Formulation[ edit ] When Peano formulated his axioms, the language of mathematical logic was in its infancy.
References and Further Reading 1. There Aristotle points out that if a certain man exists, then a statement that that man exists is true, and vice versa. But it seems that there is a difference in priority between these two states of affairs. The statement is true because the man exists; it Essays on theory of numbers not the case that the man exists because the statement is true.
Is the statement true because of the way the world is, or is the world the way it is because of which statements are true? Aristotle chose the former answer, and set the stage for discussions of truthmakers far down the road. The idea of a truthmaker did not play a significant role in philosophy until the rise of logical atomism in the work of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
In the Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Russell takes it to be a truism that there are facts, and says that facts are the sort of thing that make propositions true or false. The project of logical atomism is then to determine what sorts of facts are ontologically required in order to make true all the different kinds of propositions.
The most basic kind of fact for Russell is the atomic fact, which consists of no more than the possession of a quality by a particular object or of the holding of a relation between multiple objects.
Instead, the same atomic facts from before can explain the truth of conjunctive sentences. Russell believed that there need to be negative facts to account for negative truths. The idea that reality contains entities that are fundamentally negative in nature has long struck many philosophers as puzzling and metaphysically unacceptable, and there has been continuing controversy over what, if anything, makes negative truths true.
The next major advance in truthmaker theory came from the work of the Australian philosopher David Armstrong. Armstrong—who credits fellow philosopher Charlie Martin with inspiring him on the topic—has long advocated the use of truthmakers in metaphysics.
Armstrong cites two paradigm examples of how truthmakers can be put to work in philosophy. First, there is the case of behaviorismas defended by Gilbert Ryle While this counterfactual may be true, the truthmaker theorist asks: The behaviorist faces a challenge of either accepting this counterfactual as a brute truth, a truth with no further explanation, or admitting that it is made true by some sort of mental state, thus abandoning the supposed ontological economy of behaviorism.
Similarly, Armstrong argues that the phenomenalism of philosophers such as Berkeley and Mill faces a parallel difficulty. According to phenomenalism, all that exists are sensory impressions. But might it not be true that there is a rock on the dark side of the moon that no one has ever observed?
The phenomenalist accounts for this idea by claiming that if you were to go to that part of the moon, you would have a rock-like sensory impression. The anti-phenomenalist will say that the counterfactual is true because it is made true at least in part by the rock itself.
The Truthmaking Relation A key concern of truthmaker theory is giving an account of the truthmaking relation. When some object X is a truthmaker for some truth Y, what is the nature of the relationship that X and Y stand in? One universally agreed upon fact about the truthmaking relation is that it is not a one-one relation.
That is, in principle an object can be a truthmaker for multiple truths, and any given truth can have multiple truthmakers. For it is impossible that Socrates—who is essentially human—could exist and yet any of those sentences be false at least given some familiar assumptions about essences.
Hence, it can be misleading to ask what the truthmaker for some truth is, since it is not necessary that truths have only one, unique truthmaker.
So what exactly is the nature of the relation? To ask this question is to probe what sort of analysis, if any, can be given of the truthmaking relation. Many truthmaker theorists have argued that the truthmaking relation, at the least, requires metaphysical necessitation.
Some object X necessitates the truth of Y if and only if it is metaphysically impossible for X to exist, and yet Y not be true. In the language of possible worlds, X necessitates Y if and only if every possible world in which X exists is a world in which Y is true.
Not all theorists have agreed that necessitation is necessary for truthmaking. Hugh Mellorfor instance, at one point argued that truthmakers need not necessitate the truths that they make true. Suppose there are three such spheres, A, B, and C.Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.