Truth - Meaning - Reality presents a fresh approach to philosophy: a broad and unified deflationism that encompasses language, thought, knowledge, reality, and the relations between them. Horwich's story begins with a minimalist view of truth according to which this extraordinary concept is far less profound and substantial than has usually been assumed, since it stems entirely from our regarding "It is true that dogs bark" as equivalent to "Dogs bark", and similarly in the case of all other statements. There's nothing more to truth than that! This view turns out to be of fundamental importance throughout the subject. In the first instance it paves the way to an account of meaning as use, whereby the sense of each word-type is given by its basic patterns of deployment rather than by its association with a feature of the non-linguistic world. And the combination of deflated truth and 'meaning as use' then yields a perspective from which the long-standing debates between forms of 'realism' and 'anti-realism' must be reconceived.
We are able to see that the positions typically adopted in these debates are all defective - contrived products of the mistaken assumption that reality, together with our representation of it, must exhibit a rigid uniformity and that deviations from the norm would be intolerably 'weird'. The fourteen essays collected here constitute a coherent and complete expression of this three-pronged philosophy. Each of them is self-standing. But they have been revised and arranged so as to reveal the power and plausibility of Horwich's overall approach.
Publisher: Oxford University Press