Synthese 198 (2):735-757 (2016)

Authors
Douglas Edwards
Utica College
Abstract
In this paper I investigate the claim that truth is a relational property. What does this claim really mean? What is its import?—Is it a basic feature of the concept of truth; or a distinctive feature of the correspondence theory of truth; or even both? After introducing some general ideas about truth, I begin by highlighting an ambiguity in current uses of the term ‘relational property’ in the truth debate, and show that we need to distinguish two separate ideas: that truth is a relational property, and that truth is an extrinsic property. I go on to examine what both of these ideas are in more detail, and consider what would need to hold for truth to be in either of these categories. I then discern where all the main competitors in the truth debate stand on these issues. In doing so we learn more about these views and what they entail, and build a general picture of what stances different theories of truth take on whether truth is extrinsic or relational. Moreover, in doing this we will be able to answer one of the questions with which we began: whether truth’s being extrinsic or relational is something that, if accepted, lends support to the correspondence theory of truth. We will see that this is not so, and discern some interesting variations between various theories of truth on the issues of whether truth is extrinsic or relational. Following this we will be in a better position to judge whether the notions of extrinsicality or relationality are basic features of the concept of truth. In the final part of the paper I argue that, even if we are not in a position to conclude that they are basic features, they are features that any prospective theory of truth needs to take seriously.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1277-8
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Harvard University Press.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
Truth.Paul Horwich - 1990 - Clarendon Press.
Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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