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.
Table of Contents
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
Part III: Sentences with Logical Operators
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).