Volume 15, 2008
Realism, Deflationism, and Success
Realism is often characterized by the claim that sentences are true or false in virtue of their ‘fit’ with reality. However, philosophers motivated by the deflationary view of truth argue that the formulation and defense of realism does not require a substantial conception of truth. The role of truth in stating and defending
realism can be accounted for in terms of its being a device for expressing generalizations. I sketch the outline of an argument against this position. I begin with the deflationary view of truth and its relevance for realism. I argue that the deflationary view of truth does not show that truth is only being used as a device for expressing generalizations. I then argue that a robust conception of truth is needed to make sense of the objectivity dimension of realism and for the realist explanation of how language contributes to our success in achieving our goals.