Theories of Truth

A Critical Introduction

Theories of Truth provides a clear, critical introduction to one of the most difficult areas of philosophy. It surveys all of the major philosophical theories of truth, presenting the crux of the issues involved at a level accessible to nonexperts yet in a manner sufficiently detailed and original to be of value to professional scholars. Kirkham's systematic treatment and meticulous explanations of terminology ensure that readers will come away from this book with a comprehensive general understanding of one of philosophy's thorniest set of topics.

Included are discussions of the correspondence, coherence, pragmatic, semantic, performative, redundancy, appraisal, and truth-as-justification theories. There are also chapters or sections of chapters on the liar paradox, three-valued logic, Field's critique of Tarski, Davidson's program, Dummett's theory of linguistic competence, satisfaction, recursion, the extension/intension distinction, and an explanation of how theories of justification, properly understood, differ from theories of truth.

A persistent theme is that philosophers have too often failed to recognize that not all theories of truth are intended to answer the same question. When the various questions are made distinct, it is apparent that many of the "debates" in this field are really cases of philosophers talking past one another. There is much less disagreement within the field than has commonly been thought.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. 1. Projects of Theories of Truth
  3. 2. Justification and Truth Bearers
  4. 3. Nonrealist Theories
  5. 4. The Correspondence Theory
  6. 5. Alfred Tarski's Semantic Theory
  7. 6. Objections to Tarski's Theory
  8. 7. The Justification Project
  9. 8. Davidson and Dummett
  10. 9. The Liar Paradox
  11. 10. The Speech-Act Project and the Deflationary Thesis
  12. Notes
  13. References
  14. Index