
Philosophy of Logic.Michael Jubien & W. V. Quine - 1988 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (1):303.
VI.—Symposium: “Facts and Propositions.”.F. P. Ramsey & G. E. Moore - 1927 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 7 (1):153-206.

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