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Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics$
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D. M. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.001.0001

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(p.61) Chapter 8 Truthmakers
Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

David M. Armstrong

Oxford University Press

The notion of a truthmaker is introduced, and the importance of the notion for metaphysics is stressed. Russell was a pioneer. All truth is a matter of correspondence of a proposition to reality, so truthmaker Maximalism should be accepted. It need not be a one—one correspondence. ‘What are your truthmakers?’ is superior to Quine's question ‘What do you quantify over?’ Minimalist theories of truth, descending from Frank Ramsey, are rejected. Minimal truthmakers, however, are not rejected except in the case of infinities. The relation of truths to their truthmakers is an internal one, depending solely on the terms involved, truth and truthmaker. Truthbearers, that is truths, are true propositions, but propositions are no more than what is believed, supposes that, entertains that, etc., what philosophers call ‘intentional objects’. They can include impossibilities. There is no realm of propositions. The important Entailment Principle says that if a proposition entails some further proposition, then a truthmaker for the premise is also truthmaker for the conclusion. This casts significant light on the nature of valid argument.

Keywords:   truthmakers, truthbearers, Frank Ramsey, propositions, intentional objects, entailment principle, valid arguments

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