Truth, correspondence theory of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N064-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 19, 2019, from

Article Summary

The two oldest theories of truth in Western philosophy, those of Plato and Aristotle, are both correspondence theories. And if the non-philosopher can be said to subscribe to a theory of truth, it would most likely be to a correspondence theory; so called because such theories are often summed up with the slogans ‘truth is correspondence with the facts’ or ‘truth is agreement with reality’. Aristotle puts it thus: ‘to say that [either] that which is is not or that which is not is, is a falsehood; and to say that that which is is and that which is not is not, is true’. In epistemology, such theories offer an analysis of that at which, supposedly, investigation aims: truth. But correspondence theories are also now thought to play important roles in philosophical semantics and in the physicalist programme, which is the task of reducing all non-physical concepts to the concepts of logic, mathematics, and physics.

    Citing this article:
    Kirkham, Richard L.. Truth, correspondence theory of, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N064-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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