In defence of the villain: Edwards on deflationism and pluralism

In The Metaphysics of Truth, Doug Edwards offers a sustained case against deflationism about truth and in favour of his preferred pluralist theory of truth. Here, I take up three of the main components of that case. The first is Edwards' account of the distinctive metaphysical commitments of deflationism. His views about this issue have changed over the past few years, and I detail these changes as well as a concern for the views that he develops in the book. Second, I take up the argument that Edwards offers for thinking that deflationism is, in a certain sense, internally unstable. I explain why this argument is inconclusive, outlining three responses to it on behalf of the deflationist. Third, I consider Edwards' novel argument for truth pluralism, which acts as an indirect argument against deflationism. After sorting out some interpretive nuances related to the use of definite descriptions in this argument, I show how the deflationist can resist it. Having responded to Edwards' critique of deflationism, I close by briefly explaining why I take the methodology of deflationism to be especially promising, insofar as it underscores the significance of empirically-informed inquiry about truth.
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Inquiry: An interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy on March 27, 2022, available at: