In Veritas, Gerald Vision defends the correspondence theory of truth--the
theory that truth has a direct relationship to reality--against recent
attacks, and critically examines its most influential alternatives. The
correspondence theory, if successful, explains one way in which we are
cognitively connected to the world; thus, it is claimed, truth--while
relevant to semantics, epistemology, and other studies--also has
significant metaphysical consequences. Although the correspondence theory
is widely held today, Vision points to an emerging orthodoxy in philosophy
that claims that truth as such carries no significant weight in
philosophical explanations. He devotes much of the book to a criticism of
that outlook and to a less vulnerable formulation of the correspondence theory.
Vision defends the correspondence theory by both presenting evidence for
correspondence and examining the claims made by such alternative theories
as deflationism, minimalism, and pluralism. The techniques of the argument
are thoroughly analytic, but the problem confronted is broadly humanistic.
The question examined--how we, as thinking beings, are connected to and
manage to cope in a world that was not designed for our comfort or
convenience--is more likely to be raised by continentalists, but is
approached here with the tools of clarity and precision more highly prized
in analytic philosophy. The book seeks to avoid both the obscurantism
infecting much continental thought and the overly technical concerns and
methodology that limit the interest of much work in analytic philosophy. It
thus provides a rigorous but largely nontechnical treatment of the topic
that will be of interest not only to readers familiar with philosophy but
also to those with a background in literary theory and linguistics.
Gerald Vision is Professor of Philosophy at Temple University.