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The Non-Existence of the Real World$
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Jan Westerhoff

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198847915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198847915.001.0001

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The Non-existence of Foundational Truths

The Non-existence of Foundational Truths

(p.246) 4 The Non-existence of Foundational Truths
The Non-Existence of the Real World

Jan Westerhoff

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses problems that arise from the assumption that there is a final, ultimately true theory of the world and considers a variety of arguments (connected with the coherence theory of truth, semantic contextualism, and the denial of absolutely general quantification) against it. From this it follows that if there cannot be an ultimately true theory then it also cannot be ultimately true that the world has a non-wellfounded structure. This leaves us with a problem, for it appears as if the theory of the non-existence of the real world we defend in the book as a whole cannot be a final theory either. The chapter closes with a discussion of this final problem, together with some reflections on what the implications of the denial of ultimately true theories are for the ontological or philosophical enterprise more generally.

Keywords:   ultimately true theory, foundational truths, coherence theory, semantic contextualism, absolutely general quantification, meta-philosophy

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