“True” as Ambiguous

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue (a) that the predicate “true” is ambiguously used to express a deflationary and a substantial concept of truth and (b) that the two concepts are systematically related in that substantial truths are deflationary truths of a certain kind. Claim (a) allows one to accept the main insights of deflationism but still take seriously, and participate in, the traditional debate about the nature of truth. Claim (b) is a contribution to that debate. The overall position is not new and it has previously been defended by supervaluationists about vagueness. However, the position is here motivated in a new, independent way, and an explanation is offered why some uses of “true” do not seem to require disambiguation.

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