Troubles with Truth-making: Necessitation and Projection (B. Schnieder)

Published in Erkenntnis 64 (2006), 61–74.

Abstract: The main question of this paper is how to understand the notion of a truth-maker. First I show that the identification of truth-making with necessitation cannot capture the pretheoretic understanding of notions such as ‘x makes something true’. Then I examine Barry Smith’s reaction to this problem: he defines truth-making as the combination of necessitation and projection. I focus on the formal part of Smith’s account, which is shown to yield undesired results. However, I present an alternative account of projection, which fares better and can fruitfully be employed to circumvent the problems raised before. Unfortunately, the account still has to face some troublemakers. I conclude, therefore, with a pessimistic view on the project of defining truth-making via necessitation and projection.