The Alethic Platitudes, Deflationism, and Adverbial Quantification

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):323-345 (2023)
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Abstract

Alethic pluralists often claim that accommodating certain alethic platitudes motivates rejecting deflationism in favour of a pluralist inflationism about truth. Deflationists claim that the logical role of the truth predicate, viz providing something equivalent to variables for sentence-in-use positions and quantifiers governing them, is sufficient to account for the appeal to truth in the alethic platitudes. Surprisingly, however, most deflationists face an insufficiently acknowledged problem with respect to explaining how this mode of generalizing works. The standard substitutional or higher-order interpretations of sentential quantifiers and variables do not meet two desiderata that we claim any adequate account of them must satisfy. To address this issue, we review and extend A. N. Prior's adverbial understanding of sentential quantification, explain how it satisfies the desiderata, and respond to some objections. This shows that deflationists can accommodate and account for the alethic platitudes by applying this non-nominal understanding of generalizing on sentence positions.

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Author Profiles

Bradley Armour-Garb
State University of New York, Albany
James Woodbridge
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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References found in this work

Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Conceptions of truth.Wolfgang Künne - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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