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4 - Truth-makers, entailment and necessity

from Part I - Setting the stage

Greg Restall
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne
E. J. Lowe
Affiliation:
University of Durham
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Summary

Australian Realists are fond of talking about truth-makers. Here are three examples from the recent literature

… suppose a is F … What is needed is something in the world which ensures that a is F, some truth-maker or ontological ground for a's being F. What can this be except the state of affairs of a's being F?

(Armstrong 1989a: 190)

If b entails Π, what makes Φ true also makes Π true (at least when Φ and Π are contingent).

(Jackson 1994: 32)

The hallowed path from language to universals has been by way of the correspondence theory of truth: the doctrine that whenever something is true, there must be something in the world which makes it true. I will call this the Truthmaker axiom. The desire to find an adequate truthmaker for every truth has been one of the sustaining forces behind traditional theories of universals … Correspondence theories of truth breed legions of recalcitrant philosophical problems. For this reason I have sometimes tried to stop believing in the Truthmaker axiom. Yet, I have never really succeeded. Without some such axiom, I find I have no adequate anchor to hold me from drifting onto the shoals of some sort of pragmatism or idealism. And this is altogether uncongenial to me; I am a congenital realist about almost everything, as long as it is compatible with some sort of naturalism or physicalism, loosely construed.

(Bigelow 1988a: 122–3)
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Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2008

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