The Theory And The Coherence Theory Essay

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A central concern in the study of epistemology is what truth is. In general, it would seem intuitively wrong to claim that something is known if that claim to knowledge was not true. However, identifying what truth is and what it means for a proposition to be true has remained contentious and unclear. While some philosophers argue that it is unreasonable to expect truth to be accounted for by a single definition or necessary conditions (Sher, 2013), others state that theories of truth are able to answer what it is for something to be true (Hack, 1978; Audi, 1988; Feldman, 2003).

The two main theories that will be analysed in this paper are the correspondence theory and the coherence theory. Put simply, the former argues that a proposition is true if and only if it corresponds or relates to facts, while the latter claims that for a proposition to be true it must cohere with a set of beliefs (Walker, 1989).

While both theories are positioned as competing ideas about how it can be determined whether or not a belief is true, the paper argues that the correspondence and coherence theories are insufficient to explain the meaning of truth. Instead, the paper follows Strawson’s performative theory and claims that truth should be understood as an act of agreeing with or accepting a statement.

There are parameters to this paper. To keep the discussion relevant to the two main theories of truth, the paper has excluded the pragmatic theory of truth and its claim that beliefs are
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