Correspondence Theory Of Truth
Seminar 1: 17/10/2011
Reading: First two readings in the course pack, Engel, P.
Truth pages 9 - 26 and Kirkham Chaphter 4
Before the seminar, please consider the below questions. You do not need to write the answers down (though of course you can if that helps you) but please take some time to think about them. If you cant answer the below (especially the first few) then you probably havent understood the reading. It might be helpful to do it again slowly, focusing on the questions, email me, or turn up at the seminar with specific issues/questions I can help you with.
1. If I say A; 'that dog is a true Irish setter', and B; 'is it true that snow is white', am I using 'true' in the same sense in both A and B? If there is a difference, what is the difference (see pg 9)? Which usage is the one that we will be discussing in the seminar?
2. What is a truth bearer? What is a truth maker? Whats the realtionship between the two?
3. What does it mean to say that a theory of truth is a realist theory of truth? What, in general, makes a theory of X a realist theory of X?
4. What are some of the candidates for what a truth maker is? (pg 11 of Engel) Which do you find convincing?
5. Does Frege think we can define truth? Why/why not? What do you think?
8. What are the two types of correspondance mentioned on pg 119 of Kirkham? Which applies to Russell?
6. What does Russell in Problems of Philosophy argue is the right conception of truth? What are the two difficulties noted on pg 19-20 of Engel with this view?
7. In what ways does Wittgenstiens position (pg 20 of Engel) agree with Russell's? In what ways do they differ? Who do you think is right?
9. What about Austin's view (pg 124 of Kirkham)?
10. Can you think of some general virtues of a realists theories? Do these virtues hold of Russell/Wittgenstein/Austin re:truth? What about some potential vices of realism in general?