Jeff Young


In contemporary epistemology there is a movement toward deflationary understandings of core philosophical concepts. Prominent among these is the concept of truth. This thesis examines contemporary deflationary theories of truth, such as those of Paul Horwich and Huw Price. I argue that while Horwich’s canonical deflationary approach is by itself insufficient as a complete theory of truth, Price’s minimal, pragmatic, theory of truth points toward a combination that is prima facie satisfactory. Once this new approach has been established, I will use Michael Lynch’s recent functionalist theory of truth to examine the questions of what we want from a theory of truth and what it means to have a theory of something. Lastly, I shall use the example of vegetarianism as a test case for the theory of truth I propose. I will argue that the proposed theory of truth can both apply to the particular ethical vegetarian claim and that, in doing so, it provides resources for viewing ethical discourse as generally truth-apt.

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Philosophy (BS)

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Department of Philosophy (CLA)


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