22 March 2018
15.00 - 17.00
Aula di Antica
Palazzo Nuovo (Piano II)
via Sant'Ottavio 20, Torino
Stairways to pluralism: From metaphysics to truth
Abstract. Alethic pluralism is the thesis that there are different ways of being true. Truth in the empirical domain has been traditionally thought as correspondence with facts, but exporting this conception to mathematics involves a highly controversial thesis of mathematical platonism; likewise truth-as-correspondence in ethics commits to a controversial moral realism. A way to handle these diffculties it to hold that while in the empirical domain truth is correspondence with facts, in other areas different properties may model truth. For example: coherence with basic axioms may model truth in arithmetics, and superassertibility may model truth in domains such as taste and ethics (Wright, 1998, 1995, 2006). Hence, alethic pluralism has been motivated by two kinds of reasons: as a way handle properly the realism/antirealism debate (Wright, 1992) and as best representing the different landscapes underpinning truth in relation to different propositional domains (Lynch, 2009; Pedersen and Wright, 2013). In this paper I explore a different strategy for motivating alethic pluralism. The basic idea is to start from the metaphysics of existence and properties in order to get to the metaphysics of truth. I thus consider two forms of ontological pluralism: pluralism about existence and pluralism about instantiation. Building on some ideas of Amie Thomasson's metaphysical deflationism (Thomasson, 2015), I argue that the conceptual dependence of truth on reference and existence provides a basis for an argument from existence pluralism to alethic pluralism. Likewise, I argue that the conceptual dependence of truth on predication provides a basis for an argument from instantiation pluralism to alethic pluralism. There are thus two routes to alethic pluralism from two ways of pluralism in metaphysics: one related to existence (McDaniel, 2009, 2017; Turner, 2010) and one related instantiation (Pedersen, 2014). The conceptual dependence of truth on reference, existence, and predication provides an argumentative template that allow to appreciate some structural elements that are common to the arguments in the literature for alethic pluralism starting from existence/predication pluralism. (Cotnoir and Edwards, 2015; Pedersen, 2014). In the last of part the paper I consider a possible new route to alethic pluralism based on the acceptance of an ecumenical form of ontological pluralism (i.e., a pluralism which allows for different existence properties, one of which is deflationary). This new argument is intended to provide the basis for a new form of alethic pluralism which is itself ecumenical in allowing for a plurality of truth properties that include a deflationary truth property (Ferrari and Moruzzi, MS).
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