The Role of Truth in Psychological Science

Theory and Psychology 28 (3):382-397 (2018)
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In a recent paper, Haig and Borsboom explore the relevance of the theory of truth for psychological science. Although they conclude that correspondence theories of truth are best suited to offer the resources for making sense of scientific practice, they leave open the possibility that other theories might accomplish those same ends. I argue that deflationary theories of truth, which deny that there is any substantive property that unifies the class of truths, makes equally good sense of scientific practice as the correspondence theory, but at lesser theoretical cost. I also argue that the considerations Haig and Borsboom draw on are better thought of as issues relevant to realism, and thus separate from the theory of truth. I conclude that while they are correct to engage questions about what makes true the various claims that arise in psychological research, they may do so without saddling themselves with a correspondence theory.
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