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Is truth made, and if so, what do we mean by that? Redefining truthmaker realism

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2020, 00:00 authored by Cathy LeggCathy Legg
Philosophical discussion of truthmaking has flourished in recent times, but what exactly does it mean to ‘make’ a truth-bearer true? I argue that ‘making’ is a concept with modal force, and this renders it a problematic deployment for truthmaker theorists with nominalist sympathies, which characterises most current theories. I sketch the outlines of what I argue is a more genuinely realist truthmaker theory, which is capable of answering the explanatory question: In virtue of what does each particular truthmaker make its particular truthbearer(s) true? I do this by drawing on recent work by Frederik Stjernfelt on Charles Peirce’s account of the proposition as having a ‘particular double structure’, according to which a proposition not only depicts certain characters of an object, it also depicts itself claiming those characters to pertain to the object. This double structure, I shall argue, also resolves important issues in analytic philosophers’ truthmaker theory, including the proper distinction between reference and truthmaking, and a dilemma concerning an infinite regress of truthmaking.

History

Journal

Philosophia

Volume

48

Pagination

587 - 606

Publisher

Springer

Location

Berlin, Germany

ISSN

0048-3893

eISSN

1574-9274

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal