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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The coherence theory holds that truth consists in coherence amongst our beliefs. It can thus rule out radical scepticism and avoid the problems of the correspondence theory. Considerations about meaning and verification have also pointed philosophers in the same direction. But if it holds all truth to consist in coherence it is untenable: there must be some truths that do not, truths about what people believe. This causes problems for traditional coherence theories, and also for verificationists and anti-realists. The admission of a grounding class of truths that do not consist in coherence also raises the question why there should be such systematic agreement between these. This cannot properly be explained by anything that is said within the theory whose truth is constituted by coherence with the grounding class. Kant saw this problem, and postulated “things as they are in themselves.” Others dismiss it; but that is not satisfactory.

Keywords: truth, coherence, verificationism, anti-realism, Dummett, Kant

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