Is Truth Made, and if So, What Do we Mean by that? Redefining Truthmaker Realism

Philosophia 48 (2):587-606 (2020)
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Philosophical discussion of truthmaking has flourished in recent times, but what exactly does it mean to ‘make’ a truth-bearer true? I argue that ‘making’ is a concept with modal force, and this renders it a problematic deployment for truthmaker theorists with nominalist sympathies, which characterises most current theories. I sketch the outlines of what I argue is a more genuinely realist truthmaker theory, which is capable of answering the explanatory question: In virtue of what does each particular truthmaker make its particular truthbearer true? I do this by drawing on recent work by Frederik Stjernfelt on Charles Peirce’s account of the proposition as having a ‘particular double structure’, according to which a proposition not only depicts certain characters of an object, it also depicts itself claiming those characters to pertain to the object. This double structure, I shall argue, also resolves important issues in analytic philosophers’ truthmaker theory, including the proper distinction between reference and truthmaking, and a dilemma concerning an infinite regress of truthmaking.
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