Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Brandon Look

Abstract

Is truth valuable? In addressing this question, one must parse it into questions that are more manageable. Is the property of truth only instrumentally valuable, or is it both instrumentally valuable and noninstrumentally valuable? Is the normativity of the concept of truth an intrinsic or extrinsic property of the concept? In addressing the first of these questions, I show that certain arguments are flawed, arguments that purport to show that truth is not valuable in any kind of way. After establishing that it is reasonable to think that the property of truth is valuable, I show how inflationists and deflationists can agree that the property of truth is noninstrumentally valuable. In addressing the second question, I rely on the distinction between semantics and pragmatics and the resources of moral semantics to claim that the normativity of the concept of truth is an extrinsic feature of the concept. I conclude that the property of truth is both instrumentally and noninstrumentally valuable and that the normativity associated with the concept of truth is an extrinsic property of the concept. In doing so, I suggest that beginning with an investigation about the value and normativity of truth has important ramifications for theories of truth in general.

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