Truth: Properties and Pluralism
In this chapter, I offer an account of what I take to be Wang Chong’s pluralist theory of truth, centered on the concept of shi. I explain how shi serves as a general truth concept meant to pick out specific truth-maker concepts within particular domains of discourse (in the case of linguistic truth). I explain how Wang’s truth pluralism grows out of the pluralistic conceptions of earlier texts such as the Zhuangzi and Huainanzi, combined with an understanding of shi developed in texts such as the Xunzi. While Wang rejects the “synthetic” or convergence approaches of earlier Han texts, such method nonetheless influenced his thinking about truth. Later in the chapter, I consider how something like Wang’s pluralism might fit into contemporary philosophical discussions about truth, and aid current debates.