Theorizing about truth outside of one’s own language
A theory of truth is language-transcendent if it ascribes truth conditions to truth-bearers that are not expressible in (or translatable to) our natural language; a theory is language-immanent if it is not language-transcendent. In this paper, I argue for the following theses. (1) Whether the correct theory of truth is language-transcendent or language-immanent will have significant consequences for general philosophy. Prima facie, a language-transcendent theory is preferable. However, (2) language-transcendent theories tend to require substantive metaphysical commitments concerning truth. Deflationist theories are particularly interesting in this context. I argue that, if deflationism is to remain consistent with its motivations, then it must opt for a language-immanent conception of truth.
KeywordsDeflationism Minimalism Theories of truth Inflationism Language-immanence Language-transcendence
This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Special thanks to Ata Hashemi, Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa, Gabriel Larivière, Ori Simchen and an anonymous referee for comments and discussion, and to the audience of the 2016 meeting of the Western Canadian Philosophical Association in Edmonton.
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