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Grover, Dorothy, Joseph Kamp, Nuel Belnap. A Prosentential Theory of Truth
1975, Philosophical Studies 27(1): 73-125.
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Summary: Classic presentation of the prosentential theory of truth: an important, though minority, deflationist account of truth. Prosententialists take ‘It is true that’ to be a prosentence forming operator that anaphorically picks out content from claims made further back in the anaphoric chain (in the same way that pronouns such as ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’ anaphorically pick out referents from nouns further back in the anaphoric chain).

Comment: Good as a primary reading on a course on truth, philosophy of language, or on deflationism more generally. Any course that treats deflationary accounts of truth in any detail would deal with the prosentential theory of truth, and this is one of the most historically important presentations of that theory. Would be best used in advanced undergraduate or graduate courses.

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Grover, Dorothy, , . How Significant is the Liar?
2008, In J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationism and Paradox. OUP Oxford.
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Summary: Grover argues that one should be unconcerned about the liar paradox. In formal languages there are uniform ties between syntax and semantics: a term, in all its occurrences, carries a fixed meaning; and sequences of sentences that are (syntactically) proofs are always (semantically) inferences. These two features do not hold of natural languages. Grover makes use of this claim to argue that there are no arguments to contradictions from liar sentences in natural languages, as the relevant syntactic ‘moves’ do not come with relevant semantic ‘moves’.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on truth, the philosophy of language or paradoxes. It provides a very up to date account of the prosentential theory of truth and how it may be able to deal with semantic paradoxes. Not as technical as some literature on the topic.

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Grover, Dorothy, , . Inheritors and Paradox
1977, Journal of Philosophy 74(10): 590-604
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Summary: Classic account of the way in which the prosentential theory of truth handles the liar paradox. Prosententialists take ‘It is true that’ to be a prosentence forming operator that anaphorically picks out content from claims made further back in the anaphoric chain (in the same way that pronouns such as ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’ anaphorically pick out referents from nouns further back in the anaphoric chain). Liar sentences have no proposition-stating antecedents in the anaphoric chain. As a result, the problem of the liar does not arise.

Comment: Good as a primary reading on a course on truth, paradox, philosophy of language, or on deflationism more generally. Any course that treats deflationary accounts of truth in any detail would deal with the prosentential theory of truth, and this is one of the most historically important presentations of that theory. This is particularly useful in courses on paradox, as it is a rare articulation of the idea that the liar paradox is not “deep” and does not require large revisions to classical logic. Would be best used in advanced undergraduate or graduate courses.

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Gupta, Anil, , . A Critique of Deflationism
1993, Philosophical Topics 21: 57-81.
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Summary: Argues against deflationary conceptions of truth. Deflationism provides a descriptive account of the term ‘true’, but these claims, argues Gupta, are both very strong and problematic.

Comment: This would be very useful in a course on the nature of truth, or any course in which deflationary conceptions of truth are relevant. The paper is not technical and provides a good account of deflationism about truth. This would be suitable for undergraduates or graduates.

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Gupta, Anil, , . Do the Paradoxes Pose a Special Problem for Deflationism?
2006, In J. C. Beall and Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationism and Paradox, Oxford University Press. 133-147.
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Summary: The Liar and other semantic paradoxes pose a difficult problem for all theories of truth. Any theory that aims to improve our understanding of the concept of truth must, when fully stated, include an account of the paradoxes. Not only deflationism but also its competitors – for instance, correspondence and coherence – must ultimately address the paradoxes. The question that concerns me in this essay is whether it is especially urgent for deflationism to do so. Are the paradoxes a special threat, a special problem, for deflationism? I will argue that they are not.1 Deflationists can leave the paradoxes to the specialists to puzzle over. It is the specialists who will be well served if they keep some insights of deflationism firmly in view.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on the nature of truth, or on paradoxes. This is slightly more specialised than ‘A Critique of Deflationism‘ but still good reading material for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course. The paper is not easy, but clear and not very technical.

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