Abstract

Theories of truth concern the truth of sentences or beliefs. They either try to give the definition of “truth” or explain the role or the function of the truth-predicate in ordinary language. The correspondence theory of truth has a long tradition and is perhaps the most famous theory of truth. The correspondence theory of truth is consistent with our ordinary intuitions. It claims that a sentence is true if and only if it corresponds to a fact. There is a version of the correspondence theory of truth advocated by Bertrand Russell that I want to defend in this thesis. In particular, I want to defend Russell’s multiple-relation theory of judgment. The correspondence theory of truth faces difficulties because of the problems of giving a clear account of the nature of a fact and of the correspondence relation. Moreover, since the correspondence theory claims that a true sentence corresponds to a fact, it certainly has to face the challenge of the slingshot argument which attempts to show that all true sentences correspond to the same fact.

I would like to show Russell’s multiple-relation theory of judgment can answer the objections to the traditional correspondence theory of truth. Russell’s early correspondence theory of truth also faces some difficulties, but these difficulties can also be solved. I conclude, therefore, that Russell’s multiple-relation theory of judgment provides a clear and satisfactory account of truth-as-correspondence.

Keywords: Russell, truth, correspondence, multiple-relation, the slingshot argument

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