The Nature of Truth

Classic and Contemporary Perspectives

"What is truth?" has long been the philosophical question par excellence. The Nature of Truth collects in one volume the twentieth century's most influential philosophical work on the subject. The coverage strikes a balance between classic works and the leading edge of current philosophical research.

The essays center around two questions: Does truth have an underlying nature? And if so, what sort of nature does it have? Thus the book discusses both traditional and deflationary theories of truth, as well as phenomenological, postmodern, and pluralist approaches to the problem. The essays are organized by theory. Each of the seven sections opens with a detailed introduction that not only discusses the essays in that section but relates them to other relevant essays in the book. Eleven of the essays are previously unpublished or substantially revised. The book also includes suggestions for further reading.

Contributors: Linda Martín Alcoff, William P. Alston, J.L. Austin, Brand Blanshard, Marian David, Donald Davidson, Michael Devitt, Michael Dummett, Hartry Field, Michel Foucault, Dorothy Grover, Anil Gupta, Martin Heidegger, Terence Horgan, Jennifer Hornsby, Paul Horwich, William James, Michael P. Lynch, Charles Sanders Pierce, Hilary Putnam, W.V.O. Quine, F.P. Ramsey, Richard Rorty, Bertrand Russell, Scott Soames, Ernest Sosa, P.F. Strawson, Alfred Tarski, Ralph C. Walker, Crispin Wright.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction: The Mystery of Truth
  4. I. Realism and the Correspondence Theory
  5. 1. Truth and Falsehood

    Bertrand Russell

  6. 2. Truth

    J. L. Austin

  7. 3. A Realist Conception of Truth

    William P. Alston

  8. 4. Contextual Semantics and Metaphysical Realism: Truth as Indirect Correspondence

    Terence Horgan

  9. II. Coherence Theories
  10. 5. Coherence as the Nature of Truth

    Brand Blanshard

  11. 6. The Coherence Theory

    Ralph C. S. Walker

  12. 7. The Case for Coherence

    Linda Martín Alcoff

  13. III. Pragmatism and Verificationism
  14. 8. How to Make Our Ideas Clear

    Charles Sanders Peirce

  15. 9. Pragmatism's Conception of Truth

    William James

  16. 10. Truth

    Michael Dummett

  17. 11. Two Philosophical Perspectives

    Hilary Putnam

  18. 12. Is Truth a Goal of Inquiry? Donald Davidson versus Crispin Wright

    Richard Rorty

  19. IV. Phenomenological and Postmodernist Conceptions
  20. 13. On the Essence of Truth

    Martin Heidegger

  21. 14. Truth and Power

    Michel Foucault

  22. V. Tarski's Theory of Its Importance
  23. 15. The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics

    Alfred Tarski

  24. 16. Tarski's Theory of Truth

    Hartry Field

  25. 17. What Is a Theory of Truth?

    Scott Soames

  26. VI. Deflationary Views and Their Critics
  27. 18. The Nature of Truth

    Frank Plumpton Ramsey

  28. 19. Truth

    P. F. Strawson

  29. 20. Truth

    W. V. O. Quine

  30. 21. Correspondence Truth, Disquotational Truth, and Deflationism

    Hartry Field

  31. 22. The Prosentential Theory: Further Reflections on Locating Our Interest in Truth

    Dorothy Grover

  32. 23. A Critique of Deflationism

    Anil Gupta

  33. 24. A Defense of Minimalism

    Paul Horwich

  34. 25. The Metaphysics of Truth

    Michael Devitt

  35. VII. Primitivism, Identity Theory, and Alethic Pluralism
  36. 26. The Folly of Trying to Define Truth

    Donald Davidson

  37. 27. Epistemology and Primitive Truth

    Ernest Sosa

  38. 28. Truth: The Identity Theory

    Jennifer Hornsby

  39. 29. Truth as Identity and Truth as Correspondence

    Marian David

  40. 30. The Face of Cognition

    Hilary Putnam

  41. 31. A Functionalist Theory of Truth

    Michael P. Lynch

  42. 32. Minimalism, Deflationism, Pragmatism, Pluralism

    Crispin Wright

  43. Contributors
  44. Index