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Wittgenstein's Account of Truth

Sara Ellenbogen

Publication Year: 2003

Wittgenstein’s Account of Truth challenges the view that semantic antirealists attribute to Wittgenstein: that we cannot meaningfully call verification-transcendent statements “true.” Ellenbogen argues that Wittgenstein would not have held that we should revise our practice of treating certain statements as true or false, but instead would have held that we should revise our view of what it means to call a statement true. According to the dictum “meaning is use,” what makes it correct to call a statement “true” is not its correspondence with how things are, but our criterion for determining its truth. What it means for us to call a statement “true” is that we currently judge it true, knowing that we may some day revise the criteria whereby we do so.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY Series in Philosophy (discontinued)


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vi-vii


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p. ix

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pp. xi-xiv

What does it mean to say that a statement is true? The traditional way of answering the question, which is known in philosophical circles as “realism,” is that to say that a statement is true means that it corresponds to what it says. ...


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p. xv

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Part 1: From “Meaning is Use” to the Rejection of Transcendent Truth

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pp. 1-23

The later Wittgenstein’s conception of meaning as use is often taken as providing the inspiration for semantic antirealism. That is, it is taken as having inspired the view put forth by Michael Dummett and Crispin Wright in the 1980s that we should reject a theory of meaning that is...

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Part 2: From “Meaning is Use”to Semantic Antirealism

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pp. 25-57

We have seen how Wittgenstein’s conception of meaning as use leads to his rejection of transcendent truth: if we conceive of the truth condition of a sentence in terms of the way in which we use the sentence, then a sentence could not have a truth condition which we could not recognize as obtaining. ...

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Part 3: Why a Revisionist Account of Truth?

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pp. 59-116

It is part of our understanding of the concept of knowledge—or as Wittgenstein would say, it is part of the grammar of “knowing”—that knowledge entails the truth of what is known. An epistemology which denies the entailment will accordingly seem to most of us to be one that we should reject.1 ...


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pp. 117-136


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pp. 137-144


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pp. 145-148

E-ISBN-13: 9780791487365
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791456255
Print-ISBN-10: 0791456250

Page Count: 164
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: SUNY Series in Philosophy (discontinued)
Series Editor Byline: Robert Cummings Neville See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 55676247
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Wittgenstein's Account of Truth

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Subject Headings

  • Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 1889-1951.
  • Truth.
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