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1.What is the correspondence theory of truth?  Explain what Bertrand Russell said about correspondence theory.


2.Explain some of the challenges to the correspondence theory.


3.What is Tarski’s definition of truth?

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Explanation & Answer

1."Narrowly speaking, the correspondence theory of truth is the view that truth is correspondence to a fact—a view that was advocated by Russell and Moore early in the 20th century. But the label is usually applied much more broadly to any view explicitly embracing the idea that truth consists in a relation to reality, i.e., that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). This basic idea has been expressed in many ways, giving rise to an extended family of theories and, more often, theory sketches (Marian, 2013)."  It is the theory that is opposed to the coherence theory of truth.  It means that the truth is related to the facts. 

Bertrand Russell theorized that a statement, to be true, must have a structural isomorphism with the state of affairs in the world that makes it true.  This means that in order for the statement to be true, it must be in relation to the current state of the world. 


David, Marian, "The Correspondence Theory of Truth", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>. 

2. Challenges to the correspondence theory include The great problem for the correspondence theory is how words and statements can possibly adequately correspond to things in the world.  Words and statements have different meanings to many different people.  One word or phrase has a different meaning depending on what culture it is spoken in. This makes it difficult for a truth to maintain being a truth throughout the world. 

3. Standard definition:A semantic theory of truth is a theory of truth in the philosophy of language which holds that truth is a property of sentences.  Tarski began by laying out what the truth should achieve.  Then the truth was analyzed to see if it was indeed the truth, through the use of sentances in natural languages. 

fyu9642 (32)
Cornell University

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