ISBN: 9780262363143 | 769 pp. | March 2021

The Nature of Truth, 2nd Edition

Classic and Contemporary Perspectives

The question “What is truth?” is so philosophical that it can seem rhetorical. Yet truth matters, especially in a “post-truth” society in which lies are tolerated and facts are ignored. If we want to understand why truth matters, we first need to understand what it is. The Nature of Truth offers the definitive collection of classic and contemporary essays on analytic theories of truth. This second edition has been extensively revised and updated, incorporating both historically central readings on truth's nature as well as up-to-the-moment contemporary essays. Seventeen new chapters reflect the current trajectory of research on truth.

Highlights include new essays by Ruth Millikan and Gila Sher on correspondence theories; a new essay on Peirce's theory by Cheryl Misak; seven new essays on deflationism, laying out both theories and critiques; a new essay by Jamin Asay on primitivist theories; and a new defense by Kevin Scharp of his replacement theory, coupled with a probing critique of replacement theories by Alexis Burgess. Classic essays include selections by J. L. Austin, Donald Davidson, William James, W. V. O. Quine, and Alfred Tarski.


Table of Contents

  1. Preface to the Second Edition: Truth in a Post-Truth Age

    Michael P. Lynch

  2. Acknowledgments

    Jeremy Wyatt, Junyeol Kim, Nathan Kellen

  3. Original Sources

    Cheryl Misak

  4. Introduction: The Metaphysics of Truth

    Michael P. Lynch

  5. I. Correspondence Theories
  6. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Jeremy Wyatt, Junyeol Kim

  7. 1. Truth and Falsehood

    Bertrand Russell

  8. 2. Truth

    J.L. Austin

  9. 3. A Realist Conception of Truth

    William P. Alston

  10. 4. On Truth

    Ruth Garrett Millikan

  11. 5. In Search of a Substantive Theory of Truth

    Gila Sher

  12. II. Coherence Theories
  13. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Jeremy Wyatt, Junyeol Kim

  14. 6. Coherence as the Nature of Truth

    Brand Blanshard

  15. 7. The Coherence Theory

    Ralph C.S. Walker

  16. III. Pragmatist and Verificationist Theories
  17. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Nathan Kellen, Jeremy Wyatt

  18. 8. How to Make Our Ideas Clear

    Charles Sanders Peirce

  19. 9. Pragmatism’s Conception of Truth

    William James

  20. 10. Truth, Inquiry, and Experience: A Pragmatist Epistemology

    Cheryl Misak

  21. 11. Truth

    Michael Dummett

  22. 12. Two Philosophical Perspectives

    Hilary Putnam

  23. 13. Is Truth a Goal of Inquiry? Donald Davidson versus Crispin Wright

    Richard Rorty

  24. IV. Tarski's Theory and Its Importance
  25. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Nathan Kellen, Jeremy Wyatt

  26. 14. The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics

    Alfred Tarski

  27. 15. Tarski's Theory of Truth

    Hartry Field

  28. V. Deflationary Theories
  29. Introduction

    Jeremy Wyatt

  30. 16. The Nature of Truth

    Frank Plumpton Ramsey

  31. 17. Truth

    P. F. Strawson

  32. 18. Truth

    W. V. O. Quine

  33. 19. Transparent Truth as a Logical Property

    Jc Beall

  34. 20. The Prosentential Theory: Further Reflections on Locating Our Interest in Truth

    Dorothy Grover

  35. 21. A Defense of Minimalism

    Paul Horwich

  36. 22. A Substitutional Theory of Truth, Reference, and Semantic Correspondence

    Christopher Hill

  37. 23. Deflationism as Alethic Fictionalism via a SPIF Account of Truth-Talk

    Bradley Armour-Garb, James A. Woodbridge

  38. 24. Truth and Insubstantiality: The Metaphysics of Deflationism

    Jeremy Wyatt

  39. 25. The Use of Force against Deflationism: Assertion and Truth

    Dorit Bar-On, Keith Simmons

  40. VI. Primitivist and Identity Theories
  41. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Jeremy Wyatt, Junyeol Kim

  42. 26. The Folly of Trying to Define Truth

    Donald Davidson

  43. 27. Primitivism about Truth

    Jamin Asay

  44. 28. Truth: The Identity Theory

    Jennifer Hornsby

  45. VII. Pluralist and Replacement Theories
  46. Introduction

    Michael P. Lynch, Jeremy Wyatt, Nathan Kellen

  47. 29. Minimalism, Deflationism, Pragmatism, Pluralism

    Crispin Wright

  48. 30. Three Questions for Truth Pluralism

    Michael P. Lynch

  49. 31. Truth, Winning, and Simple Determination Pluralism

    Douglas Edwards

  50. 32. Austere Truth Pluralism

    Filippo Ferrari, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen

  51. 33. Deflationism, Pluralism, Expressivism, Pragmatism

    Simon Blackburn

  52. 34. Conceptual Engineering and Replacements for Truth

    Kevin Scharp

  53. 35. Keeping True: A Case Study in Conceptual Ethics

    Alexis Burgess

  54. Contributors

    Bradley Armour-Garb, Jamin Asay, Dorit Bar-On, Simon Blackburn, Brand Blanshard, Alexis Burgess, Donald Davidson, Michael Dummett, Filippo Ferrari, Hartry Field, Dorothy Grover, Christopher Hill, Jennifer Hornsby, Paul Horwich

  55. Index

    James Woodbridge