Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011
Gerard Leonid Stan
Truth and the Critique of Representation
The correspondence theory of truth was regarded for many centuries as the correct position in the problem of truth. The main purpose of this paper is to establish the extent to which antirepresentationalist arguments devised by the pragmatists can destabilise the correspondence theory of truth. Thus, I identified three types of antirepresentationalist arguments: ontological, epistemological and semantic. Then I tried to outline the most significant varieties for each type of argument. Finally, I evaluated these counterarguments from a metaphilosophical perspective. The point I endeavoured to make is that these arguments are decisive neither in supporting the pragmatist theory of truth, nor in proving the failure of the correspondence theory of truth. Actually, we are dealing with two distinct modes of looking at the same problem, two theoretical approaches based on different sets of presuppositions. By examining the presuppositions of the classical theory of truth, the pragmatists engage in a theoretical undertaking with therapeutical qualities: they contributed significantly to the critical evaluation of a series of dogmas. The belief in the power of the human mind to mirror reality exactly as it is was one of these dogmas.