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Truth and Words$
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Gary Ebbs

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557936.001.0001

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The Tarski–Quine Thesis

The Tarski–Quine Thesis

(p.40) 2 The Tarski–Quine Thesis
Truth and Words

Gary Ebbs (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

We cannot actually write out all of the sentences of any given logical form, and so we cannot express logical generalizations by writing out and affirming conjunctions of all of their instances. We therefore need some way to express such conjunctions without writing them out. This chapter explains how this need may motivate us to use a truth predicate, and, ultimately, to embrace the Tarski–Quine thesis that there is no more to truth than what is captured by a Tarski-style disquotational truth predicate defined for one's own sentences. It starts by examining Quine's classic argument that we need a truth predicate to generalize on sentences, and explaining why Brian Loar's objection to Quine's argument fails. It then examines three unsuccessful attempts to generalize on sentences without using a truth predicate, and outlines a Tarskian method of defining truth for sentences in terms of disquotational definitions of satisfaction for predicates.

Keywords:   disquotational definitions; satisfaction, generalizing on sentences, Loar, logical form, logical generalizations, Quine, satisfaction, Tarski

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