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Beth’s Theorem and Deflationism

Beth’s Theorem and Deflationism

Abstract

In 1999, Jeffrey Ketland published a paper which posed a series of technical problems for deflationary theories of truth. Ketland argued that deflationism is incompatible with standard mathematical formalizations of truth, and he claimed that alternate deflationary formalizations are unable to explain some central uses of the truth predicate in mathematics. He also used Beth’s definability theorem to argue that, contrary to deflationists’ claims, the T-schema cannot provide an ‘implicit definition’ of truth. In this article, I want to challenge this final argument. Whatever other faults deflationism may have, the T-schema does provide an implicit definition of the truth predicate. Or so, at any rate, I shall argue.
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