Truth and the Concept of Language
Treating the words ‘true’ and ‘false’ as predicates which refer to statements results in accepting them as relative to the language in which such true or false statements are formulated. In Carnap’s opinion, the predicate ‘true’ is a predicate of two arguments, its arguments being a statement ‘P’ and a language L, in which p is true (‘P’, L).1 But this restriction to language is not the only consequence of the semiotic theory of truth. It seems to me that the meaning which is given to the terms ‘true’ and ‘false’ depends on the general concept of language which is accepted in a given case. The semantic concept of truth which has been worked out by Tarski2 for those languages in which that concept can be defined, assumes the concept of language as a system of signs which refers to a certain object model. For it is only in such a correspondence theory of language that we can meaningfully use the classical concept of truth, of which the paraphrase for formalized languages is Tarski’s semantic concept of truth.
KeywordsDeductive System Language Game Empirical Rule False Statement Correspondence Theory
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- 1.R. Carnap, Introduction to Semantics, 2nd ed., Cambridge 1948, p. 20; see also A. Pap, Analytische Erkenntnistheorie, Vienna 1955, p. 57.Google Scholar
- 2.A. Tarski, ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’, in: A. Tarski, Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics, Oxford 1956, and ‘The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundation of Semantics’, in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 1944.Google Scholar
- 3.Cf. his ‘Sprache und Sinn’, Erkenntnis, IV, 1934.Google Scholar
- 4.A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic, 2nd ed., London 1948, pp. 88 ff.Google Scholar
- 5.A. Pap, op. cit., pp. 61ff.Google Scholar