Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Deflationism: A Use-Theoretic Analysis of the Truth-Predicate
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

I here develop a specific version of the deflationary theory of truth. I adopt a terminology on which deflationism holds that an exhaustive account of truth is given by the equivalence between truth-ascriptions and de-nominalised (or disquoted) sentences. An adequate truth-theory, it is argued, must be finite, non-circular, and give a unified account of all occurrences of “true”. I also argue that it must descriptively capture the ordinary meaning of “true”, which is plausibly taken to be unambiguous. Ch. 2 is a critical historical survey of deflationary theories, where notably disquotationalism is found untenable as a descriptive theory of “true”. In Ch. 3, I aim to show that deflationism cannot be finitely and non-circularly formulated by using “true”, and so must only mention it. Hence, it must be a theory specifically about the word “true” (and its foreign counterparts). To capture the ordinary notion, the theory must thus be an empirical, use-theoretic, semantic account of “true”. The task of explaining facts about truth now becomes that of showing that various sentences containing “true” are (unconditionally) assertible. In Ch. 4, I defend the claim (D) that every sentence of the form “That p is true” and the corresponding “p” are intersubstitutable (in a use-theoretic sense), and show how this claim provides a unified and simple account of a wide variety of occurrences of “true”. Disquotationalism then only has the advantage of avoiding propositions. But in Ch. 5, I note that (D) is not committed to propositions. Use-theoretic semantics is then argued to serve nominalism better than truth-theoretic ditto. In particular, it can avoid propositions while sustaining a natural syntactic treatment of “that”-clauses as singular terms and of “Everything he says is true”, as any other quantification. Finally, Horwich’s problem of deriving universal truth-claims is given a solution by recourse to an assertibilist semantics of the universal quantifier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2006. , 207 p.
Stockholm studies in philosophy, ISSN 0491-0877 ; 29
Keyword [en]
truth, deflationism, disquotationalism, proposition, use-theory, semantics, nominalism, inferentialism, assertibility, that-clause, singular term, Tarski, Horwich, Field, meaning
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-999ISBN: 91-85445-33-9OAI: diva2:200820
Public defence
2006-06-01, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-05-11 Created: 2006-05-11 Last updated: 2012-07-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1464 kB)686 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1464 kBChecksum MD5
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
cover(922 kB)81 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 922 kBChecksum MD5
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Köp bok/Buy book
By organisation
Department of Philosophy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 686 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1324 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link