Truth, meaning, and translation

In Douglas Patterson (ed.), New essays on Tarski and philosophy. O.University Press. pp. 247 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Philosopher’s judgements on the philosophical value of Tarski’s contributions to the theory of truth have varied. For example Karl Popper, Rudolf Carnap, and Donald Davidson have, in their different ways, celebrated Tarski’s achievements and have been enthusiastic about their philosophical relevance. Hilary Putnam, on the other hand, pronounces that “[a]s a philosophical account of truth, Tarski’s theory fails as badly as it is possible for an account to fail.” Putnam has several alleged reasons for his dissatisfaction,1 but one of them, the one I call the modal objection (cf. Raatikainen 2003), has been particularly influential. In fact, very similar objections have been presented over and over again in the literature. Already in 1954, Arthur Pap had criticized Tarski’s account with a similar argument (Pap 1954). Moreover, both Scott Soames (1984) and John Etchemendy (1988) use, with an explicit reference to Putnam, similar modal arguments in relation to Tarski. Richard Heck (1997), too, shows some sympathy for such considerations. Simon Blackburn (1984, Ch. 8) has put forward a related argument against Tarski. Recently, Marian David has criticized Tarski’s truth definition with an analogous argument as well (David 2004, p. 389-390).2 This line of argument is thus apparently one of the most influential critiques of Tarski. It is certainly worthy of serious attention. Nevertheless, I shall argue that, given closer scrutiny, it does not present such an acute problem for the Tarskian approach to truth as many philosophers think. But I also believe that it is important to understand clearly why this is so. Moreover, I think that a careful consideration of the issue illuminates certain important but somewhat neglected aspects of the Tarskian approach.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is It True What They Say about Tarski?Susan Haack - 1976 - Philosophy 51 (197):323 - 336.
What Were Tarski's Truth-Definitions for?John F. Fox - 1989 - History and Philosophy of Logic 10 (2):165-179.
Truth, correspondence, models, and Tarski.Panu Raatikainen - 2007 - In Sami Pihlström, Panu Raatikainen & Matti Sintonen (eds.), Approaching truth: essays in honour of Ilkka Niiniluoto. London: College Publications. pp. 99-112.
Ray on Tarski on logical consequence.William H. Hanson - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (6):605-616.
Was Tarski's Theory of Truth Motivated by Physicalism?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):265-280.
Tarski's definition and truth-makers.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 126 (1-3):57-76.
Tarski - a dilemma.Richard C. Jennings - 1987 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 30 (1 & 2):155 – 172.
More on Putnam and Tarski.Panu Raatikainen - 2003 - Synthese 135 (1):37 - 47.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
524 (#35,440)

6 months
96 (#47,223)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Panu Raatikainen
Tampere University

Citations of this work

The T-schema is not a logical truth.R. T. Cook - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):231-239.
Tarski and Primitivism About Truth.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-18.
Alfred Tarski.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Tarski's Theory of Truth.Hartry Field - 1972 - Journal of Philosophy 69 (13):347.
The structure and content of truth.Donald Davidson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (6):279-328.
Spreading the world.Simon Blackburn - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 176 (3):385-387.

View all 33 references / Add more references