The expressive role of truth in truth-conditional semantics

Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):535–557 (2007)
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I define 'skim semantics' to be a Davidson-style truth-conditional semantics combined with a variety of deflationism about truth. The expressive role of truth in truth-conditional semantics precludes at least some kinds of skim semantics; thus I reject the idea that the challenge to skim semantics derives solely from Davidson's explanatory ambitions, and in particular from the 'truth doctrine', the view that the concept of truth plays a central explanatory role in Davidsonian theories of meaning for a language. The fate of skim semantics is not determined by the fate of the truth doctrine, so rejecting the truth doctrine does not in itself open the way to skim semantics. I establish my thesis by showing that some recently proposed versions of skim semantics fail because of truth's expressive role. I also discuss the conditions that might permit skim semantics.



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Claire Horisk
University of Missouri, Columbia

Citations of this work

Deflationism about Truth.Bradley Armour-Garb, Daniel Stoljar & James Woodbridge - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The deflationary theory of truth.Daniel Stoljar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Deflationism and truthmaking.Matthew Simpson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3157-3181.
Mainstream semantics + deflationary truth.Alexis Burgess - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (5):397-410.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

A Critique of Deflationism.Anil Gupta - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (1):57-81.
Meaning and deflationary truth.Michael Williams - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (11):545-564.
What is a theory of truth?Scott Soames - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (8):411-429.
Necessity and truth theories.Christopher Peacocke - 1978 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 7 (1):473 - 500.

View all 9 references / Add more references