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Can minimalism account for the value of truth?

Author(s): Edward Moad

Journal: Disputatio
ISSN 0873-626X

Volume: II;
Issue: 24;
Start page: 271;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Truth | Minimalism

Michael Dummett, in ‘Truth,’ mounted an objection to the redundancy theory of truth on the grounds that it neglects to account for the normative features he claimed are part of the concept of truth. Paul Horwich, in ‘The Minimalist Conception of Truth’, notes that the same objection could be leveled against minimalism. He defends minimalism against Dummett’s objection by offering a sketch of an instrumental account of the desirability of truth that is compatible with the minimalist thesis. In this paper, I will review Dummett’s objection and Horwich’s response, identifying some concerns with the account as it stands. I will modify the account to address those concerns, and so that it successfully explains the desirability of having all true beliefs in a way that is compatible with minimalism. I then mount an argument that truth is also intrinsically valuable. The question regarding the adequacy of the minimalist account of truth, then, hinges on whether the account is compatible with the fact of truth’s intrinsic value, along with the question of whether that fact entails its also being essentially valuable.
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