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The Universe As We Find It$
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John Heil

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596201.001.0001

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(p.151) Chapter 8 Truthmaking
The Universe As We Find It

John Heil

Oxford University Press

The significance and utility of the concept of truthmaking are discussed. The suggestion that truthmaking is entailment (truths entail truthmakers) is found wanting, as is the apparently innocent slogan that ‘truth supervenes on being’. Truthmaking is said to be an internal relation holding between a truth bearer — a representation that the world is some way — and the world’s being that way. Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment and its implications for the determination of what exists are discussed and found to be ontologically unilluminating. The question whether every truth has a truthmaker is addressed, and the suggestion that truths of logic and mathematics ‘require nothing of the world’, hence need no truthmakers (‘trivialism’), is regarded with favor. The possibility that reality, being itself, has a definite nature, is defended.

Keywords:   truth, truthmaker, truth bearer, entailment, supervenience, ontological commitment, quine, existence, trivialism, reality, being

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