Against truth

Jamin ASAY

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse (non-abundant) property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties (as universals, tropes, or natural classes). I then offer two new arguments against metaphysical substantivism that employ ideas involving recombination and truthmaking. First, I argue that there are no theoretically compelling reasons to posit the existence of a metaphysically substantive property of truth. Secondly, I argue that if we do posit the existence of such a property, then we end up with a view that is either contradictory or unmotivated. What we're left with is a metaphysically deflationary account of the property of truth that fully respects the metaphysical ambitions of truthmaker theory, and that is consistent with both the view that truth is a deflated, explanatorily impotent concept and the view that truth is an explanatorily powerful (though primitive) concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Early online date23 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Causal Power
  • Substantive Property
  • Correspondence Theory
  • Causal Judgment
  • Universal Truth


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