Against Truth

Erkenntnis 79 (1):147-164 (2014)
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I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties. I then offer two new arguments against metaphysical substantivism that employ ideas involving recombination and truthmaking. First, I argue that there are no theoretically compelling reasons to posit the existence of a metaphysically substantive property of truth. Secondly, I argue that if we do posit the existence of such a property, then we end up with a view that is either contradictory or unmotivated. What we’re left with is a metaphysically deflationary account of the property of truth that fully respects the metaphysical ambitions of truthmaker theory, and that is consistent with both the view that truth is a deflated, explanatorily impotent concept and the view that truth is an explanatorily powerful concept
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