The Semantic Conception of Truth in the Methodology of Empirical Sciences

  • Ryszard Wójcicki
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 119)


This paper is concerned with the problems of logical semantics, more precisely, with the truth theory. It brings an attempt to give an extension of this theory. The definition of the phrase ‘is a true sentence’ which was given by Tarski seems to supply us with a notion whose usefulness for the methodology of empirical sciences is limited. To put it more exactly let us give a rough outline of Tarski’s conceptions.1


Physical Domain Semantic Conception Empirical Science True Sentence Empirical Theory 
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  1. 1.
    Cf. A. Tarski, ‘Der Wahrheitsbegriff in formalisierten Sprachen’, Studia Philosophica, 1/1935 pp. 261–405. An informal exposition of Tarski’s conception of truth, was presented by himself in the article ‘The Semantic Conception of Truth’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 4/1944, pp. 341-375. The latter article may be found also in Philosophy of Language, ed. L. Linsky, Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1952, pp. 13-47.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The term ‘model’ will not be used in the present paper although it is usually utilized just in the sense in which we shall here use the term ‘domain’. The notion of model is, unfortunately, fairly ambiguous; it is also improper, from our point of view, for another reason. A model — in the common sense — is an object which reconstructs certain properties of the other object; thus it always amounts to some imitation. In this sense, however, we can not say that a fragment of the reality which the given theory describes is a model of that theory (of its language); we might rather say that the theory is a model of the reality and this usage sometimes occurs. The proposal to employ the term ‘domain’ in such sense as we design here is due to A. Grzegorczyk. Cf. A. Grzegorczyk, An Outline of Mathematical Logic, Warszawa, 1974. Cf. also the same author’s ‘Zastosowanie logicznej metody wyodrębniania dziedziny rozwazan w naukach, technice i gospodarce’, Studia Filozoficzne, 3-4/1963, pp. 63-75.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cf. A. Robinson, Introduction to Model Theory and to the Metamathematics of Algebra, Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company, 1963.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For more details see M. Przełęcki, Logic of Empirical Theories, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    The concept of an arithmetical quantity may be exemplified by any scalar quantity (e.g. mass, temperature, volume).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Consideration of the two-range domains may be somehow reduced to consideration of one-range domains. The same remark pertains to the many-range domains. For this matter see Hao-Wang, ‘Logic of many sorted theories’, Journal of Symbolic Logic, 17, 1952, pp. 105–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cf. J.C. Mc Kinsey, A.C. Sugar, P. Suppes, ‘Axiomatic Foundations of Classical Particle Mechanics’, Journal of Rational Mechanics and Analysis, 2, 1953, pp. 253–272. See also P. Suppes, Introduction to Logic, D. van Nostrand, 1957.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cf. R. Montague, ‘Deterministic Theories’, in: Decisions, Values and Groups, Pergamon Press, 1962, pp. 325–369.Google Scholar

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© PWN — Polish Scientific Publishers — Warszawa 1979

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  • Ryszard Wójcicki

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