Re: virus: maxims and ground rules

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 11 May 1999 08:35:57 +0100

In message <199904102153a4045@?>, psypher <> writes
>...anybody else have any comments on this one?
>>> All statements of truth are embedded a particular frame of
>> reference from which they cannot be separated without becoming
>> suppositions.
>> Ooo! I like that!

Me too!

It's very close to the coherence theory of truth: that a true statement is one that coheres with other statements. (Presumably that should be "most other statements" or such, I can't recall it off-hand.)

The alternative is the correspondence theory of truth: a true statement is one that corresponds to reality.

Of course, around here, most people are going to go for the correspondence theory, but I think that the dichotomy, though logical, doesn't itself correspond to reality -- the reality about <truth>, that is -- in which both coherence and correspondence have a part to play.

This is just a stab at it, but I think it's not too misleading to say that while true statements should correspond to an extra-linguistic state of affairs (except where they are explicitly about linguistics, or such, of course), any given piece of language only has meaning in relation to other pieces of language. On the other hand, some people may not be happy with such a clear distinction between <truth> and <meaning>. Those are the people who incline to the reference theory of meaning, but let's not get into all that now. Oh lovely, another excuse for a plug!

Robin who today is plugging
Meaning and Reference