Sher Consider water. But it would be a mistake to legislate in advance that we should be monists about water, since the nature of water is now known to vary more than our intuitions would initially have it.
Or again, consider sugar, the nature of which includes glucose, fructose, lactose, cellulose, and similar other such carbohydrates. For the pluralist, so too might truth be grounded as a plurality of more basic properties. One reason to take pluralism about truth seriously, then, is that it provides a solution to the scope problem. A second and related reason is that the view promises to be explanatory. Variance in the nature of truth in turn explains why theories of truth perform unequally across various regions of discourse—i.
For pluralists, the existence of different kinds of truths is symptomatic of the non-uniform nature of truth itself. Subsequently, taxonomical differences among truths might be better understood by formulating descriptive models about how the nature of truth might vary between those taxa. Given a corollary account of how differences in truth predicates relate to differences among truth properties, this supposition suggests a platitude-based strategy for positing many ways of being true.
Beyond that, conceptions about what more something must be or have to count as platitudinous vary widely. The simplest versions of this view make the following four claims. Finally, numerically distinct truth predicates designate different ways of being true. Discourse pluralism is frequently associated with Crispin Wright , , , although others have held similar views see, e.
In this way, Wright is able to accommodate the intuition that sentences about, e. Distinctions among truth predicates, according to the discourse pluralist, are due to more and less subtle differences among platitudes and principles with which they must comply. For example, assuming that accuracy of reflection is a matter of degree, predicates for truth and truthlikeness diverge because a candidate predicate may comply with either 18 or else either of 26 or 27 ; to accommodate both, two corollary platitudes must be included to make explicit that accurate reflection in the case of truth is necessarily maximal and that degrees of accuracy are not equivalent to degrees of truth.
Indeed, it is not unusual for platitudes to presuppose certain attendant semantic or metaphysical views. For example, 28 A sentence may be characterized as true just in case it expresses a true proposition. Discourse pluralists requiring predicates to comply with 28 in order to count as truth-predicates must therefore be prepared to accommodate other claims that go along with 28 as a package-deal. The most comprehensive and systematic development of a platitude-based version of functionalism comes from Michael Lynch, who has been at the forefront of ushering in pluralist themes and theses see Lynch , , , c, a, b, , , , ; Devlin The resulting open sentence is prefixed with existential quantifiers to bind them.
Two consequences are apparent. The theory thus does a great deal to accommodate the intuitions that initially motivate the pluralist thesis that there is more than one way of being true, and to finesse a fine line between monism and pluralism.
For pluralists, this compromise may not be good enough, and critics of functionalism about truth have raised several concerns. One stumbling block for functionalist theories is a worry about epistemic circularity. As Wright observes, any technique for implicit definition, such as Ramsification, proceeds on the basis of explicit decisions that the platitudes and principles constitutive of the modified Ramsey sentence are themselves true, and making explicit decisions that they are true requires already knowing in advance what truth is.
Some might want to claim that it generalizes even further, namely to any theory of truth whatsoever. Prima facie, however, the two are consistent.
The most fundamental principle of any version of the correspondence theory, 31 Truth consists in correspondence. In principle, there may be different ways of consisting in correspondence that yield different ways of being true. Subsequently, whether the two theories turn out to be genuine rivals depends on whether further commitments are made to explicitly rule out pluralism. Correspondence theorists have occasionally made proposals that combine their view with a version of pluralism.
An early—although not fully developed—proposal of this kind was made by Henry Acton Two recent proposals are noteworthy and have been developed in detail. For Sher, truth does not consist in different properties in different regions of discourse e.
Rather, it always and everywhere consists in correspondence. For example, whereas the physical form of correspondence involves a systematic relation between the content of physical sentences and the physical structure of the world, the logical form of correspondence involves a systematic relation between the logical structure of sentences and the formal structure of the world, while the moral form of correspondence involves a relation between the moral content of sentences and arguably the psychological or sociological structure of the world.
It combines the idea that truth is many with the idea that truth is one. These are different ways of being true. At the same time, truth is one because these different ways of being true are all forms of correspondence.
Which factors are in play depends primarily on the satisfaction conditions of predicates. Or again, consider the categorical sentences 33 Some humans are disadvantaged.
Both 33 and 34 involve a logical factor, which is reflected in their standard form as I-statements i. By focusing on subsentential factors instead of supersentential regions of discourse, Sher offers a more fine-grained way to individuate ways in which true sentences correspond.
Truths about the blobject, such as 36 The world is all that is the case. Truths about things other than the blobject correspond to them indirectly. For example, sentences such as 37 Online universities are universities.
So, truth always consists in correspondence. But the two types of correspondence imply that there is more than one way of being true. This is thought to raise problems for pluralists. According to one objection, the pluralist appears caught in a grave dilemma. Generally, however, the issue of ambiguity for pluralism has not been well-analyzed. Yet, one response has been investigated in some detail. In that case, pluralists seem no worse off—and possibly better—than any number of other truth theorists.
Yet, nothing about the claim that there is more than one way of being true entails, by itself, that there is more than one concept TRUTH. In principle, the nature of properties like being true—whether homomorphism, superassertibility, coherence, etc.
Nor is monism about truth necessarily inconsistent with semantic or conceptual pluralism. A more sensitive conclusion, then, is just that the objection from ambiguity is an objection to conceptual or semantic pluralism, not to any alethic theory—pluralism or otherwise.
This is because taxonomical differences among kinds of truths in different domains can be accounted for simply by doing basic ontology in object-level languages. Sainsbury ; see also Quine Generally, pluralists have not yet developed a response to the Quine-Sainsbury objection.
And for some, this is because the real force of the Quine-Sainsbury objection lies in its exposure of the scope problem as a pseudo-problem Dodd ; see also Asay No such theory handles the truths of moral, mathematical, comic, legal, etc. Pluralism offers a non-deflationary solution. Yet, why think that these differences among domains mark an alethic difference in truth per se, rather than semantic or discursive differences among the sentences comprising those domains?
There is more than one way to score a goal in soccer, for example via corner kick, ricochet off the foot of an opposing player or the head of a teammate, obstruct the goalkeeper, etc.
Analogy belongs to an anonymous referee. Pluralists have yet to adequately address this criticism although see Blackburn ; Lynch b, ; Wright for further discussion. Candidates include: ordinariness, intuitiveness, uninformativeness, wide use or citation, uncontroversiality, a prioricity, analyticity, indefeasibility, incontrovertibility, and sundry others. But none has proven to be uniquely adequate, and there is nothing close to a consensus about which criteria to rely on. For instance, consider the following two conceptions.
For instance, consider the platitude in 17 , which connects being true with corresponding with reality. Being linguistically competent with terms for structural relations like correspondence does not force endorsement of claims that connect truth with correspondence; no one not already in the grip of the correspondence theory would suppose that they must endorse 17 , and those who oppose it would certainly suppose otherwise. Further inadequacies beleaguer this conception. It makes no provision for degrees of either endorsement or linguistic incompetence.
Nor does it require that platitudes themselves be true. An old platitude about whales, for example—one which was universally endorsed on pain of being linguistically incompetent—prior to whales being classified as cetaceans—was that they are big fish. This would be a major problem for advocates of Ramsification and other forms of implicit definition, since those techniques work only on the presupposition that all input being Ramsified over or implicitly defined is itself true Wright A second, closely related conception is that platitudes are expressions, which—in virtue of being banal, vacuous, elementary, or otherwise trivial—are acceptable by anyone who understands them Horwich The interaction of banality or triviality with acceptance does rule out a wide variety of candidate expressions, however.
For instance, claims that are acceptable by anyone who understands them may still be too substantive or informative to count as platitudinous, depending on what they countenance.
Indeed, it is an open question whether any of the principles in 11 — 28 would count as platitudes on this conception. An alternative conception emphasizes that the criteria should instead be the interaction of informality, truth, a prioricity, or perhaps even analyticity Wright In particular, platitudes need not take the form of an identity claim, equational definition, or a material biconditional.
At the extreme, expressions can be as colloquial as you please so long as they remain true a priori or analytically. These latter criteria are commonly appealed to, but are also not with problems. Firstly, a common worry is whether there are any strictly analytic truths about truth, and, if there are, whether they can perform any serious theoretical work. Secondly, these latter criteria would exclude certain truths that are a posteriori but no less useful to a platitude-based strategist.
This so-called instability challenge can be presented as follows. The property of being a sentence is one such a property, but it poses no trouble to the pluralist. This suggests, at best, that strong pluralism is false, and moderate monism is true; and at worst, there seems to be something instable, or self-refuting, about pluralism. Pluralists can make concessive or non-concessive responses to the instability challenge.
A concessive response grants that such a truth property exists, but maintains that it poses no serious threat to pluralism. A non-concessive response is one intended to rebut the challenge, e. According to sparse property theorists, individuals must be unified by some qualitative similarity in order to share a property. For example, all even numbers are qualitatively similar in that they share the property of being divisible by two without remainder.
According to sparse property theorists, the lack of qualitative similarity means that this putative disjunctive property is not a property properly so-called. Abundant property theorists, on the other hand, deny that qualitative similarity is needed in order for a range of individuals to share a property. Properties can be as disjunctive as you like. And since there is a set of all things that have some disjunctive property, there is a property—abundantly construed—had by exactly those things.
So pluralists who want to give a non-concessive response to the metaphysical instability challenge may want to endorse the sparse conception Pedersen This is because the lack of uniformity in the nature of truth across domains is underwritten by a lack of qualitative similarity between the different truth properties that apply to specific domains of discourse. For example, consider: 39 Causing pain is bad.
Mixed atomic sentences such as 39 are thought to pose problems for pluralists. This idea originated in the philosophy of mind by way of giving a method of systematizing particular causal roles of particular mental phenomena, but Lynch extends the idea to systematize the non-causal, perhaps normative, role of truth in our cognitive lives.
The proposition that p is false if and only if it is not the case that p. Propositions are the bearers of truth and falsity.
Every proposition has a negation. A proposition can be justified but not true, and true but not justified. Lynch a: These platitudes form a structure which will provide a complete account of the role truth is taken to play. For more on this process see Lynch a, and also Smith and Jackson This process yields a functional definition of truth, as it gives us the precise features that a property must have if it is to be regarded as realizing the truth role: it must be related to a number of other properties in the required way.
As noted before, these features may be exhibited by different properties in different domains of discourse, and SOF allows for this, as, provided a property discharges the functional role set out in the network analysis, it counts as the realizer of the truth role in that particular domain of discourse. So far, it may not seem as though there is a great deal distinguishing SOF from OCMP, but the main point of difference becomes apparent when SOF says a bit more about the truth property. The truth property could thus be taken to be either the second-order property of possessing some property that plays the truth role, or, in each domain, the property that actually plays that role in a particular domain of discourse.
SOF plumps for the former, and, as a result, the truth property is to be thought of as a second-order functional role property, not as a realizer property. There is a single second-order role property, and a plurality of realizer properties across discourses, and the truth property is to be identified with the former.
There is thus a property that all truths have in common on the SOF view. All truths will have the property of having a property that plays the truth role. There are two main problems that SOF faces. Remember that truth, considered here as a second-order property, needs to be robust enough to ground truth as a general norm of inquiry. However, one might think that the robust properties here are the first-order properties, like correspondence and coherence, as opposed to the property of having one of those properties, which seems to be a thinner, less complex property.
If so, SOF provides us with a truth property which is not fit to ground truth as a general norm of inquiry, and thus fails to move the view significantly beyond OCMP for concerns like these about second-order properties in general, see Kim The second, related, problem raised in Lynch is that it is questionable whether the second-order truth property will satisfy the truth platitudes.
Remember that to be a truth-realizing property, on a functionalist view, a property has to exhibit the features set out in the truth platitudes. The first-order properties must do this, and this is how they are identified in their domains, but does the general second-order property exhibit these features?
Lynch argues not, and thus the view is unstable: it offers as a truth property a property which fails to meet its own standards for being considered a truth property. Manifestation Functionalism In Lynch , Lynch presents a significant revision of his earlier proposal. Lynch maintains the central role afforded to the list of platitudes about truth, holding that the concept of truth is captured by the following slightly different list: Objectivity: The belief that p is true if, and only if, with respect to the belief that p, things are as they are believed to be.
Warrant Independence: Some beliefs can be true but not warranted and some can be warranted without being true. Norm of Belief: It is prima facie correct to believe that p if and only if the proposition that p is true.
End of Inquiry: Other things being equal, true beliefs are a worthy goal of inquiry. So, for example, for superassertibility to manifest truth in a domain, it would have to be part of the features of superassertibility that the belief that p is superassertible if, and only if, things are as they are believed to be; that some beliefs can be superassertible but not warranted and some can be warranted without being superassertible; that it is prima facie correct to believe that p if and only if the proposition that p is superassertible; and that, other things being equal, superassertible beliefs are a worthy goal of inquiry.
A key issue for this view is the metaphysics of manifestation. A classic example of this relation is the relation between being coloured and being red.
There is an asymmetry between these properties: if something is red, then, necessarily, it is coloured, whereas if something is coloured it is not necessarily red. Being red, we might say, is one way of being coloured.
One way of putting this point is to say that being red is a determinate of the more general determinable, being coloured. According MF, something similar occurs in the case of truth, where properties such as correspondence and superassertibility are different ways of being true.
Recall that Lynch holds that the truth-manifesting properties contain the essential features of truth as a proper part of their own features. However, now it looks difficult for those properties to manifest truth, for it cannot be that correspondence and superassertibility are themselves manifested in correspondence and superassertibility. But, if this cannot be the case, then they cannot manifest truth, for they do not possess one of the essential features of truth.
Lynch attempts to respond to this problem, and Wright also considers his response. As was the case with SOF, there has also been discussion of how far MF progresses beyond deflationism, and, in particular, whether the property MF identifies with truth — the property that has the truish features essentially — is a property which is as robust as Lynch claims it to be.
This issue is discussed in detail in Jarvis , Edwards and Pedersen and Edwards Disjunctivism and Simple Determination Pluralism In addition to the proposals put forward by Crispin Wright and Michael Lynch, there are also a couple of emerging views in the recent literature. Wright The basic idea behind this view is to take the basic structure of OCMP, and add an additional property that will serve as a general truth property. This property will be a disjunctive property which contains each of the domain-specific truth properties as disjuncts.
Pedersen expresses the domain-specific truth properties of which correspondence to reality and superassertibility are examples as properties Tl … Tn. The thought is that this property, TU, has the pedigree to be considered a truth property it is taken to be possessed by all and only truths, after all. The main challenge for disjunctivism is to show that the disjunctive truth property has the necessary credentials to be considered the truth property.
Disjunctive proposals are defended from these concerns by Pedersen and Wright a and Edwards Just as winning is the aim of playing a game, truth is the aim of assertion and belief. It is evident that what it takes to win differs from game to game, but there is good reason to think that winning qua property has a significant degree of constancy. The thought is that the property of being a winner is a property that one can get in a variety of different ways, and that the rules of each game establish a property the possession of which determines the possession of the property of being a winner.
Thus, in each game, we get biconditionals of the form: Bx When playing game x: one wins has the property of winning iff one possesses property F. The thought is that this structure can be applied to the truth case. Take it that truth qua property is exhaustively accounted for by the list of platitudes about truth.
There will be an order of determination on the biconditionals which reflects the explanatory primacy of the right-to-left direction. It is in virtue of the order of determination on these biconditionals that we can say that the properties in question determine truth in their respective domains.
The structure of simple determination pluralism is thus as follows. Truth is given as the property that is exhaustively described by the truth platitudes. This property is the property possessed by all true propositions, regardless of domain. This allows the view to avoid the problem with SOF, as the truth property necessarily exhibits the truth features.
Moreover, for each domain there will be a property that determines possession of the truth property, and these properties are held fully distinct from the truth property itself.
This allows simple determination pluralism to avoid some of the problems with MF as truth itself is not considered to be manifested in the domain-specific properties. The relationship between the truth-determining properties and truth is underwritten by the order of determination on the biconditionals of the form Bdx. A key issue for simple determination pluralism is the specification of the relationship between the domain-specific truth-determining properties and the truth property itself.
There is also the matter of how exactly the truth-determining properties are identified, and the provenance of the Bdx biconditionals. These issues are explored in Edwards a and c, and in Wright General Issues These are some of the main formulations of truth pluralism that are currently available. Evidently, the intricacies of each view are more complex than I have been able to outline here, and the reader is directed to the relevant references for more on the structure and motivations for each view.
Each proposal, then, faces specific challenges of its own, but there are also some concerns about the general project which all pluralists will need to address. I will close by briefly noting three such concerns. The Problem of Domain Individuation Truth pluralism seemingly rests on the idea that natural language can be separated into different domains of discourse. Note that this rough separation of thought and talk into different domains is not solely the work of truth pluralists, it is perhaps a separation that is subscribed to, though a lot less explicitly, by a number of different kinds of theorists.
The very fact that philosophy itself is separated into different areas corresponding to these divisions might be one example: moral philosophy is taken to concern different subject matter to aesthetics, and philosophy of mathematics different to the philosophy of science. Also, those who take particular positions in these areas may be implicitly subscribing to such distinctions.
One who claims to be an expressivist about moral discourse, for example, will need to be able to demarcate what is moral discourse and what is not. Likewise, one who is a fictionalist about mathematics needs some distinction between what are mathematical statements, and what are not. However, one might think that pluralism is committed to this idea in a particularly acute way. For instance, some of the views above use the notion of a domain as a parameter when it comes to platitude satisfaction.
For example, on the OCMP view, truth properties do not satisfy the truth platitudes simpliciter, they satisfy them in a specific domain. Identifying precisely what a domain of discourse is, and how, exactly, they are to be individuated is an issue which has been at the forefronts of the minds of those sceptical of the pluralist project since its inception see, for example, Williamson , and, at present, one might think that more needs to be done to ease these concerns.
The Demandingness Objection The supposed benefit of being able to use different theories of truth in different domains may be considered a problem when one considers what that entails, namely that a truth pluralist is committed to defending the use of a particular theory of truth in each domain.
This worry is particularly acute when one considers that there is no generally accepted version of any of the theories of truth usually cited as examples. For instance, although it may seem a benefit that truth pluralism allows correspondence theory a limited scope, it is worth noting that there is general scepticism over whether there is a satisfactory formulation of the correspondence theory to start with.
The same may well be true of coherence theory. Truth pluralism thus inherits the problems with formulating each of the different theories of truth it wants to use in each of its domains. This makes it a very demanding view to defend: not only does it have to find a structure that works, it has to outline and defend each account of truth in each domain.
This point is developed by C. Problems with Platitudes All of the pluralist views I have discussed involve the notion of platitudes at some stage in the theory. As is also clear, different formulations favour slightly different platitudes. However, although the platitudes in each case are taken to stem from some intuitive thoughts about truth, the eventual formulations may be open to dispute see Wright , and also Nolan for more on platitudes , so we should think of them as refined conceptual truths, perhaps, as opposed to simple obvious, uncontroversial, statements.
Nevertheless, one might be concerned that there are no platitudes about truth: no principles that are entitled to this status. This is backed up by the fact that most if not all of the platitudes cited by truth pluralists have been questioned C. Wright argues this point, and Lynch responds. Usually the scepticism comes from one of two fronts: either from those who think the platitude in question is false, or from those who think the platitude in question is not about truth, and can thus be explained away without committing one to any attitude about the nature of truth.
Although, as we have seen, disagreement over a platitude does not immediately rule it out as a platitude, there are still issues over the truth of a platitude which need to be taken seriously. Even if pluralists claim that the platitudes are rough formulations approximating some conceptual truth that would be reached when appropriately refined, there is still room for scepticism. The Deflationary Challenge Throughout contemporary debates on truth pluralism, lurking in the shadows has been the challenge from deflationary theories of truth.
In particular, there is an underlying puzzlement as to why we need to go beyond deflationism into pluralism. The basic worry seems to be: why bring in all of these complications when we can get by with far less?
This challenge is compounded by the influence of deflationary theories of truth in current debates, with many holding that deflationism ought to be considered the default view of truth see, for example, Field , Armour-Garb Beall , and Dodd As noted above, this challenge has not been ignored by pluralists, with Wright and Lynch Chapter 6 building arguments against deflationism into the motivations for their pluralist views.
However, despite this work, it is probably still fair to say that one of the central challenges facing pluralists today is to convince those in the deflationary camp that there are strong reasons to consider pluralism an attractive alternative.
References and Further Reading Alston, W. A Realist Conception of Truth. Cornell University Press. Alston, W.
Truth: Concept and Property. In What is Truth? Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter: Beall, J. The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. Boghossian, P. The Status of Content. The Philosophical Review, Vol. Cotnoir, A. Analysis, Vol. Validity for Strong Pluralists. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Davidson, D. Journal of Philosophy 93, no. Devitt, M. The Metaphysics of Truth. In Lynch ed. Dodd, J. Deflationism Trumps Pluralism! In Pedersen and Wright eds. Dummett, M.
In his Truth and Other Enigmas. Oxford University Press. Edwards, D. How to Solve the Problem of Mixed Conjunctions. Simplifying Alethic Pluralism.
The Southern Journal of Philosophy Naturalness, Representation, and the Metaphysics of Truth. European Journal of Philosophy. On Alethic Disjunctivism. Truth, Winning, and Simple Determination Pluralism.
Alethic vs Deflationary Functionalism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 20 1 : Field, H. Wright and G. Macdonald eds. Fact, Science and Morality. Blackwell, Oxford: Mind, Horgan, T. In Lynch Horwich, P. Realism Minus Truth. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Truth: Second Edition.
Jackson, F. From Metaphysics to Ethics. Minimalism and Truth Aptness. Mind, New Series, Vol. James, W. Pragmatism and The Meaning of Truth. Harvard University Press. Jarvis, B. Truth as One and Very Many. Mind in a Physical World. MIT Press. Ratio NS Conceptions of Truth. Lewis, D. Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications. Australasian Journal of Philosophy Lynch, M.
The Nature of Truth. A Functionalist Theory of Truth. Truth and Multiple Realizibility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 82, Number 3: Minimalism and the Value of Truth. The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. Alethic Functionalism and our Folk Theory of Truth. Synthese Vol.
Rather, it always and everywhere consists in correspondence. The Deflationary Challenge Throughout contemporary debates on truth pluralism, lurking in the shadows has been the challenge from deflationary theories of truth.
In principle, there may be different ways of consisting in correspondence that yield different ways of being true. These principles seem to require a general truth predicate, but SAP can provide none. If so, SOF provides us with a truth property which is not fit to ground truth as a general norm of inquiry, and thus fails to move the view significantly beyond OCMP for concerns like these about second-order properties in general, see Kim The structure of simple determination pluralism is thus as follows. According to her, it is not transparent in the concept of truth that being true is a matter of possessing some further property cohering, corresponding, etc.
If different truth predicates apply to the conjunction and to the conjuncts, then principles like this look under threat, once more from concerns about equivocation. The proposition that p is false if and only if it is not the case that p.