Truth and Gradability

This is a paper on the semantics of the English truth predicate. I argue that 'is true' is a gradable adjective and is thus more semantically complex than theories of the truth predicate such as deflationism and contextualism allow. This has consequence for the metaphysics of truth—namely, this provides reasons to think that metaphysical deflationism about truth is false and that something like a correspondence theory of truth is needed. 

Semantics Deflated

This is a follow-up to my paper "Deflating the Determination Argument." There I briefly sketched a way for deflationists to make sense of truth-conditions, claiming this would enable a deflationary conception of truth-conditional semantics. In this paper, I fill in more of the details. I show how deflationists can use a modal T-Schema to characterize truth-conditions for interpreted sentences and how common semantic explanations at the sentential and subsentential level can be specified purely set-theoretically. My conclusion: since truth plays a merely dispensable role in truth-conditional semantics, deflationism about truth and truth-conditional semantics are compatible.

Conceptual Truth Pluralism

Truth pluralism is usually framed in either linguistic or metaphysical terms. Linguistic pluralists claim there are many truth predicates. Metaphysical pluralists claim that there are many truth properties. Both camps typically assume that there is one concept of truth. I argue that this is not so. There are many truth concepts, none of which can be claimed to be the real truth concept. For each of these concepts there is a corresponding semantics and metaphysics—so conceptual pluralism entails both linguistic pluralism and metaphysical pluralism. Thinking of truth in this way gives us the resources to reframe debates in the truth literature and opens up interesting questions about which truth concepts we ought to use.

Contextualism about Truth and Logic

Contextualism about truth is a proposed solution to the semantic paradoxes, according to which schemes of evaluation for the truth predicate are determined by the relevant context. Contextualism about logic is a proposed version of logical pluralism, according to which the logical vocabulary is context-sensitive. Comparing these two views, and what theoretical work they are intended to do, can prove illuminating. I argue that contextualism about truth is a plausible solution to the semantic paradoxes, while contextualism about logic is an implausible theory of the logical vocabulary.