Holistic Alethic Pluralism: A Reformational Research Program

In: Philosophia Reformata
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  • 1 Institute for Christian Studies, Canada

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This essay lays out a reformational research program on the idea of truth. First it describes challenges to the idea of truth in contemporary philosophy and gives reasons why a robust conception of truth is needed. Next it presents two overriding concerns – ontological and axiological – that such a conception should address. In addressing these concerns, a contemporary reformational approach will take up three sets of issues: relations between propositional truth and the discursive justification of truth claims; distinctions and connections between propositional and nonpropositional truth; and the sorts of cultural practices and social institutions within which truth occurs. My detailed response to these issues, as sketched in the last section of the essay, is to propose a holistic, normative, and structurally pluralist conception of truth, one that I call holistic alethic pluralism. Propositional truth is important but not all-important, and reformational philosophy needs to show why that is so.

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  • 2

    Quine (1990) does grant, however, that the truth predicate is needed to talk about ‘sentences that are not given’ and to generalize over a large number of sentences (80–81).

  • 9

     See Zuidervaart 2012, 9–13.

  • 12

     See in this connection Taylor 1992.

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