Functionalism about Truth and the Metaphysics of Reduction
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Functionalism about truth is the view that truth is an explanatorily significant but multiply-realizable property. According to this view the properties that realize truth vary from domain to domain, but the property of truth is a single, higher-order, domain insensitive property. We argue that this view faces a challenge similar to the one that Jaegwon Kim laid out for the multiple realization thesis. The challenge is that the higher-order property of truth is equivalent to an explanatorily idle disjunction of its realization bases. This consequence undermines the alethic functionalists’ non-deflationary ambitions. A plausible response to Kim’s argument fails to carry over to alethic functionalism on account of significant differences between alethic functionalism and psychological functionalism. Lynch’s revised view in his book Truth as One and Many (2009) fails to answer our challenge. The upshot is that, while mental functionalism may survive Kim’s argument, it mortally wounds functionalism about truth.
- Antony, L (2003) Who’s afraid of disjunctive properties?. Philosophical Issues 13: pp. 1-21 CrossRef
- Antony, L., & Levine, J. (1997). Reduction with autonomy. Nous 31, Supplement: Philosophical perspectives, 11, Mind, causation, and world, 88–105.
- Clapp, L (2001) Disjunctive properties: multiple realizations. Journal of Philosophy 98: pp. 111-136 CrossRef
- Davidson, D The folly of trying to define truth. In: Lynch, eds. (2001) The nature of truth. The MIT Press, Cambridge, pp. 623-640
- Field, H. (1986). The deflationary conception of truth. In G. Macdonald & C. Wright (Eds.), Fact, science, and morality: Essays on A. J. Ayer’s language, truth, and logic (pp. 483–503). Oxford: Blackwell.
- Fodor, J (1997) Special sciences: still autonomous after all these years. Philosophical Perspectives 11: pp. 149-163
- Horwich, P (1998) Truth. Oxford University Press, Oxford CrossRef
- Kim, J (1992) Multiple realization and the metaphysics of reduction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LII: pp. 1-26 CrossRef
- Lewis, D (1970) How to define theoretical terms. The Journal of Philosophy 67: pp. 427-446 CrossRef
- Lewis, D (1972) Psychophysical and theoretical identifications. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50: pp. 249-258 CrossRef
- Lynch, M. (2001). A functionalist theory of truth. In M. Lynch (Ed.), The nature of truth (pp. 723–749). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
- Lynch, M (2004) Truth and multiple realizability. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: pp. 384-408 CrossRef
- Lynch, M (2005) Alethic functionalism and our folk theory of truth. Synthese 145: pp. 29-43 CrossRef
- Lynch, M (2008) Alethic pluralism, logical consequence and the universality of reason. Midwest Studies in Philosophy XXXII: pp. 122-140 CrossRef
- Lynch, M (2009) Truth as one and many. Oxford University Press, New York CrossRef
- Wright, C (1992) Truth & objectivity. Harvard University Press, Cambridge
- Wright, C (2005) On the functionalization of pluralist approaches to truth. Synthese 145: pp. 1-28 CrossRef
- Yablo, S (1992) Mental causation. The Philosophical Review 101: pp. 245-280 CrossRef
- Yablo, S (1995) Singling out properties. Philosophical Perspectives 9: pp. 477-502 CrossRef
- Functionalism about Truth and the Metaphysics of Reduction
Volume 27, Issue 1 , pp 13-27
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links