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True Propositions and Truth as a Regulative Ideal

  • Dorothy Emmet

Abstract

‘“What is Truth?” said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.’1 Some philosophers are still asking this; a few think they know the answer; and others think it is unanswerable and we should change the subject. I shall claim that we need a view of truth as a property of propositions and also that there may be a role for a more remote notion of Truth (with a capital T). I shall not be directly concerned with deflationary views which try to dispense with any substantive notion of truth, even in the more modest sense of a property of propositions. I simply note that there are good grounds for saying that they have not succeeded. Briefly, ‘“p” is true’ is equivalent to p, where “p” is a sentence or other form of expression and there is a proposition p which “p” expresses. So ‘snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white. This is trivially true if all it tells us is that p = p. It is not trivial if it is presupposed that p, the proposition that snow is white, provides for a truth condition for p, namely snow being white. A truth condition is something which obtains, and its obtaining makes a proposition true. If snow being white is a truth condition for ‘snow is white’, there is still a substantive question of truth, the question of this truth condition obtaining.

Keywords

Truth Condition Objective Knowledge Regulative Ideal Rational Acceptability True Proposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Dorothy Emmet 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy Emmet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK
  2. 2.Lucy Cavendish CollegeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.OxfordUK

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