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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 38, 2013

Jay Newhard
Pages 69-87
DOI: 10.5840/jpr2013385

Four Objections to Alethic Functionalism

Alethic functionalism is a sophisticated version of alethic pluralism according to which truth per se is a functional property supervening on lower level truth properties. After presenting alethic functionalism, I discuss four objections to it. I raise a new objection to alethic functionalism that if Objectivity, Norm of Belief, and End of Inquiry are the three truisms, correspondence is necessary and sufficient to satisfy the truisms, so that alethic functionalism capitulates to a correspondence theory of truth. Second, I present a new argument that on alethic functionalism, truth per se is explanatorily epiphenomenal. Third, examining the case of mixed compound propositions shows that the principle which alethic functionalism adopts for determining which lower level truth property is required for a mixed compound proposition to be true has counterintuitive results and is arbitrary. Finally, I argue that alethic functionalism is unable to account for the intuition that a true truth attribution is true because of the proposition(s) to which truth is attributed.

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