Truth, deflationary theories of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N062-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved February 29, 2024, from

Article Summary

So-called deflationary theories of truth, of which the best known are the redundancy, performative and prosentential theories, are really theories of truth ascriptions. This is because they are not theories of what truth is; rather, they are theories of what we are saying when we make utterances like ‘"Routledge editors are fine folks" is true’. The surface grammar of such utterances suggests that we use them to predicate a property, truth, of sentences or propositions; but the several deflationary theories all deny this. Indeed, they all endorse the Deflationary Thesis that there is no such property as truth and thus there is no need for, or sense to, a theory of truth distinct from a theory of truth ascriptions. Thus, for deflationists, the classical theories of truth, such as correspondence, coherence and pragmatic, are not wrong. They are something worse: they are wrong-headed from the start, for they are attempting to analyse something which simply is not there.

    Citing this article:
    Kirkham, Richard L.. Truth, deflationary theories of, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N062-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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