Quine’s conflicts with truth deflationism

Asian Journal of Philosophy 1 (46):1-25 (2022)
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Compared to the extensive amount of literature on various themes of W.V.O. Quine’s philosophy, his immanent concept of truth remains a relatively unexplored topic. This relative lack of research contributes to a persistent confusion on the deflationary and inflationary details of Quine’s truth. According to a popular reading, Quine’s disquotational definition of the truth predicate exhausts the content of truth, thus amounting to a deflationary view. Others promote opposing interpretations. I argue that by relying on Tarski’s semantic conception of truth, Quine’s disquotational account inherits a commitment to classical correspondence intuitions. Based on this, Quine posits a firm constitution for truth as an intermediary between language and the world. From this constitution claim follows that the disquotational account proves incompatible with both the general deflationary thesis and, more specifically, the minimalist account, which deny any constitution for truth past what is given by the preferred deflationary schema. This reading is significant for refuting the widespread misrepresentations of Quine as a prominent deflationist.

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Teemu Tauriainen
University of Jyväskylä

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References found in this work

From a Logical Point of View.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1953 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Philosophy of logic.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1970 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Edited by Simon Blackburn & Keith Simmons.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Theories and things.W. V. Quine (ed.) - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The semantic conception of truth and the foundations of semantics.Alfred Tarski - 1943 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (3):341-376.

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