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TRUTH AND DISQUOTATION

Abstract

Hartry Field has suggested that we should adopt at least a methodological deflationism: “[W]e should assume full-fledged deflationism as a working hypothesis. That way, if full-fledged deflationism should turn out to be inadequate, we will at least have a clearer sense than we now have of just where it is that inflationist assumptions ... are needed”. I argue here that we do not need to be methodological deflationists. More pre-cisely, I argue that we have no need for a disquotational truth-predicate; that the word ‘true’, in ordinary language, is not a disquotational truth-predicate; and that it is not at all clear that it is even possible to introduce a disquotational truth-predicate into ordinary language. If so, then we have no clear sense how it is even possible to be a methodological deflationist. My goal here is not to convince a committed deflationist to abandon his or her position. My goal, rather, is to argue, contrary to what many seem to think, that reflection on the apparently trivial character of T-sentences should not incline us to deflationism.

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Heck, R.G. TRUTH AND DISQUOTATION. Synthese 142, 317–352 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-005-3719-6

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Keywords

  • Ordinary Language
  • Clear Sense
  • Trivial Character