If I recall correctly David Brightly at some point commented that it was possible to take a view in which truthmaker theory goes at things backward -- takes propositions as given facts and then tries to find the reality to suit, whereas one could take reality as the given fact and then look at how propositions express it (or fail to do so). I think this latter approach is more promising. If Truthmaker Maximalism and Necessitarianism are both true -- if you can find a truthmaker for every true proposition and the link between truthmakers and true propositions is not loose but logically rigorous -- then this would virtually guarantee that the approach was fruitful in and of itself. But if either of them is false, then truthmaker theory is, at the very most optimistic assessment, missing something important.I can't find where David Brightly said this but, yes, that's right. If I manage (unlikely) to draw a faithful representation of my garden, then we don't take the picture and find the reality (a garden) to suit. Rather, the garden is the given, and then we look at how well the picture resembles it. Aquinas (and Scotus) say something along these lines.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Brandon has a thoughtful comment on an approach to truthmakers that turns the current discussion on its head.