Primitivist theories of truth: Their history and prospects
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/14854
Primitivists about truth maintain that truth cannot be analysed in more fundamental terms. Defences of primitivism date back to the early years of analytic philosophy, being offered by G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, and Gottlob Frege. In more recent years, a number of contemporary philosophers—including Donald Davidson, Ernest Sosa, Trenton Merricks, Douglas Patterson, and Jamin Asay—have followed suit, defending their own versions of primitivism. I'll begin by offering a brief history of primitivism, situating each of these views within the landscape of primitivist truth theories and detailing some of their core motivations and apparent shortcomings. To close the discussion, I'll offer a diagnosis of the prospects of primitivism, focusing on the mystery challenge, which has loomed large throughout the history of primitivist truth theories, and the methodology that should be used in evaluating primitivist (and other) truth theories going forward.
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