Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):371-386 (2006)

Karyn L. Freedman
University of Guelph
Cheryl Misak argues that since disquotationalism cannot distinguish between different kinds of declarative sentences it cannot make sense of the disciplined nature of moral discourse. This apparent weakness is overcome by her pragmatist theory of truth, which reinflates truth by linking it to our everyday practices of justification and verification. In this paper I argue that the criticism that a deflated notion of truth cannot capture our justificatory practices has no purchase with someone who has no such aspirations for the truth predicate, and I go on to argue that this points to a more serious problem with Misak’s pragmatist theory of truth, namely her desire to explicate justification in terms of truth. The burden of making sense of debates in the moral realm lies not with the truth theorist, but elsewhere. Misak is right that moral claims demand greater justification than certain other sorts of declarative sentences, but the best explanation for this is the nature of the subject matter introduced by a claim to which the predicate ‘true’ is then applied.
Keywords disquotationalism  theories of truth
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DOI cjphil200636319
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