Truth-conditions and the nature of truth: Re-solving mixed conjunctions

Analysis 69 (4):684-688 (2009)
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Alethic pluralism, on one version of the view , is the idea that truth is to be identified with different properties in different domains of discourse. 1 Whilst we operate with a univocal concept of truth, and a uniform truth predicate, the thought is that the truth property changes from one domain to the next. So the truth property for talk about the nature and state of the material world may be different from the truth property for moral discourse .Tappolet challenged alethic pluralism by asking how it can account for the truth of mixed compounds, such as a mixed conjunction like ‘this cat is wet and funny’, where each of the conjuncts are from different domains of discourse, and thus assessable in terms of different truth properties. She argues that the alethic pluralist is left in a dilemma: either admit of a ‘generic’ truth property, which can be possessed by propositions from all domains, thus rendering the plural ways of being true obsolete, or deny the truth of mixed conjunctions.In Edwards 2008, I argued that there is route out of Tappolet's dilemma. Briefly, I suggested that we acknowledge that the truth of a mixed conjunction is dependent on the truth of its conjuncts, and we should explain the truth of the conjunction by saying that it is true just in case each of its conjuncts is true. This, I argued, gives us an account of the truth of the conjunction without needing to appeal to a troublesome ‘generic’ truth property.Aaron Cotnoir criticizes my solution to Tappolet's problem. Cotnoir argues that my solution to the problem admits of an unacceptable ‘proliferation’ of truth properties, and smuggles in a generic truth property. I …



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Douglas Edwards
Utica College

Citations of this work

Truth pluralism without domains.Will Gamester - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-18.
Domains, plural truth, and mixed atomic propositions.Jeremy Wyatt - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):225-236.
Simplifying alethic pluralism.Douglas Edwards - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):28-48.

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References found in this work

Truth and objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Real Essentialism.David S. Oderberg - 2007 - New York: Routledge.
Truth: A Traditional Debate Reviewed.Crispin Wright - 1998 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (sup1):31-74.

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