Two solutions for deflationism: assertion, explanation, and alethic desires
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15360
Deflationists aim to upend traditional metaphysical inquiry about truth, proposing that we instead investigate why we think and speak about truth as we do. This iconoclastic agenda has faced a consistent barrage of criticisms, many of which have been ably dispatched. In this talk, I’ll focus on two recent challenges to deflationism about the concept TRUTH (or 'conceptual deflationism') that have yet to be addressed. Dorit Bar-On and Keith Simmons have argued that conceptual deflationists cannot account for the plausible Fregean idea that to assert a proposition is to present it as being true. In response, I’ll explain how revisiting the deflationary claim that facts involving TRUTH lack explanatory power reveals the compatibility of this Fregean proposal with conceptual deflationism. Even more recently, Jamin Asay has appealed to ‘alethic desires’ in arguing that TRUTH is a more robust concept than conceptual deflationists allow. The problem is meant to be that conceptual deflationists cannot accommodate the fact that someone who has a belief that p can desire that their belief be true without desiring that p. In response, I’ll explain why the case that Asay presents is likely a product of framing effects and thus poses no threat to conceptual deflationism.