Though this may look like a principle that deflationists shouldapplaud, it is not. Rather, it shows that deflationists cannot reallyhold a truth-conditional view of content at all. If they do, then theyinter alia have a non-deflationary theory of truth, simply bylinking truth value to truth conditions through the abovebiconditional. It is typical of thoroughgoing deflationist theories topresent a non-truth-conditional theory of the contents of sentences: anon-truth-conditional account of what makes truth-bearersmeaningful. We take it this is what is offered, for instance, bythe use theory of propositions in Horwich (1990). It iscertainly one of the leading ideas of Field (1986; 1994),which explore how a conceptual role account of content would ground adeflationist view of truth. Once one has a non-truth-conditionalaccount of content, it is then possible to add a deflationist truthpredicate, and use this to give purely deflationist statements oftruth conditions. But the starting point must be anon-truth-conditional view of what makes truth-bearersmeaningful.
Both deflationists and anti-realists start with something other thancorrespondence truth conditions. But whereas an anti-realist willpropose a different theory of truth conditions, a deflationists willstart with an account of content which is not a theory of truthconditions at all. The deflationist will then propose that the truthpredicate, given by the Tarski biconditionals, is an additionaldevice, not for understanding content, but for disquotation. It is auseful device, as we discussed in section 5.3, but it has nothing todo with content. To a deflationist, the meaningfulness oftruth-bearers has nothing to do with truth.
This is presumably necessary. But it is important to observe that itis in one respect crucially different from the genuine Tarskibiconditionals. It makes no use of a non-quoted sentence, or in factany sentence at all. It does not have the disquotational character ofthe Tarski biconditionals.
Many commentators see a close connection between Dummett'santi-realism and the pragmatists' views of truth, in that both putgreat weight on ideas of verifiability or assertibility. Dummetthimself stressed parallels between anti-realism and intuitionism inthe philosophy of mathematics.
which are usually called the Tarskibiconditionals for a language L .
Anti-realism of the Dummettian sort is not a descendant of thecoherence theory of truth per se. But in some ways, asDummett himself has noted, it might be construed as adescendant – perhaps very distant – of idealism. If idealismis the most drastic form of rejection of the independence of mind andworld, Dummettian anti-realism is a more modest form, which seesepistemology imprinted in the world, rather than the wholesaleembedding of world into mind. At the same time, the idea of truth aswarranted assertibility or verifiability reiterates a theme from thepragmatist views of truth we surveyed in section 1.3.
This theory satisfies Convention T.
Another view on truth which returns to pragmatist themes is the‘internal realism’ of Putnam (1981). There Putnam glossestruth as what would be justified under ideal epistemicconditions. With the pragmatists, Putnam sees the ideal conditions assomething which can be approximated, echoing the idea of truth as theend of inquiry.
Verificationism of this sort is one of a family of anti-realistviews. Another example is the view that identifies truth withwarranted assertibility. Assertibility, as well as verifiability, hasbeen important in Dummett's work. (See also works of McDowell,e.g., 1976 and Wright, e.g., 1976; 1982; 1992.)
We can define truth for atomic sentences of L′in the following way.
The basic idea of the correspondence theory is that what we believe orsay is true if it corresponds to the way things actually are –to the facts. This idea can be seen in various forms throughout thehistory of philosophy. Its modern history starts with the beginningsof analytic philosophy at the turn of the 20th century, particularlyin the work of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell.