Expressivist truth

Abstract

Expressivism and truth have had a rocky relationship; this paper is a move toward reconciliation. I’ll show how to give a semantics for ‘true’ and ‘false’ in the most promising expressivist framework I know of1, and explain how the resulting marriage can benefit both parties. This is because expressivists need an account of truth, and expressivism about truth itself has certain attractions in its own right. In particular, I’ll show in a rigorous way how expressivists can make good on the idea that valid arguments are truth-preserving, shed some light on the idea that truth is not a property, and explore an application to the paradox of the liar. But first, I need to explain what an expressivist semantics involves, and some of the background underlying the version of the view that I will depend on, here. The digression will take a while, but I promise a payoff at the end.

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Mark Schroeder
University of Southern California

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