John Gibbons' Truth in Action

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John Gibbons' "Truth in Action"

ABSTRACT: John Gibbons tries to show that the notion of similarities and differences between different cases of events reveals the relevance of relational properties, which are of causal relevance. Based on such considerations, Gibbons' main claim is that the truth value somebody assigns to his or her beliefs has causal power. This means that the deflationary theory of truth becomes false. The questions therefore are: (1) What are the similarities and differences between different cases? (2) What kind of properties are relational properties? (3) What is the causal relevance of such relational properties, and why should the truth value be of causal relevance? (4) Why can Gibbons not show that the truth value has the relevant causal power?

On the basis of some examples John Gibbons tries to show that the notion of similarities and differences between different cases of events reveals the relevance of relational properties, which are of causal relevance. Based on such considerations Gibbons' main claim is that the truth value somebody assigns to his beliefs has causal power. And so the deflationary theory of truth becomes false. So, the questions are: what are (i) similarities and differences between different cases, (ii) what kind of properties are relational properties, and (iii) what is the causal relevance of such relational properties, and why should the truth value be of causal relevance? (iv) Why Gibbons cannot show that the truth value has the relevant causal power?

(i) What are similarities and differences between different cases?

Gibbons assumes events (1) to speak about cases of particular actions and of particular physical states of affairs, however, he does not distinguish them, he simply speaks in both cases about behavior and their causes or about behavioral events.

The example of behavioral events E1 and E2 Gibbons uses is the following:

The pure actions A are:

A1 Marcia stopped at the red light. A2 Greg stopped at the red light.

The action for achieving A: (2)

AA1 squeezing a lever with the right hand AA2 pressing a pedal with the foot

Additional features of A:

af1 cast a shadow in my direction ??? af2 ??? (3)

The aim of action A is:

aiml wanted to avoid getting a ticket. aim2 wanted to avoid getting a ticket.

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