The Identity Theory of Truth

The Identity Theory of Truth

First published Thu Mar 28, 1996; substantive revision Mon Aug 14, 2006

The simplest and most general statement of the identity theory of truth is that when a truth-bearer (e.g., a proposition) is true, there is a truth-maker (e.g., a fact) with which it is identical and the truth of the former consists in its identity with the latter. The theory is best understood as a reaction to the correspondence theory, according to which the relation of truth-bearer to truth-maker is correspondence. A correspondence theory is vulnerable to the nagging suspicion that if the best we can do is make statements that merely correspond to the truth, then we inevitably fail to capture the reality they are about and thus fall short of the truth we aim at. An identity theory is designed to overcome this suspicion.

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2 responses to “The Identity Theory of Truth

  1. making statements of truth do not, in fact, capture the reality of truth. Words are variables. They can point to ideas, colours, objects, etc… but the words themselves have no truth other than that which we give them. Think of it like a programming language. The variables point to the place in the memory where the needed values are stored. We talk to each other and talk of truths, but the truths are not in the words, but rather in the ideas that the words point to in our minds.

  2. Pingback: Philosophy of Language « Tales from the side of the road

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