Formulating deflationism

Båve, Arvid
October 2013
Synthese;Oct2013, Vol. 190 Issue 15, p3287
Academic Journal
I here argue for a particular formulation of truth-deflationism, namely, the propositionally quantified formula, (Q) “For all p, $${\langle \text{p}\rangle}$$ is true iff p”. The main argument consists of an enumeration of the other (five) possible formulations and criticisms thereof. Notably, Horwich’s Minimal Theory is found objectionable in that it cannot be accepted by finite beings. Other formulations err in not providing non-questionbegging, sufficiently direct derivations of the T-schema instances. I end by defending (Q) against various objections. In particular, I argue that certain circularity charges rest on mistaken assumptions about logic that lead to Carroll’s regress. I show how the propositional quantifier can be seen as on a par with first-order quantifiers and so equally acceptable to use. While the proposed parallelism between these quantifiers is controversial in general, deflationists have special reasons to affirm it. I further argue that the main three types of approach the truth-paradoxes are open to an adherent of (Q), and that the derivation of general facts about truth can be explained on its basis.


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