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A Path to a Conception of Symbolic Truth


Małgorzata Czarnocka

This book deals with correspondence truth, and offers an explanation of correspondence as a symbolization of reality. The author analyses those basic elements of known correspondence truth theories which are the cause of their inadequacy. She focuses on the theories which try to modify the strongest classical theories and shows that these theories are unable to free themselves from seeing correspondence as copying (mirroring). The book presents a «symbolic» correspondence truth theory claiming that correspondence is a specific kind of symbolisation in a Cassirer-close sense, and correspondence truth is neither a copy, nor any other imitation of reality, but its symbol.

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Chapter 1. The Fundaments of Modern Correspondence Truth Conceptions. The Truth Theories of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein


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Chapter 1 The Fundaments of Modern Correspondence Truth Conceptions. The Truth Theories of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein

Alongside Alfred Tarski’s theory the truth conceptions developed by Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein marked out the basis of today’s approach to correspondence truth, especially the correspondence relation. Consequently, in my aspectual analysis of these two classical theories I lay special weight on what their authors had to say about the correspondence relation, which essentially underlies all correspondence truth conceptions.

1.1  Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Elucidation of Correspondence Truth

Wittgenstein founded his correspondence truth theory in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus on commonsensical cognition. Such cognition was for him the sole object of philosophical exploration, the only contentually essential kind of cognition and the only basis for the formulation of non-autonomous philosophical theses. Wittgenstein “elucidates” commonsensical claims and this elucidation, together with the removal of the diverse shortcomings typical for commonsensical language concepts, is connected with contentual changes. Contrary to what his supporters and defenders frequently maintain, Wittgenstein’s elucidation — explication for the neopositivists — is not a contentually neutral operation.6

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