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Kevin Scharp proposes an original theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. Replacing Truth opens with an overview of work on the nature of truth (e.g., correspondence theories, deflationism), work on the liar and related paradoxes, and a comprehensive scheme for combining these two literatures into a unified study of the concept truth. Scharp argues that truth is best understood as an inconsistent concept, and proposes a detailed theory of inconsistent concepts that can be applied to the case of truth. Truth also happens to be a useful concept, but its inconsistency inhibits its utility; as such, it should be replaced with consistent concepts that can do truth's job without giving rise to paradoxes. To this end, Scharp offers a pair of replacements, which he dubs ascending truth and descending truth, along with an axiomatic theory of them and a new kind of possible-worlds semantics for this theory. As for the nature of truth, he goes on to develop Davidson's idea that it is best understood as the core of a measurement system for rational phenomena (e.g., belief, desire, and meaning). The book finishes with a semantic theory that treats truth predicates as assessment-sensitive (i.e., their extension is relative to a context of assessment), and a demonstration of how this theory solves the problems posed by the liar and other paradoxes.
Melbourne, the Pacific American Philosophical Association Meeting in San Francisco, and the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. Parts of “Aletheic Vengeance” made it into Chapter 4; thank you to Oxford University Press for permission to reprint it. Parts of “Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability” also made it into Chapter 4; thank you to Erkenntnis for permission to include it. Parts of “Replacing Truth” made it into Chapters 2 and 5; thank you to Inquiry for permission to include it.
appearances, the allegedly intelligible notion only appears to be a clear notion but, in fact, is rather unclear; once clarified, the alleged EE device (or whatever) is clearly not such a device. (E.g., one might argue that the alleged notion is a conflation of various notions, each one of which is intelligible but not one of which behaves in the alleged, problematic way.) Whatever the response, theorists do owe something to Rv3 revengers: an explanation as to why the given (and otherwise
feature of Burgess’s view for my purposes is that he offers the fictionalist theory as a prescriptive theory; so the fictionalist truth predicate is supposed to be a replacement for our truth predicate that expresses the inconsistent concept of truth. Thus, Burgess is the only other inconsistency theorist surveyed here to endorse a replacement strategy. Moreover, he takes great pains to make sure that his fictionalist truth predicate does not in any way get explained in terms of our inconsistent
contingent paradoxes, it does not make sense to think that truth predicates (or the sentences in which they occur) are ambiguous or context-dependent in a way that would obviate the aletheic paradoxes. This issue will come up again in Chapter 9, where I suggest that ‘true’ is assessment-sensitive in virtue of expressing an inconsistent concept. Condition (5) should be obvious at this point; the revenge paradoxes studied in Chapter 4 are as debilitating as they are ubiquitous. Theories of truth