Truths and Processes: A Critical Approach to Truthmaker Theory

Philosophia 42 (3):713-739 (2014)
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Abstract
The starting point of this paper is the idea that linguistic representation is the result of a global process: a process of interaction of a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. I maintain that the study of truth, meaning and related notions should be addressed without losing perspective of this process, and I oppose the ‘static’ or ‘analytic’ approach, which is fundamentally based on our own knowledge of the conventional meaning of words and sentences, and the ability of using them that we have as competent speakers. I argue that the analytic perspective is responsible for five recurring difficulties in truthmaker theory: (1) the lack of attention to the difference of explanatory role between the distinct notions proposed as primary truthbearer; (2) the adscription of purely extra-linguistic truthmakers to ‘synthetic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the linguistic factor; (3) the adscription of purely linguistic truthmakers to ‘logical’ and ‘analytic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the worldly factor; (4) the difficulties in the search for minimal truthmakers; (5) the problems in the treatment of ‘negative facts’ and of other ‘logically complex facts’. I do not provide an account of how to solve these difficulties, but I do show how the ‘process model’ helps to clear up confusion regarding them
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Archival date: 2016-09-07
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References found in this work BETA
Word and Object.Quine, W. V.
Truth and Truthmakers.Armstrong, D. M.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Quine, Willard V. O.
Word and Object.Quine, Willard Van Orman

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2014-06-27

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