Redundancy theory of truth  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

According to the redundancy theory of truth (or the disquotational theory of truth), asserting that a statement is true is completely equivalent to asserting the statement itself. For example, asserting the sentence " 'Snow is white' is true" is equivalent to asserting the sentence "Snow is white". Redundancy theorists infer from this premise that truth is a redundant concept, in other words, that "truth" is a mere word that is conventional to use in certain contexts of discourse but not a word that points to anything in reality. The theory is commonly attributed to Frank P. Ramsey, who argued that the use of words like fact and truth was nothing but a roundabout way of asserting a proposition, and that treating these words as separate problems in isolation from judgment was merely a "linguistic muddle", though there remains some debate as to the correct interpretation of his position (Le Morvan 2004).

Redundancy theorists begin by inquiring into the function of the predicate "__is true" in sentences like " 'Snow is white' is true". They reason that asserting the longer sentence is equivalent to asserting the shorter sentence "Snow is white". From this they infer that nothing is added to the assertion of the sentence "Snow is white" by quoting it, appending the predicate "__is true", and then asserting the result.

Most predicates attribute properties to their subjects, but the redundancy theory denies that the predicate is true does so. Instead, it treats the predicate is true as empty, adding nothing to an assertion except to convert its use to its mention. That is, the predicate "___is true" merely asserts the proposition contained in the sentential clause to which it is applied but does not ascribe any additional property to that proposition or sentence, and in Ramsey's British lexicon, "is true" is redundant.

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