Truths are valuable, truth isn't

  • Alexander auf der Straße
Schlagworte: theory of truth, deflationism, norms, psychological explanation, minimalism, theory choice


This paper deals with the relationship that is sometimes said to hold between true beliefs and success. It argues for deflationism about truth. In particular, a position will be defended according to which the instrumental value of true beliefs can be accounted for within a deflationary framework. The paper denies that truth has any non-instrumental value in the sense that truth is pursued for its own sake. Moreover, the instrumental value of true beliefs will be explained in terms of psychological regularities between agents’ ‘correct’ beliefs about the world, rather than in terms of truth as such. The argument concludes with the result that – in the strict sense – truth is valueless because truth is no (genuine) property. However, the value of individual true beliefs is acknowledged, insofar as they foster one’s behavioural success.