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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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>>The truthmaker theorist, however, is not committed to (A).<<

Agreed. If I was assuming (A) implicitly, then I repent.

>>Truthmaking is not a 1-1 correspondence.<<

This seems reasonable enough, but isn’t the primary motivation for affirming the existence of facts in the first place that they account for the structural isomorphism that seems to be necessary for (at least one kind of) truthmaking—that is, the kind of truthmaking that obtains when Tom's being sad makes “Tom is sad” true?

We've given examples suggesting (persuasively) that a structural isomorphism between fact and proposition is not necessary for truthmaking. There is no structural isomorphism between Tom's being sad and “'Tom is sad' is true.” We agree. But if structural isomorphism is not necessary for truthmaking, what is?

>>But if structural isomorphism is not necessary for truthmaking, what is?<<

What is necessary for truthmaking in general is that there exist something in the world that suffices for the truth of the proposition in question.

This something may or may not be a fact. What is the T-maker of 'Hillary exists'? Hillary. She is also the T-maker of 'Something exists' and 'It is not the case that nothing exists.' But Hillary by herself cannot be the T-maker of 'Hillary is mendacious.' For that we need a fact.

There are two separate questions. First, is there truthmaker role that needs filling? Some will say No. I say Yes. Second, what category or categories of entity are fit to play the role?

Good suggestion by Josh, and good summary in the main post by Bill.

Plus a good counter objection re 'Tom is sad' and 'someone is sad'.

This is a very difficult one that I need to think about. One of the best posts on this subject so far.

Thanks, Astute. I await your explanation of why there is no need for truthmakers.

I emailed you something about three days ago, did you not receive it? The argument is not that there are no truthmakers, but rather, if there were, we would be unable to name them or signify them.

>>There are two separate questions. First, is there truthmaker role that needs filling? Some will say No. I say Yes. Second, what category or categories of entity are fit to play the role?<<

Yes, but I suppose I'm asking a third: namely, what sort of thing is the "truth" that TMs "make"? This question seems to be prior to both of the questions you mention, since before we can know what sort of thing TMs are (if anything at all), we should have a sense of what they're supposed to do. Note: to say what they're supposed to do is to "make propositions true" is question-begging, since precisely what is at issue is the nature of this truth. Quid sit veritas?

Presumably, on TM theory, we know that what TMs are supposed to "make" is some kind of relation between a mental/linguistic proposition and a real-world entity (which might not be a fact, as you point out). The difficulty as I see it is this: what seems to be the best candidate for this truth-relation--namely, a structural isomorphism between a proposition and a TM--cannot do the job.

Perhaps this is simply not the question you are asking, but it does seem to be important.

Astute,

I did not receive the e-mail in question. Please re-send.

Josh,

We take as a datum that some judgments, beliefs, sentences, etc. are true and that some are not. We don't start with a theory, but with a given. We then go on to ask whether the truth of (some of) these representations requires the existence of extra-representational entities.

I don't know what you are driving at.

What I'm driving at is simply the question of the meaning of the word "true" in the phrase "true proposition." In order to know whether we need extra-representational entities in order to have truth, don't we need to have some idea of what the word "true" means? Here are some possibilities I could imagine off the top of my head:

1. The predicate "true" sometimes denotes some sort of correspondence relation between a linguistic, truth-bearing proposition and a non-linguistic, truth-making entity; therefore in order to have (this kind of) truth, we need some sort of non-linguistic truth-maker.

2. The predicate "true" denotes some sort of coherence relation between a proposition and all other true propositions; therefore in order to have truth, there is no need for some sort of non-linguistic truth-maker.

3. The predicate "true" denotes the usefulness of a given belief for achieving some sort of desirable end; therefore in order to have truth, there is no need for some sort of non-linguistic truth-maker.

In each case, the correct answer to the TM question is determined by the prior question of what truth is. The vaguer the concept of truth, the worse off we are when it comes to this TM business. Yes?

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