Truth-The Austin/Strawson Debate (Part Two)

Jul 30, 2018, 02:14 AM

Continuing on "Truth" by J.L. Austin and "Truth" by P.F. Strawson, both from 1950.

We proceed to the Strawson article, which critiques the notion of a "fact" as explaining why a sentence might be true. A "fact" is not a thing in the world! So what do we add when we change "The cat is on the mat" to "'The cat is on the mat' is true"?

Addendum: We discovered after posting this episode that Austin did give a response to Strawson via the 1954 paper "Unfair to Facts" (you can read it in this volume), in which he argues that Strawson does admit that events, and not just material things, count as part of the furniture of the world, and that facts are relevantly similar to events to also then count as being in the world, and hence something that an utterance could truly or falsely (or misleadingly or vaguely, etc.) describe.

End song: "Troof" by Shawn Phillips, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #77.

Strawson picture by Genevieve Arnold.

#philosophy #truth #metaphysics #semantics #language #correspondence #proposition #utterance

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