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Grant number like: FA-54806-09

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Michael Patrick Lynch
University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT 06269-9000)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$46,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 4/30/2010

A Functionalist Theory of Truth

Building on past work, I propose to complete a book articulating and defending a new theory of truth. Traditional theories of truth held that truth has only a single uniform nature. All truths are true in the same way. More recent theories claim that truth has no nature at all; the concept of truth is of no real philosophical importance. I argue that we should reject both these extremes and hold that truth is a functional property. To understand truth we must understand what it does, its function in our cognitive economy. Once we understand that, we'll see that this function can be performed in more than one way. The hope is that, among other things, this will help us understand how the knowledge claims we make in the humanities can be true, even if they are true in a very different way than scientific claims.