Roczniki Filozoficzne

Volume 71, Issue 4, 2023

Robert KublikowskiOrcid-ID
Pages 43-58

Truth and Normativity
Is Truth a Norm of Evaluation of Propositions?

The category of truth has been controversial since ancient philosophy until the contemporary one. Discussions on the correspondence classical theory of truth have given rise to non-classical theories combining the notion of truth with evidence, a useful action, coherence or a common agreement etc. A sharp polemics has tried to eliminate at all the category of truth. The question arises whether such a radical criticism is right and justified? It seems that it is exaggerated. The goal of this article is an argumentation for the thesis that truth — as a value and a norm (“a pattern”, an element of a reference system etc.) — is indispensable for the epistemic evaluation of propositions which have their theoretical and practical consequences. The structure of the article is fixed by the following paragraphs: (1) the criticism of the category of truth, (2) truth as a value and (3) truth as a norm in a reference system. At the starting point I take a compact characteristics of truth formed by Michael P. Lynch in his monograph entitled True to Life: Why Truth Matters (2020): (a) Truth is objective. (b) Truth is a value, truth is good. (c) Truth is a valuable goal of inquiry. (d) Truth is valuable itself. In fact truth is valuable because it makes it possible to claim that someone is not right, lies, commits perjury, misleads someone in private or social life. Apart from that without the category of truth it is even impossible to claim — as scepticism maintains — that it is true that truth is not valuable, noteworthy etc. The category of truth — which plays a role of a cognitive goal and of a norm — despite various controversies is still indispensable for the evaluation of a logical value of sentences (and propositions expressed by them). The category of truth is semantic, but its recognition — someone’s acknowledging of a sentence as true (i.e. an assertion) — is a pragmatic category. Asserted post factum efficiency of an action — undertaken on the basis of a sentence — is a strong reason for acknowledging it as true. The respect for truth is better that the lack of it.