The Proper Formulation of the Minimalist Theory of Truth

The Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Minimalism about truth is one of the main contenders for our best theory of truth, but minimalists face the charge of being unable to properly state their theory. Donald Davidson incisively pointed out that minimalists must generalize over occurrences of the same expression placed in two different contexts, which is futile. In order to meet the challenge, Paul Horwich argues that one can nevertheless characterize the axioms of the minimalist theory. Sten Lindström and Tim Button have independently argued that Horwich’s attempt to formulate minimalism remains unsuccessful. We show how to properly state Horwich’s axioms by appealing to propositional functions that are given by definite descriptions. Both Lindström and Button discuss proposals similar to ours and conclude that they are unsuccessful. Our new suggestion avoids these objections.

Author Profiles

Thomas Schindler
University of Amsterdam
Julian J. Schlöder
University of Connecticut

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