Philosophy Programme Seminar

Date Wednesday 14 April 2021
Time 11am - 12:30pm
Where Zoom (
Presenter Chase Wrenn (University of Alabama)
Contact Justine Kingsbury
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

"Deflating the Success-Truth Connection"

A prominent objection to deflationist theories of truth claims they can’t account for the explanatory connection between true belief and successful action (Putnam, 1978). Canonical responses to the objection show how to reformulate truth-involving explanations of particular successful actions to omit any mention of truth at all (Horwich, 1998). According to recent critics, though, the canonical strategy misses the point. The deflated paraphrases lack the generality or explanatory robustness of the original explanatory appeals to truth (Kitcher, 2002; Lynch, 2009; Gamester, 2018). This article diagnoses the canonical response’s failure and shows how deflationists can make sense of appeals to truth in explaining practical success, in all their generality and robustness, without construing truth as a substantial property.