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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 6, 2007


Jerry Kapus
Pages 85-91

Truth, Deflationism, and Success

Intuitively, the concept of truth occupies a substantive role in explaining the contribution of our linguistic utterances to the success of our ordinary actions. However, this claim has been denied recently by advocates of deflationary theories of truth. Although the technical details of the various deflationary theories differ, these theories agree in claiming that the concept of truth does not have a significant role in explaining success and that the utility of the truth predicate consists mainly in its being a device for expressing infinite conjunctions and disjunctions. This paper argues that deflationary accounts of the utility of truth are mistaken. Section 1 outlines a direction for developing the claim that truth plays a substantive role in explaining success. Section 2 argues that deflationary accounts of success are inadequate since they fail to distinguish between the triggering and structuring causes of an event.

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