Episode 194: Alfred Tarski on Truth (Part One)

On Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What is truth? Tarski gives a technical, metaphysically neutral definition for truth within a particular, well-defined language. So how does that apply to real languages? He thought he was defining truth (a semantic concept) in terms of more primitive (physical?) concepts, but Field and Davidson think that actually, truth as a general concept is indefinable, even though it's still helpful for Tarski to have laid out the relations among various semantic concepts. Help us keep more episodes ad-free by supporting us! You can get the Citizen Edition of this episode and not have to wait for part 2, and also soon listen to Wes's discussion of Shakespeare's Tempest!

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