1. A theory of truth must admit both truth and falsity.
2. Truth and falsity are exclusive properties.
3. The truth or falsehood of a belief depends on something that lies outside the belief itself.
We shall reject 2 because:
Beliefs, thoughts, ideas.
Statements, utterances, assertions.
The term “truthbearer” is somewhat misleading; it is intended to refer to bearers of truth or falsehood;
or alternatively, to things of which it makes sense to ask whether they are true or false, thus allowing for
the possibility that some of them might be neither
PRIMARY TRUTH BEARERS: Truth values are not derived from other truths.
SECONDARY TRUTH BEARERS: Truth values are derived from other truth bearers
The Correspondence Theory
A proposition is true only if it corresponds with the facts.
What does it mean for thoughts to ‘correspond’ to the facts of the world?
1. Correspondence (the relationship): What is correspondence over and above the relation
between true propositions and the world/facts?
2. Facts and propositions (the relata): What is a fact over and above a true proposition?
i.e. the correspondence theory is very circular.
The Correspondence Theory runs the risk of being trivial or empty.
Two versions of Correspondence Theory:
P is true iff P corresponds to a fact
P is false iff P does not correspond to any fact
P is true iff P corresponds to a state of affairs that obtains
P is false iff P corresponds to a state of affairs that does not obtain Facts/State of affairs are denoted by ‘that’ sentences:
“That snow is white.”
Facts are states of affairs that obtain.
Russel rejects definition 2 because it commits us to the existence of state of affairs that do not
Russell rejects the idea that there are non-obtaining states of affairs.
He does not reject the idea that there are objective falsehoods.
Objections for Correspondence Theory
1. Too obvious. Trivial, blank, platitudinous. Condenses trivial idioms but doesn’t amount to a
Reply: Philosophical theories sometimes seem obvious.
2. The correspondence relation is mysterious. Is it a type of resemblance? Relata are mysterious.
Facts are either mysterious, sentence-type slices of reality.
Commitment to complex and strange types of facts.
Reply: Isomorphism between truth bearers and truth makers.
Correspondence as Isomorphism:
Truth bearers are both complex, structured entities
A truthmaker is anything that makes some truthbearer true.
On a straightforward implementation of the isomorphism approach, correspondence will be a one-one
relation between truths and corresponding facts, which leaves the approach vulnerable to objections
against funny facts (3.F1): each true truthbearer, no matter how complex, will be ass