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Putting Metaphysics FirstEssays on Metaphysics and Epistemology$
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Michael Devitt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280803.001.0001

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The Metaphysics of Truth *

The Metaphysics of Truth *

(p.155) 8 The Metaphysics of Truth*
Putting Metaphysics First

Michael Devitt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The difference between deflationary and correspondence truth remains unclear largely because of insufficient attention to the distinction between the metaphysics of truth and the linguistics of the truth term, and hence to what deflationary theories say, or should say, about that metaphysics. Emphasizing the similarity between deflationism and a sort of ‘nonfactualism’, this chapter argues that the metaphysics of deflationism should reject the need for and possibility of explaining the nature or causal role of truth. It is largely because of this metaphysics that deflationism rejects a standard semantics and a descriptive role for the truth term. Finally, the chapter argues that the case for correspondence truth over deflationism is strong provided we can explain reference. If we cannot then we should adopt deflationism. The heavy price for this would be eliminativism about meaning.

Keywords:   deflationary truth, correspondence truth, truth term, nonfactualism, descriptive, reference, meaning eliminativism

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