By Julian Dodd
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Additional resources for An Identity Theory of Truth
Unless an alternative account of entailment is available, this counterintuitive result is a sign that necessary truths do not have truthmakers. The worry concerning whether negative truths have truthmakers is familiar in the old problem of whether the world contains negative states of affairs. Russell believed that there were such things, but had a sense of the oddness of this view (1918, p. 184). I think it is fair to say that most supporters of a version of (TM) would be happier explaining the truth of negative propositions other than by appeal to negative states of affairs.
I shall address rejoinders such as these in due course. For the time being, it should be noted that there is far less controversy surrounding the question of the characteristics propositions have, if they exist. First of all, propositions are abstract: they are not located in space. It makes no sense to ask where
Donald Davidson, no friend of correspondence theories of truth, agrees that if there are truthmakers, they have to be facts (construed as states of affairs). The correspondence theorist’s truthmakers, he claims, had better be ‘propositional in character’ (1990, p. 304). They must include as constituents ‘not only the objects the sentence is “about” . . but also whatever it is the sentence says about them’ (Davidson 1969, p. 49). For an admirably clear explanation of trope theory, see Daly (1997).
An Identity Theory of Truth by Julian Dodd