Metaphysics of correspondence: some approaches to the classical theory of truth

Publication Type:


Transliteration of original Title: 
Metafizika sootvetstviya: nekotorye podkhody k korrespondentnoi teorii istiny
Konstantin G. Frolov
Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University
Issue number: 
No.1 (Vol.55)

The article examines main competing conceptions of the correspondence theory of truth. First, the author investigates possible candidates for the role of truth-bearers. Among those he examines following entities: instances of sentences as concrete sequences of symbols (sounds or letters), which should satisfy wide scope of requirements, such as to be grammatical, meaningful, affirmative and so on; abstract propositions, which are expressed by concrete sentences; utterances (either explicit or in lingua mentalis); beliefs of agents as their special mental states. Then he turns to the study of possible candidates for the role of truth-makers, i.e. of those entities to which truth-bearers should correspond to be true. He observes states of affairs, situations, facts and mereological sums of individuals. Then he shows that a notion of correspondence is a functional relationship of interpretation of linguistic expressions, where certain fragment of reality is taken as a model, i.e. as a finite set of elements on which some functions and relations can be operationally defined. He shows how in some simple cases such interpretation function can be built in operationalist’s manner. After that, he considers some natural objections to this approach, which point that he has no direct cognitive access to the actual world, so it is not possible to take its fragments as a model for any theory. Such objections lead us to the coherentist’s approach, but he shows that the question about origin and status of so-called “specified set” implicitly either leads to infinite regress or requires certain correspondence on some level of investigation and reasoning. Finally, the authore presents some reflections on the meaning of correspondence approach for scientific realism and all other versions of realistic philosophy and metaphysics.


correspondence theory of truth, coherence theory of truth, scientific realism, operationalism, interpretation

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