Metaphysics,  Truth

Alston on Truth

“…the statement that gold is malleable is true if and only if gold is malleable. The ‘content’ of a statement–what it states to be the case–gives us everything we need to specify what it takes for the statement to be true. In practice this means the ‘that’ clause–the content specifying clause–that tells us what statement we are referring too can also be used to make explicit what it takes for the statement to be true. Nothing more is required for the truth of the statement, and nothing less will suffice. In particular, and looking forward to the main alternative to this account of truth, there are no epistemic requirements for the truth of my statement. It is not required that any person or any social group, however defined, know that gold is malleable or be justified or rational in believing it. It is not required that science be destined, in that far-off divine events towards which inquiry moves, to arrive at the conclusion that gold is malleable. It is not required that it be accepted by a clear majority of the American Philosophical Association. It is not required that it have been rendered probable by some body of empirical evidence. So long as gold is malleable, then what I said is true, whatever the epistemic status of that proposition for any individual or community” (William Alston, A Realist Conception of Truth, 5-6).

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and History of Ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern.