1st Edition

A Referential Theory of Truth and Falsity

By Ilhan Inan Copyright 2022

    This book proposes a novel theory of truth and falsity. It argues that truth is a form of reference and falsity is a form of reference failure.

    Most of the philosophical literature on truth concentrates on certain ontological and epistemic problems. This book focuses instead on language. By utilizing the Fregean idea that sentences are singular referring expressions, the author develops novel connections between the philosophical study of truth and falsity and the huge literature in in the philosophy of language on the notion of reference. The first part of the book constructs the author’s theory and argues for it in length. Part II addresses the ways in which the theory relates to, and is different from, some of the basic theories of truth. Part III takes up how to account for the truth of sentences with logical operators and quantifiers. Finally, Part IV discusses the applications and implications of the theory for longstanding problems in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology.

    A Referential Theory of Truth and Falsity will appeal to researchers and advanced students working in philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, and linguistics.


    Part I: The Referential Theory of Truth and Falsity

    1. Introducing the Referential Theory

    2. Frege’s Theory of Truth and Falsity

    3. Whenglish: A Language with No Sentences

    4. Slingshot Argument

    Part II: Some Common Theories of Truth in Relation to the Referential Theory

    5. Correspondence Theories

    6. Identity Theory

    7. Truthmaker Theories

    8. Deflationism

    Part III: Sentences with Logical Operators

    9. Negation

    10. Disjunctions and Conditionals

    11. Existential and General Statements

    Part IV: Applications and Implications of the Referential Theory

    12. Liar Paradox

    13. Sentence Reference and User Reference

    14. Ostensible versus Inostensible Reference

    15. Sentences as Rigid and Accidental Designators

    16. Necessity and Contingency

    17. Knowledge and Curiosity

    18. Evolution of Language and Emergence of Truth and Falsity.




    Ilhan Inan is Full Professor of Philosophy at Koç University, Turkey. He is the author of The Philosophy of Curiosity (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of The Moral Psychology of Curiosity (2018).