Fundamental truthmakers and non-fundamental truths

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, philosophers have tried to develop a version of truthmaker theory which ties the truthmaking relation (T-REL) closely to the notion of fundamentality. In fact, some of these truthmaker-fundamentalists (TF-ists), as I call them, assume that the notion of fundamentality is intelligible in part by citing, as central examples of fundamentals, truthmakers, which they understand necessarily as constituents of fundamental reality. The aim of this paper is first to bring some order and clarity to this discussion, sketching how far TF is compatible with orthodox truthmaking, and then critically to evaluate the limits of TF. It will be argued that truthmaker theory cannot directly help with articulating the nature of fundamental reality and that T-REL does not necessarily relate truths with anything more fundamental, unless what is fundamental is what the truthbearers in question are about. I shall argue that TF faces a rather thorny dilemma and some general problems. I shall present two exhaustive types of fundamentalism on which a version of TF can be based: deflationary and inflationary. It will be argued that each version of TF runs into significant troubles accounting for all truth, specifically ordinary truths and metaphysical truths about the relations between ordinary facts and fundamental facts. I shall not attempt to solve these problems, but rather, at the end, diagnose the issues with TF as lying in the difficulties with reconciling the manifest image with the scientific and metaphysical images of reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3073-3098
Number of pages26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboutness
  • Deflationary and inflationary fundamentalism
  • Fundamentality
  • Non-fundamental truths
  • Ontological seriousness
  • Truthmakers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


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