Philosophy Hurts Your Head

The blog of a cranky Philosophy PhD Student from Newcastle, Australia.

Pragmatism?

Posted by Sam D on June 8, 2005

I was thinking about the ramifications that Kriple’s ‘Meaning Scepticism’ has yesterday (as I have been doing for some months now). Pete and I agree that the move from ‘truth conditions’ to ‘assertability conditions’ (plausibly) logically entails a move to a ‘pragmatic’ theory of truth, or something like it. My concern here is not that theory in and of itself, philosophicaly at least.
My concern is that an account of truth of this kind leads to an ad hoc approach to matters that intertwine with ‘truth’ such as ethics and morality. To some extent this already happens. But I am concerned that a pragmatic theory of truth could be more easily misused, misinterpreted and deliberately abused by those who have more power in the discourse. Removing or softening the requirements we might have on the use of the words ‘truth’ or ‘meaning’ could remove one more layer of critique and intellectual rigor that we cannot afford to lose.

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