Truth-Makers

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 44 (3):287-321 (1984)
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Abstract

A realist theory of truth for a class of sentences holds that there are entities in virtue of which these sentences are true or false. We call such entities ‘truthmakers’ and contend that those for a wide range of sentences about the real world are moments (dependent particulars). Since moments are unfamiliar, we provide a definition and a brief philosophical history, anchoring them in our ontology by showing that they are objects of perception. The core of our theory is the account of truthmaking for atomic sentences, in which we expose a pervasive ‘dogma of logical form’, which says that atomic sentences cannot have more than one truthmaker. In contrast to this, we uphold the mutual independence of logical and ontological complexity, and the authors outline formal principles of truthmaking taking account of both kinds of complexity.

Author Profiles

Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Kevin Mulligan
University of Geneva

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