Truth and Meaning
Partha S. Das, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Abstract: Traditionally, there are four different theories of truth: Intuitive, Pragmatic, Correspondence and Coherence. It as agreed that truth expresses a belief in the mind of the assertor.
Keith Lehrer and Russell say, there is no problem of truth. What is known as a problem of truth is a problem of knowledge or rather justifying a belief. Russell in another place maintains that only indicative sentences can be true or false. But there are indicative sentences which are not truth-apt and cannot be true or false. Questions, commands, Paradoxical sentences of the liar (‘this sentence is false’) are not truth apt.
Generally the following five problems are recognized in any discussion of truth and meaning. (1) If asserting a truth is just expressing a belief then a true judgment is nothing but a value judgment. (2) What is the criterion of truth? How do we know that? A statement is true or false. (3) How do we assert or define a truth? (4) Does the sentence as a whole refer to a fact or the constituent words refer to a fact? (5) What is the status of reference?