Truth
McGinn (Colin)
Source: McGinn - Logical Properties, 2000, Chapter 5
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryText Colour-Conventions


Author’s Abstract1

  1. The final topic of the book is truth, and here I am keen to curb deflationist excesses. I argue that truth is a real property of propositions, even though its essence is disquotation.
  2. I understand truth to be a property that is such that when it applies to a proposition p it follows that p. I suggest that no other property has this entailment. In my view, "true" can be defined by means of the disquotational schema, but it is not an analyzable notion, in the sense that it admits of conceptual decomposition. It is simple yet definable - and again, uniquely so. Truth, I say, is self-effacing in the sense that necessary and sufficient conditions can be specified for its application, by means of disquotation, and yet these conditions make no reference to the property of truth (under any description). But this peculiarity does not imply any sort of "disappearance theory" of truth: truth is a genuine logical property, like existence and identity. I end by comparing this view of truth to G.E. Moore's account of "good": both terms refer to properties that are simple, unanalyzable, and non-natural.
  3. It is not that such logical properties pose no philosophical problems - such as how we come to know that that are instantiated - but I think these problems are with us anyway, and it is no progress to hide under the rug what challenges our theories. In a way, then, my position here resembles my view of consciousness (and of ethics): we are indeed confronted by something genuinely problematic, but we are really confronted by something. There really are logical properties, instantiated alongside the "natural" ones.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "McGinn (Colin) - Précis of 'Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Prediction, Necessity, Truth'".


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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