Methodological Deflationism and Semantic Theories

Erkenntnis 87 (3):1415-1422 (2022)
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Methodological deflationism is a policy about how we should conduct ourselves when it comes to theories of truth: in particular, a deflationary theory of truth should be taken as one’s starting point, and the notion of truth should be inflated only as necessary. This policy is motivated, in part, by the need to balance the theoretical virtue of parsimony with that of explanatory sufficiency. In this article, the case is made that the methodological deflationist is in no position to properly balance those virtues—a point made evident by tracing the relationship between semantic theories and the explanatory needs of theories of truth. Furthermore, methodological deflationism threatens to unduly influence semantic theorizing and, in doing so, displays an inappropriate bias towards deflationary theories of truth.
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