Truth, Facts, and Properties

  • Christopher B. KulpEmail author


The meaning of propositional truth is captured by William Alston’s T-scheme: “the proposition ‘that p’ is true iff p.” Truth is determined by the “way the world is,” whether in non-moral or moral contexts. True propositions express facts, but false propositions do not. Facts are states of affairs that obtain, and true propositions expresses such states of affairs. Thus, ‘It is wrong for Smith to strike Jones’, if true, expresses a state of affairs that obtains, namely, that it is wrong for Smith to strike Jones. Types of states of affairs are determined by the types of properties characterizing those states of affairs. Moral states of affairs are “moral” because they instance moral properties, which supervene on physical properties.


Propositional truth William Alston T-scheme Truth States of affairs Moral properties Physical properties 

Works Cited

  1. Alston, William P. A Realist Conception of Truth. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. ———. “Realism and the Tasks of Epistemology,” in Realism/Antirealism and Epistemology, edited by Christopher B. Kulp: 53–94. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. Audi, Robert. Moral Perception. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, Brand. The Nature of Thought, Vol. 2. London: Allen & Unwin, 1939.Google Scholar
  5. Bradley, F. H. Essays on Truth and Reality. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1914.Google Scholar
  6. Brink, David. Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  7. Dewey, John. “Reconstruction in Philosophy,” in John Dewey: The Middle Works, 1899–1924, edited by Bridget A. Walsh, Vol. 12, 1920: 77–201. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  8. Enoch, David. Taking Morality Seriously. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  9. Goldman, Alvin. “A Causal Theory of Knowing,” The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 64 (1967): 357–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodman, Nelson. Ways of Worldmaking. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1978.Google Scholar
  11. James, William. Pragmatism and the Meaning of Truth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  12. Kant, Immanuel. The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, translated by Thomas K. Abbott. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1987 (1873).Google Scholar
  13. Kim, Jaegwon. “Concepts of Supervenience,” Reprinted in Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays, edited by Jaegwon Kim and Ernest Sosa: 53–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  14. Kulp, Christopher B. “Moral Facts and the Centrality of Intuitions,” in The New Intuitionism, edited by Jill Graper Hernandez: 48–66. New York and London: Continuum, 2011.Google Scholar
  15. ———. Knowing Moral Truth: Theory of Metaethics and Moral Knowledge. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.Google Scholar
  16. Lemos, Ramon M. “Bearers of Value,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. LI, No. 4 (December 1991): 873–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ———. Metaphysical Investigations. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1988.Google Scholar
  18. Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1979 (1861).Google Scholar
  19. Peirce, Charles Sanders. “How to Make Our Ideas Clear,” Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, edited by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss: 388–410. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1931–1935.Google Scholar
  20. Rorty, Richard. “Realism, Antirealism, and Pragmatism: Comments on Alston, Chisholm, Davidson, Harman, and Searle,” in Realism/Antirealism and Epistemology, edited by Christopher B. Kulp: 149–71. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997.Google Scholar
  21. Searle, John. The Construction of Social Reality. New York: Free Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  22. Shafer-Landau, Russ. Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  23. Wright, Crispin. “Realism, Antirealism, Irrealism, Quasi-Realism: The Gareth Evans Memorial Lecture,” delivered in Oxford, June 2, 1987; reprinted in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XII: 25–46. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations