published on December 31, 2015
Joshua Lee Harris
Does Aquinas Hold a Correspondence Theory of Truth in De Veritate?
At least since Martin Heidegger’s influential reading of Thomas Aquinas’s account of truth as a precursor to modern philosophy’s unfortunate “forgetfulness of being,” it has been popular to classify the Angelic Doctor as one of the forerunners of the modern “correspondence theory” of truth. In what follows, I attempt to answer the question of whether or not this is a correct assessment. I want to suggest that Aquinas’s account of truth has superficial concord but deep conflict with modern correspondence theories. The argument proceeds in two major segments: First, I attempt to establish a working definition of correspondence theory by tracing its development in the work of John Locke, John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell. Next, in light of these fundamental features of correspondence theory, I sketch out the way in which Aquinas’s own account is in superficial concord but deep conflict with it.