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Jamin Asay
University of Hong Kong
  1.  89
    Deflating Deflationary Truthmaking.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    In this paper we confront a challenge to truthmaker theory that is analogous to the objections raised by deflationists against substantive theories of truth. Several critics of truthmaker theory espouse a “deflationary” attitude about truthmaking, though it has not been clearly presented as such. Our goal is to articulate and then object to the underlying rationale behind deflationary truthmaking. We begin by developing the analogy between deflationary truth and deflationary truthmaking, and then show how the latter can be found in (...)
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  2. Realism and Theories of Truth.Jamin Asay - 2018 - In Juha Saatsi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London: Routledge. pp. 383-393.
    The topic of truth has long been thought to be connected to scientific realism and its opposition. In this essay, I discuss the various ways that truth might be related to realism. First, I consider how truth might be of use when defining scientific realism and its opposition. Second, I consider whether various stances regarding realism require specific stances on the nature of truth. I survey "neutralist" views that argue that one's stance on realism is independent of one's view on (...)
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  3. TRUTH: A Concept Unlike Any Other.Jamin Asay - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    This paper explores the nature of the concept of truth. It does not offer an analysis or definition of truth, or an account of how it relates to other concepts. Instead, it explores what sort of concept truth is by considering what sorts of thoughts it enables us to think. My conclusion is that truth is a part of each and every propositional thought. The concept of truth is therefore best thought of as the ability to token propositional thoughts. I (...)
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  4. The Hard Road to Presentism.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3):314-335.
    It is a common criticism of presentism – the view according to which only the present exists – that it errs against truthmaker theory. Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed by restricting truthmaker maximalism (the view that all truths have truthmakers), maintaining that propositions concerning the past are not made true by anything, but are true nonetheless. Support for this view is typically garnered from the case for negative existential propositions, which some philosophers contend are exceptions (...)
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  5. Against Truth.Jamin Asay - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):147-164.
    I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties. I (...)
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  6. Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
    This paper investigates the nature of scientific realism. I begin by considering the anomalous fact that Bas van Fraassen’s account of scientific realism is strikingly similar to Arthur Fine’s account of scientific non-realism. To resolve this puzzle, I demonstrate how the two theorists understand the nature of truth and its connection to ontology, and how that informs their conception of the realism debate. I then argue that the debate is much better captured by the theory of truthmaking, and not by (...)
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  7. Run Aground: Kit Fine’s Critique of Truthmaker Theory.Jamin Asay - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):443-463.
    Kit Fine, the leading proponent of the metaphysical project of grounding theory, has offered a number of potentially devastating objections to truthmaker theory, the branch of metaphysics dedicated to exploring the ontological grounds for truths. In this paper I show what presuppositions about truthmaker theory Fine’s objections are based upon, and why they are false. I discuss four objections that Fine raises, and demonstrate how truthmaker theorists may respond to them. I then showcase the positive contribution that truthmaker theory can (...)
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  8. We Don’T Need No Explanation.Jamin Asay - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):903-921.
    Explanation has played myriad roles in truthmaker theory. The notion of explanation is sometimes thought to give content to the very idea of truthmaking, and is sometimes used as a weapon to undermine the entire point of truthmaker theory. I argue that the notion of explanation is dialectically useless in truthmaker theory: while it’s true that truthmaking offers a form of explanation, this claim is theoretically unilluminating, and leaves truthmaker theorists vulnerable to various kinds of attack. I advocate an alternative (...)
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  9. Going Local: A Defense of Methodological Localism About Scientific Realism.Jamin Asay - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Scientific realism and anti-realism are most frequently discussed as global theses: theses that apply equally well across the board to all the various sciences. Against this status quo I defend the localist alternative, a methodological stance on scientific realism that approaches debates on realism at the level of individual sciences, rather than at science itself. After identifying the localist view, I provide a number of arguments in its defense, drawing on the diversity and disunity found in the sciences, as well (...)
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  10. Putting Pluralism in its Place.Jamin Asay - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:175-191.
    Pluralism about truth is the view that there are many properties, not just one, in virtue of which things are true. Pluralists hope to dodge the objections that face traditional monistic substantive views of truth, as well as those facing deflationary theories of truth. More specifically, pluralists hope to advance an explanatorily potent understanding of truth that can capture the subtleties of various realist and anti-realist domains of discourse, all while avoiding the scope problem. I offer a new objection to (...)
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  11. Epistemicism and the Liar.Jamin Asay - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):679-699.
    One well known approach to the soritical paradoxes is epistemicism, the view that propositions involving vague notions have definite truth values, though it is impossible in principle to know what they are. Recently, Paul Horwich has extended this approach to the liar paradox, arguing that the liar proposition has a truth value, though it is impossible to know which one it is. The main virtue of the epistemicist approach is that it need not reject classical logic, and in particular the (...)
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  12. Logic and/of Truthmaking.Jamin Asay - 2016 - In Syraya Chin-Mu Yang, Duen-Min Deng & Hanti Lin (eds.), Structural Analysis of Non-Classical Logics: The Proceedings of the Second Taiwan Philosophical Logic Colloquium. Springer Verlag.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the question of how truthmaker theorists ought to think about their subject in relation to logic. Regarding logic and truthmaking, I defend the view that considerations drawn from advances in modal logic have little bearing on the legitimacy of truthmaker theory. To do so, I respond to objections Timothy Williamson has lodged against truthmaker theory. As for the logic of truthmaking, I show how the project of understanding the logical features of the (...)
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  13. Primitive Truth.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):503-519.
    Conceptual primitivism is the view that truth is among our most basic and fundamental concepts. It cannot be defined, analyzed, or reduced into concepts that are more fundamental. Primitivism is opposed to both traditional attempts at defining truth (in terms of correspondence, coherence, or utility) and deflationary theories that argue that the notion of truth is exhausted by means of the truth schema. Though primitivism might be thought of as a view of last resort, I believe that the view is (...)
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  14.  75
    The Role of Truth in Psychological Science.Jamin Asay - 2018 - Theory and Psychology 28 (3):382-397.
    In a recent paper, Haig and Borsboom explore the relevance of the theory of truth for psychological science. Although they conclude that correspondence theories of truth are best suited to offer the resources for making sense of scientific practice, they leave open the possibility that other theories might accomplish those same ends. I argue that deflationary theories of truth, which deny that there is any substantive property that unifies the class of truths, makes equally good sense of scientific practice as (...)
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  15. The Facts About Truthmaking: An Argument for Truthmaker Necessitarianism.Jamin Asay - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:493-500.
    Truthmaker necessitarianism is the view that an object is a truthmaker for a truth-bearer only if it is impossible for the object to exist and the truth-bearer be false. While this thesis is widely regarded as truthmaking "orthodoxy", it is rarely explicitly defended. In this paper I offer an argument in favor of necessitarianism that raises the question of what the truthmakers are for the truths about truthmaking. The supposed advantages of non-necessitarianism dissolve once we take these truths into account.
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  16. Unstable Truthmaking.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):230-238.
    Recent discussion of the problem of negative existentials for truthmaker theory suggests a modest solution to the problem: fully general negative truths like do not require truthmakers, whereas partially general negative truths like do. This modest solution provides a third alternative to the two standard solutions to the problem of negative existentials: the endorsement of truthmaker gaps, and the appeal to contentious ontological posits. We argue that this modest, middle-ground position is inconsistent with certain plausible general principles for truthmaking. The (...)
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  17. Truthmaking, Truth, and Realism: New Work for a Theory of Truthmakers.Jamin Asay - 2011 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Truthmaker theory begins with the idea that truth depends upon reality. When a truth-bearer is true, that is because something or other in the world makes it true. My dissertation offers a theory of truthmakers that shows how we should flesh out this thought while avoiding the contentious metaphysical commitments that are built into other truthmaker theories. Because of these commitments, many philosophers have come to view truthmaker theory as being essentially tied to correspondence theories of truth, and to metaphysical (...)
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  18. Truthmaking for Modal Skeptics.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):303-312.
    Standard truthmaker theory has generally assumed a realist account of de re modality and essences. But there are reasons to be skeptical about such a view, and for considering antirealist alternatives. Can truthmaker theory survive in the face of such skepticism? I argue that it can, but that only certain antirealist perspectives on de re modality are acceptable for truthmaker theory. In particular, either a quasi-realist or conventionalist account of de re modality is needed to provide the best account of (...)
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  19. Tarski and Primitivism About Truth.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-18.
    Tarski’s pioneering work on truth has been thought by some to motivate a robust, correspondence-style theory of truth, and by others to motivate a deflationary attitude toward truth. I argue that Tarski’s work suggests neither; if it motivates any contemporary theory of truth, it motivates conceptual primitivism, the view that truth is a fundamental, indefinable concept. After outlining conceptual primitivism and Tarski’s theory of truth, I show how the two approaches to truth share much in common. While Tarski does not (...)
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  20. A Modest Defense of Manifestationalism.Jamin Asay & S. Seth Bordner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):147-161.
    As the debate between realists and empiricists in the philosophy of science drags on, one point of consensus has emerged: no one wants to be a manifestationalist. The manifestationalist is a kind of radical empiricist who argues that science provides theories that aim neither at a true picture of the entire world, nor even an empirically adequate picture that captures the world in all its observable respects. For manifestationalists, science aims only at providing theories that are true to the observed (...)
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  21. Truth in Constructive Empiricism.Jamin Asay - 2007 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Constructive empiricism, the scientific anti-realism championed by Bas van Fraassen, claims to offer an adequate reconstruction of the aim and practice of scientific inquiry without adopting the inflationary metaphysical excesses of scientific realism. In articulating the positions of the realist and the empiricist, van Fraassen freely makes use of the concept of truth. Theories of truth come in a variety of flavors, some more metaphysically stark than others. Deflationary theories of truth, for instance, boast of the ability to offer a (...)
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