Ramsey, many of us think, is on to something about truth. What it takes for it to be true that Caesar is dead is no more than that Caesar is dead. What it takes for it to be true that Gwyneth is beautiful is no more than that Gwyneth is beautiful. What it takes for it to be true that 7 is prime is no more than that 7 is prime. And so it goes. There are stories to be told about the metaphysical commitments of our temporal talk, aesthetic talk, arithmetical talk (and we might well expect that these will be interestingly and importantly different stories). But there is no additional, overarching story to be told about the further metaphysical commitment we take on when we say that it is true that Caesar is dead, or true that Gwyneth is beautiful, or true that 7 is prime. There just is no metaphysical weight to the concept of truth.
Indeed, the concept of truth arguably carries little weight of any other kind either. Say, if you will, that truth is a norm of assertion. But that is just compendiously to endorse each instance of a schema such as:
One should, ceteris paribus, assert p only if p.
The normativity here attaches to the instances of the schema (and those do not involve the concept of truth). Say, if you will, that truth is a norm distinct from warranted assertibility. But that just combines the previous compendious endorsement with a reminder that there can be correct instances of the schema:
p is warrantedly assertible but, even so, not-p.
Say too, if you will, that the success of a theory is (often) explained by its truth. But again that says no more than that there are many instances of the schema:
(Belief in) the theory that p works well because p.
The concept of truth, in sum, carries no normative or explanatory weight of
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Publication information: Book title: Real Metaphysics: Essays in Honour of D.H. Mellor. Contributors: Hallvard Lillehammer - Editor, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 43.
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