In this rigorous investigation into the logic of truth Anil Gupta and Nuel Belnap explain how the concept of truth works in both ordinary and pathological contexts. The latter include, for instance, contexts that generate Liar Paradox. Their central claim is that truth is a circular concept. In support of this claim they provide a widely applicable theory (the "revision theory") of circular concepts. Under the revision theory, when truth is seen as circular both its ordinary features and its pathological features fall into a simple understandable pattern.
The Revision Theory of Truth is unique in placing truth in the context of a general theory of definitions. This theory makes sense of arbitrary systems of mutually interdependent concepts, of which circular concepts, such as truth, are but a special case.
About the Authors
Anil Gupta is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University.
Nuel Belnap is Alan Ross Anderson Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.
“Long awaited by researchers in logic and formal semantics, this highly significant book is original, provocative, well thought out, and technically accomplished.”
—Stephen Yablow, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto
“Arguing that there is nothing wrong with circular definitions, Gupta and Belnap challenge an orthodoxy that has been virtually unbroken since Aristotle. They develop a general theory of circular definitions that is both elegant and mathematically sophisticated.”
—Van McGee, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University