© 1999

Truth and Its Nature (if Any)

  • Jaroslav Peregrin

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 284)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Past Masters on Truth

    1. A. W. Carus
      Pages 15-35
    2. Majeda Omar
      Pages 37-50
  3. Tarski and Correspondence

  4. The Substantiality of Truth

    1. Donald Davidson
      Pages 105-115
    2. Vladimír Svoboda
      Pages 149-161
  5. The Insubstantiality of Truth: The Pros and Cons of Deflationism

    1. Paul Horwich
      Pages 163-171
    2. Jerry Seligman
      Pages 173-186
    3. Edo Pivcevic
      Pages 187-201

About this book


The question how to turn the principles implicitly governing the concept of truth into an explicit definition (or explication) of the concept hence coalesced with the question how to get a finite grip on the infinity of T-sentences. Tarski's famous and ingenious move was to introduce a new concept, satisfaction, which could be, on the one hand, recursively defined, and which, on the other hand, straightforwardly yielded an explication of truth. A surprising 'by-product' of Tarski's effort to bring truth under control was the breathtaking finding that truth is in a precisely defined sense ineffable, that no non­ trivial language can contain a truth-predicate which would be adequate for the very 4 language . This implied that truth (and consequently semantic concepts to which truth appeared to be reducible) proved itself to be strangely 'language-dependent': we can have a concept of truth-in-L for any language L, but we cannot have a concept of truth applicable to every language. In a sense, this means, as Quine (1969, p. 68) put it, that truth belongs to "transcendental metaphysics", and Tarski's 'scientific' investigations seem to lead us back towards a surprising proximity of some more traditional philosophical views on truth. 3. TARSKI'S THEORY AS A PARADIGM So far Tarski himself. Subsequent philosophers then had to find out what his considerations of the concept of truth really mean and what are their consequences; and this now seems to be an almost interminable task.


Donald Davidson Gottlob Frege Rudolf Carnap idea knowledge reason semantic

Editors and affiliations

  • Jaroslav Peregrin
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

Bibliographic information