By Julian Dodd
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Extra resources for An Identity Theory of Truth
Third, even if Grover et al. can make a case for the demonstrative ‘that’ in ‘that is surprising’ naming something other than a proposition, this does not deal with the objection at its most basic level. Here is why. At bottom, the objection we are considering is that it is counterintuitive to regard ‘that is true’ as an unstructured prosentence. It is more natural to suppose it to be of a kind with other locutions of the form ‘that is F’: sentences composed of a demonstrative and a predicate. Let us now grant that the demonstrative in ‘that is surprising’ refers to a fact (and not to a proposition).
304). However, this is for the reasons given in the text and not because I endorse the notorious ‘slingshot’ argument for this conclusion. (Davidson fires the slingshot in his 1967a, 1969, 1990 and 1996. For a clear explanation of why it misses its target, see Sainsbury (1991, pp. ) 2 Propositions, Indirect Speech and Truthbearers 1. Introduction Correspondence theorists of truth think that facts are needed to play the truthmaking role. In the previous chapter I argued that this conception of facts is by no means obligatory because the truthmaker principle is itself lacking a respectable motivation.
The second objection to Davidson’s theory, that which Schiffer regards as ‘really urgent’ (1987, p. 133), is that if the demonstrative in (2) Said (Lois Lane, that). Superman can fly is understood as Davidson intends it to be, as referring to an event of utterance, then (2) and (1) Lois Lane said that Superman can fly are inequivalent. Let us first of all focus on (1). One can understand an utterance of (1) if and only if one understands the words following ‘said that’; that is, if and only if one knows what Lois Lane (putatively) said.