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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 55, Issue 1, 2018

Konstantin G. Frolov
Pages 83-98

Metaphysics of correspondence: some approaches to the classical theory of truth

The article examines main competing conceptions of the cor­respondence theory of truth. First, the author investigates pos­sible candidates for the role of truth-bearers. Among those he examines following entities: instances of sentences as concrete sequences of symbols (sounds or letters), which should satisfy wide scope of requirements, such as to be grammatical, mean­ingful, affirmative and so on; abstract propositions, which are ex­pressed by concrete sentences; utterances (either explicit or in lingua mentalis); beliefs of agents as their special mental states. Then he turns to the study of possible candidates for the role of truth-makers, i.e. of those entities to which truth-bearers should correspond to be true. He observes states of affairs, situations, facts and mereological sums of individuals. Then he shows that a notion of correspondence is a functional relationship of interpre­tation of linguistic expressions, where certain fragment of real­ity is taken as a model, i.e. as a finite set of elements on which some functions and relations can be operationally defined. He shows how in some simple cases such interpretation function can be built in operationalist’s manner. After that, he considers some natural objections to this approach, which point that he has no direct cognitive access to the actual world, so it is not possible to take its fragments as a model for any theory. Such objections lead us to the coherentist’s approach, but he shows that the question about origin and status of so-called “specified set” implicitly either leads to infinite regress or requires certain correspondence on some level of investigation and reasoning. Finally, the authore presents some reflections on the meaning of correspondence approach for scientific realism and all other versions of realistic philosophy and metaphysics.

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