A pragmatics view of truth


  • Luiz Henrique de A. Dutra UFSC - Florianópolis - SC




This paper proposes an alternative view of the connection between knowledge and truth. Truth is traditionally seen as a semantic notion, i.e. a relation between what we say about the world and the world itself. Epistemologists and philosophers of science are therefore apt to resort to correspondence theories of truth in order to deal with the question whether our theories and beliefs are true. Correspondence theories try to define truth, but, in order to do so, they must choose a truth bearer, i.e. something capable of being true, for instance, propositions, sentences or statements. According to the analysis here proposed, none of these truth bearers can be defined without reference to the others. The pragmatic, alternative view here presented, in its turn, is unaffected by this kind of conceptual difficulty. According to this view, one must focus on the use of truth terms – such as ‘true’, ‘false’, ‘correct’, ‘appropriate’, etc. – and the methodological role such terms play in the investigative practices and research programs to be found both in the sciences and in other, everyday investigative activities, such as forensic and journalistic investigations.