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Volume 50 • Number 2

April 2013



How Truth Relates to Reality

by Joshua Rasmussen

Many people think that truth somehow depends upon the way things are. Yet, it has proven difficult to precisely explain the nature of this dependence. The most common view is that truth depends upon the way things are by corresponding to things. But this account relocates the difficulty: one now wonders what correspondence is. It is worth emphasizing that the question of how truth relates to reality is not only a question for correspondence theorists; theorists of all stripes may wonder how truth and reality connect.
     There are many reasons one might care to have an analysis of how truth relates to reality. Here are two. First, an analysis would help philosophers better understand how truth could depend upon the way things are. Why is it that when Joe shoves his cat off his pillow, the proposition that Joe's cat is on his pillow switches from true to false? It may seem puzzling that an abstract thing, such as a proposition, should be affected by physical changes to concrete particulars. How does that happen? The difficulty of seeing just how true propositions are able to systematically relate to reality will be called "the Problem of Matching." A thorough analysis of the relationship between truth and reality would effectively solve the Problem of Matching.

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ISSN: 2152-1123