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Truth and Aletheic Paradox

Scharp, Kevin Andrew (2006) Truth and Aletheic Paradox. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My objective is to provide a theory of truth that is both independently motivated and compatible with the requirement that semantic theories for truth should not demand a substantive distinction between the languages in which they are formulated and those to which they apply. I argue that if a semantic theory for truth does not satisfy this requirement, then it is unacceptable. The central claim of the theory I develop is that truth is an inconsistent concept: the rules for the proper use of truth are incompatible in the sense that they dictate that truth both applies and fails to apply to certain sentences (e.g., those that give rise to the liar and related paradoxes). The most significant challenge for a proponent of an inconsistency theory of truth is producing a plausible theory of inconsistent concepts. Accordingly, I first construct a theory of inconsistent concepts, and then I apply it to truth. On the account I provide, inconsistent concepts are confused concepts. A concept is confused if, in employing it, one is committed to applying it to two or more distinct types of entities without properly distinguishing between them; that is, an employer of a confused concept thinks that two or more distinct entities are identical. I propose a semantic theory for predicates that express confused concepts, and a new many-valued relevance logic on which the semantic theory depends. This semantic theory serves as the basis for my theory of inconsistent concepts. Given this account of inconsistent concepts and my claim that truth is inconsistent, I am committed to the view that truth is confused. I use the semantic theory for confused predicates as a semantic theory for truth. On the account I advance, a proper theory of truth requires a distinction between several different types of truth predicates. I propose an account of each truth predicate, and I advocate using them as consistent replacements for the concept of truth. The result is a team of concepts that does the work of the inconsistent concept of truth without giving rise to paradoxes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scharp, Kevin Andrewkes992@pitt.eduKES992
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrandom, Robertrbrandom@pitt.eduRBRANDOM
Committee MemberGupta, Anilagupta@pitt.eduAGUPTA
Committee MemberField,
Committee MemberMcDowell, Johnjmcdowel@pitt.eduJMCDOWEL
Date: 7 July 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 May 2005
Approval Date: 7 July 2006
Submission Date: 23 June 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brandom; Camp; inconsistent concepts; Kripke; language; liar paradox; relevance logic; Tarski; truth
Other ID:, etd-06232005-130430
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:48
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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