Friday, November 13, 2009

A summary of theories of truth

What is truth, said Pontius Pilate.

6 comments:

Steven said...

The objection to correspondence theory is interesting: is the statement, "Truth is the correspondence of a proposition to reality", true? What does it correspond to?

Is that a good objection?

Victor Reppert said...

Couldn't you use that type of objection on all theories of truth?

Steven said...

Seems so.

I'm worried if we don't take that kind of objection seriously in the case of analysis of truth, we shouldn't take that kind of objection seriously in cases like verificationism and eliminativism.

(Though I'm sure there are other objections against those views; I'm familiar with some (I think) good objections with verificationism. Donno about eliminativism besides the fact that it seems obviously false.)

Victor Reppert said...

Eliminativism seems obviously false and very counterintuitive. Kind of reminds me of Calvinism.

Steven said...

That's not the question I asked.

Victor Reppert said...

Well, we might try to give the CTT a self-referential consistency by arguing that we use the word truth to refer to a correspondence between thought and reality, adn the fact that we use it that way shows that it has that meaning.

With a coherence theory, it seems possible to say "Yes, I see that your thoughts all cohere together. But are they really true?" With a pragmatic theory, I can see asking "Sure, it is pragmatically advantageous for you to think that way. But is it really true?" But when I ask the question "Yes, your thoughts correspond to reality. But are they true?" it comes up looking like a nonsense question.