On Being True or

On Being True or False:

Sentences, and What is Said

By Merrill Ring

On Being True or False: Sentences, Propositions and What is Said

By Merrill Ring

This book first published 2020

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, UK

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Copyright © 2020 by Merrill Ring

All rights for this book reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

ISBN (10): 1-5275-4177-0 ISBN (13): 978-1-5275-4177-1 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ...... 1

I. Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic -Bearer ...... 3

II. The Case for Sentences as Truth-Bearers ...... 31

III. What is a ? ...... 53

IV. Passing Sentence on Sentences ...... 87

V. Beliefs as Truth-Bearers ...... 111

VI. Propositions ...... 133

VII. Truth-Bearers and Their Nature ...... 165

Notes ...... 191


The question about what sort of thing has a truth-value, what kind of thing it is that is true or false, extends quite far back into the history of philosophy. At some periods of that history it has been a more prominent question than at others. We seem to be at a time when there is not much thought being expended on the topic. There are the usual scraps of discussion scattered here and there, but on the whole philosophers today are not much engaged with the issue, letting it lay fallow. That situation is probably the result of a stalemate, something that occurs in philosophy when no one has an idea that can break through the settled pattern of differing views as to the correct answer to a question. The one of a possible thaw is the recent reissuing (2009) of C.J.F. Williams What is Truth?1, a work, and I believe the only one, that does attempt to think through at some length what kind of thing a truth-bearer is. On the other hand, Williams’ book isn’t comprehensive enough. One major topic he dismisses out of hand is the view that sentences are the bearers of truth-value and that are consequently philosophically important items. The aim of the present book is to make the topic of what sorts of things have a truth-value more central to current philosophical occupation. The route to doing that is to provide for the first time a critically comprehensive look at the historical options and to produce an answer that goes far beyond anything that even the current best attempt, namely Williams’, has to offer. The examination here can’t be said to be complete-in raising many of the issues that must be examined in pursuit of a satisfactory answer, I have come to realize that some topics can’t be considered or adequately dealt with in a reasonably compact book. I think the major omission here is the topic of thoughts: to have tried to be fairly comprehensive about that really difficult problem would have impossibly extended this work. My initial idea was that pursuing the topic of truth-bearers was only a preliminary to the question of What is Truth? However, in attempting to do more than toss out some ideas, I came to realize that the matter was very rich, requiring investigation of many issues that at first glance seemed remote from the main concern. Who knew how much needed to be done in disentangling the contrasting conceptions of what a sentence is in philosophy and in and in arguing for a wholly new position? Can the notion of a be freed from its metaphysical baggage (being a 2 Introduction transcendent object existing quite independently of human talk and thought) and retain a respectable possibility as something with a truth-value? What does Moore’s have to do with beliefs as truth-bearers? Those are some of the diverse topics that came to be examined as I tried to think my way through the larger issue. One further matter must be mentioned in these introductory remarks. I began this book quite a few years ago and have finished it only upon retirement from professing. A previous reader noticed that I had more to philosophers writing some years ago and less to current work. That is true. However, as I mentioned above, that is one sign that there is currently a stalemate about how philosophically to proceed on the issue. I have not aimed at producing a book that is expected to become old fashioned, out of date, in a few years. My aim has been to write about the issues, about sentences, propositions, beliefs, being true or false, etc. As it had to be written at a certain time and place, no doubt many references will disclose that fact. But it is nonetheless about the topics discussed and it must be judged by the arguments and analyses concerning those matters and not the incidental references to particular people who have expressed views on those matters. I would like to thank especially Stephen Simon and William Hyde for their continuing interest in and criticism (often exasperated) of what I have to say here.



1. Sorting Out the Issues The ultimate aim of an inquiry into the nature of truth must be that of making sense of the human practice of calling things true (or false). It has turned out, however, in consequence of philosophical attempts on that issue, that what looks to be a simple preliminary is more difficult than anticipated. That preliminary topic concerns what it is that is (in modern terminology) the bearer of truth-value. The question of what sort of thing is true or is false is not only troublesome but pregnant with implications and connections to a variety of other philosophical issues. Thus, an inquiry into truth-bearing is valuable in itself, though it is still preparatory to an investigation of the nature of truth.1 We may be tempted to put the question about truth-bearers as: what is it that is true or false? (The “or” is important since nothing can be both true and false-except, e.g., that William can be both a true Irishman and a false lover.) But that version, taken literally, would be satisfied by producing a long list of and falsehoods. What is philosophically wanted is not a list, but a characterization of the kind of thing that can be spoken of as true or false, the sort of thing that is subject to being true or being false. Still, that is not good enough as a guide to what we are philosophically after. For, as in the parenthetical remark above, “Irishman” and “lover” qualify as kinds of thing that are true or false. And yet it is not those kinds of thing, and other similar ones, which are relevant to the philosophical problem at hand.2 The cases of truth-bearing about which philosophical troubles arise are not those of, e.g. Irishmen or lovers, but those which start from someone's having said something, for example “He has no sense of humor”, to which a second person responds “That's true” or “That's not true” or “That's false”- or employs any of the many idiomatic variants of those expressions.3 4 I

Such situations constitute the paradigm cases of truth talk, the basic phenomenon for an inquiry into what sort of thing truth-bearers are. Because such cases are the home ground for our talk of truth and falsity, we can say that what is displayed there is the primary use of the predicates “is true” and “is false”.4 To remind ourselves that the central occurrence of truth talk is in response to a claim that this is how things are, consider the alternatives. Philosophers often write as if the form “p is true/false” is the fundamental truth locution. Although that idea is an important source of redundancy of truth–if anyone actually were to say “Cows give milk is true”, that strange way of talking could only be understood to mean “Cows give milk”-that form of probably never occurs outside of philosophical writing. Its occurrence there is most likely an unfortunate conflation of the conversational situation in which someone says something and a respondent comments on whether what was said is true or not: i.e. she says “Cows give milk”, someone says of that (of what she said) “That’s true”. Conflating the two remarks produces the misshapen “Cows give milk is true”. Just because “That” refers to what she said, namely “Cows give milk”, does not entitle one to conflate the words appropriate to two quite different acts, that of saying something and that of commenting on what was said.5 Of course “is true” is a and perfectly appropriate in some linguistic contexts: “That’s true” is one such case, the widely recognized case of “Everything he said is true’” is yet another. But in (say) “Cows give milk is true” the “is true” is neither redundant nor eliminable: it simply has no place there, just as the square root sign does not. (I shall later reject on other grounds the disquotational variant “’p’ is true” where the “p” is to represent a sentence rather than what someone says.) It should also be noted that “true” can, with some , occur attributively: “true ” seems the most common case. To say “He has a true belief that p” is both to mention some belief of his and to offer the equivalent of a “That’s true” comment on it. The attributive form thus is a variant of what is paradigmatic. Philosophers often talk as if the basic occurrence of “is true” is in “It is true that…”. Although, unlike the “p is true” model, “It is true that” does make sense. However, it is not the paradigmatic occurrence of the predicate. If anyone gazing at the sky on a lovely day were to remark, not “The sky is so blue today”, but “It is true that the sky is so blue today”, the audience would be rightfully puzzled: not because there are unneeded (redundant) words there, but because the prefaced “It is true that” is an operator to be used only in a special . It is, normally at least, followed by a “but”– “It is true that they will get married, but they won’t be happy”. The primary Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 5 use of “It is true that…” is to make an admission or concession and so is not the paradigmatic manner of declaring that something has the truth-value true.6 Quite some years ago now, J.L. Austin famously said “In vino possibly veritas but in a sober symposium verum”.7 It does not follow, however, that veritas, truth, should have no place in philosophical inquiries such as this. The form “The truth is that…” is related to the paradigm “That’s true” (“He’s a fool, that’s the truth”) but typically has to a more remote conversational situation and often seems to offer at least a partial corrective to something previously said or implied (possibly even said or implied by the speaker): “The truth is that he ran a poor campaign”. (An important use of the noun occurs in “Tell me the truth about her income”–talking of the truth about something, specifically the future, will become relevant in the final chapter.) Lastly, there is the adjective “truly” as in “He spoke truly when he said...”. Though an adverb, it does not modify the verb (as does the adverb in “He spoke slowly”) but rather is a comment on what was said. None of the above remarks would be adequate if the aim were a thorough mapping of truth . But the point here is simply to offer a reminder that the varieties of truth language are secondary phenomena, the central form of words being “That is true”. It should be noted here that I (perhaps misguidedly) will not be discussing falsehood in what follows. There are quite a few asymmetries between talking of falsehood and truth: for instance the negatives: “It is not true that” and “It is false that” seem to be more closely related to the paradigmatic “That’s false” than the concessive “It is true that” is to “That’s true”; and “The truth is that…” is intelligible while “The falsehood is that p” and “The falsity is that p” are outright odd. But I won’t be pursuing those issues here. It is now possible to state the fundamental form of the philosophical problem about truth-bearers accurately: what kind of thing are we referring to in such paradigmatic situations by the “That” when we say “That's true” or “That's not true, that's false”? The problem of what sort of thing can have a truth-value concerns what sort of thing is the of the demonstrative “That” when it is said “That's true”, etc. It is obligatory to respond to that question by noting first that there are a large number of characterizations of the referent of “That” that make perfectly good sense in connection with the adjectives “true” and “false”. For example, beliefs, claims, judgments, etc. etc., sometimes even words, can all sensibly be praised or dammed as true or false. Philosophers are usually not pleased with that variety and tend to go on to ask “But what is 6 I the most basic of these various possibilities?” And it is equally obligatory to point out that the answers to that have also been quite various. However, within the of historically prominent answers to the question about what, at bottom, it is that has truth-value, there is a major division. On the one hand, there is the answer (or of answers) that claim that it is words or sentences that are truth-bearers. That view is to be contrasted with all the other suggested of “That is true/false”, items such as judgments, thoughts, propositions, statements, beliefs. The distinction between the two basic types of answer is typically conceived of as the between a linguistic referent and a non-linguistic one. Drawing the distinction in those terms is useful for a while and so I shall adopt it. In the long run, however, attempting to mark the line between the two types of answer in that terminology causes misunderstanding, so ultimately clarification will be required. A potential answer on the linguistic side, one that emphasizes that we can say such things as “Truer words were never spoken”, is that words are what are true or false. That candidate is quickly excluded from serious consideration on the grounds that such an expression is a mere idiom, since no word by itself, or phrase for that matter, e.g. “which” or “dark” or “a man” or “from the cave” etc., can sensibly be taken to be true or false. That piece of elimination leaves only sentences as the serious representative of the class of linguistic subjects for the predicates “is true”, “is false”. On the other hand, it is clear that propositions, judgments, etc. do not belong to some language or the other. Hence answers which characterize the bearer of truth-values in those terms can be thought of as specifying a non- linguistic referent. There is a long enough history of philosophical dispute about whether the linguistic or one or the other of the non-linguistic solutions to the problem is correct. Each has had its day although at any given time there are others defending a minority position. My sense is that presently the dominant view is that it is sentences that are the truth-bearers, although, once again, there are significant defenses of a non-linguistic solution, chiefly holding propositions to be the truth-bearers. My aims and the organization of this work can now be made out in terms of that distinction. I shall engage in an extended argument against the linguistic thesis, against the idea that it is sentences that are (characterized as) “true” or “false”. That negative thesis shall occupy the first four chapters of the book. In the remaining chapters, the discussion shall on, and respond to, various significant troubles that seem to afflict the non-linguistic answers, both individually and jointly. The first task, in particular, shall take us through many topics. Given that what I have to say about sentences and Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 7 given the well-entrenched position of the notion of a sentence in so much contemporary philosophical theorizing, there will be a good number of important conflicts generated. For my argument to succeed, to be persuasive, those conflicts will have to be addressed, often at some length. The aim of the book, then, is to show that the referents of expressions of the form “That's true” and “That's false” are not sentences but rather some other sort of thing, something so far characterized only as non-linguistic. But satisfaction of that aim is some way off and it would be convenient to have available, from the start, a more precise specification of what that “something else, something non-linguistic” will turn out to be. Sadly, convenience cannot always be easily served. So to satisfy the quite reasonable desire that I fill in a few blanks early on, I will have recourse to a more complex strategy. For purposes of the working out of the negative thesis that it is not sentences that are true or false, I shall treat what is said as their non- linguistic rival. As I work through the arguments it is not vital that “what is said” is used: what so-and-so wrote, what is asserted or claimed, what she told me, what is implied, etc. are variants that I shall employ. In the end, however, I shall argue that the “what is said” formulation is basic. My choice of what is said to be the with sentences in this early going is not arbitrary. There are three considerations behind it. The first is that what is said is the best initial answer to the question about what kind of thing has a truth-value. For as I have already noted, the basic occurrences of “is true” and “is false” are in the remarks “That's true” and “That's false”, said in comment on and with reference to what someone has said (or written, signed, alleged, noted, etc.). The second for sending out what is said as the representative of the non-linguistic camp is simply that, for most philosophers, it carries less philosophical baggage than do its fellows. Talk of propositions, especially, but also of beliefs, statements, and so on sets off too many alarm bells and is more likely to raise issues before their time. The prima facie best candidate for bearing truth-value, namely what is said, also has the virtue of having been less employed in that role in previous philosophical discussions of the topic and so may succeed in starting fewer hares before they must be.8 In the latter part of this essay, having disposed of the attempt to treat sentences as truth-bearers, I turn to the question of what kind of thing we should philosophically take to be the referent of “That's true/false” where the remaining candidates will all be of the non-linguistic variety. Now it might turn out, following reflection, that we need to modify what was initially the best answer in favor of one of the other non-linguistic answers such as propositions, judgments, etc. (or even come to the conclusion that it 8 I is pointless to seize upon one kind of item as favored). So as not to be disingenuous, I must note that the third reason for my starting with the notion of what someone says as the bearer of truth-value is precisely that, by the end of the book, I shall be arguing that what is said remains, given suitable understandings, best suited for the post of truth-value bearer in philosophical thought. But that should not influence what I have to say in the more negative enterprise to be undertaken first. While I claim the above advantages for using the notion of what is said as the contrast with sentences in the next chapters, the choice has a disadvantage too. A certain awkwardness of expression will often be discerned in the following chapters: “what is said” is not nearly as flexible a noun (phrase) as, for instance, “” or “claim”. To break the stylistic tension, I shall frequently enough have recourse to those more relaxed noun forms. Neither sentences nor what is said can, without qualification, be held to be truth-bearers. No philosopher thinks that all sentences can perform the function. Those who say that sentences have a truth-value mean that it is, roughly, declarative sentences that are true or false. Even that limitation is not enough. For it is possible to make a truth claim in words that qualify as an interrogative sentence: “He's a failure, isn't he?” Moreover, not even every declarative sentence is assessed in terms of truth-value: e.g. “I promise to be there tonight” is declarative but is not truth-bearing and neither is Chomsky's nonsense sentence about colorless green ideas. On the other hand, what is said is also not universally a candidate for being either true or false. We may ask what someone said and be told “He said ‘Shut the door!’” and we do not thereby think that what he said, namely “Shut the door!'” is either true or false. Thus, both sentences and what is said require some smoothing around the edges to satisfy our theoretical concern for a perfect candidate for truth- bearing. But I do not propose to try to repair their corresponding afflictions here and now. No part of the confrontation to follow between sentences and what is said will engage those kinds of shortcomings. Only clear cases of potential truth-bearing will be considered: for example, is it the sentence “The cat is on the mat” or is it what someone says when they say “The cat is on the mat” that is the bearer of truth-value? It is possible to think that the enterprise of answering that question is doomed from the start, since it presupposes what some philosophers have denied, namely that there is a difference between a sentence and what is said. Philosophers as different as Ryle and Quine agree that there is no such distinction to work with: "Sentences are things that we say", “Statements are sentences.”9 Others, Dummett for example,10 do not provide an explicit Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 9 identification but simply slide from “sentence” to “statement” and back, showing that they accept some form of such identification. Given those moves to identify sentences and what is said, we need to be assured that there is a difference here to work with before getting on with the attempt to answer the question “Which, a sentence or what is said, is the bearer of truth?” It should first be noted that there are no arguments for identifying what is said with a sentence. There is, however, a motive. Those who allege that what is said is nothing other than a sentence are likely to be those who think that sentences cannot be truth-bearers and so cleave to some non-linguistic solution. But that immediately puts them at risk of being called Platonizers, of producing a solution that requires transcendent entities. To escape that charge, they proceed to identify what is said with a sentence, with an actually uttered or written sentence to be sure.11 However, that there is a distinction between a sentence and what is said has been clearly established in the philosophical literature. Among the conceptual differences between them, three are most useful in showing that such attempts to identify them won't do. Let me begin with a too bald version of one major difference between sentences and what is said. On the one hand, every sentence belongs to some language or the other: the sentences I write here are English sentences, not Urdu or Latin. On the other hand, while what is said must be said in some language, it does not belong to that or to any other language: my assertions here are made in English but are not English assertions, nor do they belong to Latin or any other language. That claim about sentences being part of a language needs toning down. Not every sentence we can construct does belong to one particular language. For example, my attempts to speak French sometimes result in a sentence that is a mixture of French and English, both in its vocabulary and even, too frequently, in aspects of its grammatical structure (e.g. location of adjectives). Although such amalgamations must be recognized, they do not count against the conceptual point made above. For in cases such as my hybrid French-English creations, although neither language would claim those sentences, their status as a mixture of two particular can be sensibly investigated and their different features parceled out to one or another of the two languages. In short, while hybrid sentences do not, contrary to the original argument, belong to one particular language, it is not as though they do not belong to any language at all. They are not non- linguistic entities. In this respect, they differ from what is said, for that cannot be allocated to one or to more than one language. 10 I

Other cases of peculiar sentences, sentences that cannot, without discomfort, be said to belong to some particular language, are also subject to in terms of particular languages. Lewis Carroll's “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe”, for example, must be understood as a sentence constructed in light of the English language and not in connection with, say, Urdu or French. Here we have a sentence which is not a hybrid of two languages, but one which has the grammatical form and some of the vocabulary of one language with a significant number of nonsense words, i.e. words not belonging to English or to any other language, mixed in. It is important to Carroll's aim that even the nonsense words he creates are conceivably English (unlike “zbreq”) though they in fact are not English. Once again, there is nothing here that we can regard as non-linguistic in the way in which what is said is non-linguistic. While “brillig'” et al cannot be allocated to any particular language, they are only in fact not constituents of the English language. Or, if you wish, it is false that “brillig” is an English word. By contrast, what is said, for example what I say (or try to say) in producing my franglais sentence (perhaps in telling the concierge that I have locked my key in my room), does not fail in fact to be a constituent of the French language or of English or any other. All predicates and their denials which specify particular languages, e.g. “is French”, “is not French”, “is not English”, “is Urdu”, are not sensibly applicable to, and not merely false of, what someone says. There is a second, though connected, conceptual difference between a sentence and what is said which can be cited to show that those who attempt to identify them are mistaken. One and the same thing can be said in different languages or in different words and constructions within a single language. That is, the identity of what is said does not entail the identity of the words and sentences in which it is said. Conversely, that it is the same sentence that occurs more than once (different places, times or speakers) does not establish the sameness of what is said (does not even establish that anything is said). In short, we count what is said and sentences differently. Consequently, what is thereby counted, namely things said and sentences, must be different. There is a third major conceptual difference between sentences and what is said, perhaps less explicitly remarked in the literature. Consider the definite “the sentence...” and “the assertion...” We saw above that it makes sense to insert into the one but not the other an adjective specifying a language: we can speak of, for example, “the English sentence” but not “the English assertion”. It is also important conceptually to realize how differently those definite descriptions can be continued by Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 11 way of identifying which sentence or assertion is being referred to. We say “The sentence ‘She is home’...” where conventional devices, here quotation marks, are used to exhibit which sentence is being referred to. But we cannot identify the sentence intended by using a “that” clause. “The sentence that she is home...” is impossible. “That p” is not part of the logical space of the of a sentence. It is, rather, an element in a wholly different way of talking. What does make sense are such expressions as “What he said was that p”, “The assertion that p” or “He said that p”. There is a sharp conceptual boundary between sentences and what is said in connection with the matter of “that” clauses. All three of those lines of argument are ways of unpacking the original recognition that the difference between a sentence and what is said is the difference between something linguistic and something non-linguistic. Attempts by (at least some of) those who maintain that what people say is the bearer of truth to avoid a charge of Platonizing through the tactic of alleging that what is said is (really) nothing but a sentence is a desperation move which involves conflating two realms of being, things of different categories, thereby committing a category mistake. Avoidance of Platonism, a desirable end, must be accomplished by some means other than identifying sentences with what is said. Realizing that there is a distinction between sentences and what is said, recognizing that they are not identical, is one thing: it is not yet, however, to have achieved clarity about the nature of their relationship. Over and over again throughout this book, it will be necessary to return to the issue of understanding how a sentence is related to what is said.

2. The Initial Position and Its Consequence

Having put down those foundations, what next? It should be first noticed that there is a rather immediate consequence of the manner in which what is said was introduced as the prima facie best representative of the non- linguistic camp in disputes about what sort of thing has truth-value. Given that the paradigmatic situation in which truth talk occurs is a situation in which someone remarks “That's true” or “That's false” in comment on, and thus in reference to, what someone has said, it follows that the paradigmatic bearer of truth-value is what someone says. The basic occurrence of the predicates “is true” and “is false” is in reference to what is said and, since what is said cannot be identified with a sentence, it follows that sentences are not the fundamental and paradigmatic bearers of truth. Consequently (or so it seems), the philosophical issue of whether truth-bearers are linguistic, i.e. sentences, or whether they are non-linguistic, i.e. what is said, is easily 12 I resolved. Crudely put, sentences are a non-starter, the mother of battles will not take place. Before casting a modestly critical eye upon that consequence, let me observe that I am not the first to have noticed it. Among those who have realized that, in the paradigm situation, talk of truth or falsity occurs with reference to what someone has said, Richard Cartwright has seen the same consequence. It is instructive to consider what he does. Early on in his paper Cartwright says: "To what, then did [someone, say B, who said 'That's true'] refer? In a way the question presents no difficulty. To answer it, it is sufficient to identify that to which B referred; and this is easily enough done. We may say that B referred to what A said (asserted, stated)...." At the end of the paper he comes back to the same point: "And with this we may return, finally, to the question which generated these technicalities-the question 'What was that to which B referred and of which he predicated truth?' The answer is surely obvious: the subject of B's predication of truth was...the statement that A made. This, indeed, was evident enough at the outset; and nothing subsequently said should be taken as an effort to prove it.”12 That is, when one starts an inquiry into truth-bearing with an eye to the paradigmatic situation in which truth-predicates occur, the conclusion that what bears truth is what is said is obvious and need not be further argued for. What, then, did Cartwright find to do between the start and the finish of his paper? What was it that he "subsequently said"? He said: "But the matter cannot very well be left here. For, although we all know well enough how to identify what B referred to, we nevertheless find it easy to mistake other things for it.... In order to guard against these mistakes, it will be helpful to draw a number of distinctions." Again, at the end, after drawing the distinctions: "The advantage gained, so far as that question is concerned, is simply the protection we now have against confusing [what is said with any of the other items distinguished above].”13 Is it proper, however, to conclude at this point that the inquiry is almost over, that, apart from a few further distinctions, it has already been established that it is what is said, and not sentences, which are true or false? Perhaps we have here one of those situations Sellars was alluding to when he said "The crux of a philosophical argument often appears to be a Dedekind cut between a series of 'as I will show's and a series of 'as I have shown's’. In a sense the preliminaries are the argument, and there is no crux apart from their perspicuous deployment. A few more introductory remarks, therefore, and my job will be done.”14 I do not want to slight the importance of what Cartwright (and others) have accomplished: they (more or less) forcefully attempt to make philosophers Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 13 attend to the fact that there is no equality of opportunity in the contest for being truth-bearers; that the obvious answer is that it is what someone has said and not a sentence which has truth or falsity predicated of it; that if anyone wants to hold the other view, the burden of falls upon them. But quite independently of all that, it would not be prudent to conclude that the jig is already up. No matter how things stood when Cartwright wrote, and no matter how I might be inclined to allocate the obligations of taking the next step in any further disagreement about truth-bearing, today one could expect a vigorous attack upon drawing that conclusion with nothing more said. When Cartwright wrote, a descriptive view of philosophy was in the saddle.15 He could describe how things are, namely that paradigmatically truth or falsity is ascribed to what is said, add a few distinctions, and then draw the inquiry to a close. In the intervening years, the pendulum of philosophical perspectives has swung strongly to the revisionist side. The rise to orthodoxy of the idea that sentences are the bearers of truth-value has been part of that revisionist surge. It would not be intellectually safe today, when discussing this issue, to conduct and conclude the investigation as swiftly as Cartwright did fifty some years ago.16 Under contemporary conditions, the most that a descriptivist, as I am, is entitled to conclude at this point in the discussion is that I attach a great deal more weight than does the dominant revisionist view to the fact that in our practice we refer to what people say, and not to sentences, as true or false. There is a second, and deeper problem, in Cartwright's procedure. One might thereby settle, at least for the descriptivist, the issue of what has truth- value, but the manner in which he goes about the affair is of no help in understanding the historical dispute between the linguistic and the non- linguistic solutions. Cartwright's technique provides, even from the descriptivist perspective, no assistance in grasping why it has been strongly held that sentences are the bearers of truth-value. Cartwright implies that it has only been a bit of misunderstanding caused by failing to notice a few distinctions that has generated the dispute. Surely, given the persistence of the disagreement, there must be more to it than failure to observe some distinctions. If so, unless the sources of the inclination to accept sentences as bearers of truth-value are understood, it will be impossible to make a genuinely satisfactory response to the manner of thinking there involved. More must then be done-the inquiry is not on the verge of completion. There are two ways one might here proceed. One would be to imagine how critics might respond to the claim that the language of truth is paradigmatically tied to references to what someone has said. I say "try to imagine how they might respond" since I do not know whether they have 14 I made any response to Cartwright (or others) about this. To pursue that route would take us into a huge set of contentious issues about the nature of philosophy and how it is to be practiced. While I have nothing against such topics, discussing them now would not directly assist examination of the question of what has truth-value. That is sufficient reason for not adopting that mode of procedure here. At the very end of the book, however, it will be useful to take up, even if incidentally, some of those broad issues about philosophy. Instead of that route, I propose the following tactic. Let me set aside for now, though without in the least disowning, the recognition that “That's true/false” paradigmatically refers to what was there said. Let us suppose instead that there is a level playing field for the two contestants and then try to discover, as the first phase in a much longer investigation, whether there is any other argument that should initially incline us to one side rather than the other. In so proceeding, the hope is that a much more extensive assortment of those issues which are involved in the dispute can be developed and examined.

3. Reviving the Argument from Indexicals (I)

Despite the fact that a mere description of the problem clearly determines that it is was is said and not sentences which are, in human practice, called true or false, it is philosophically wise, everything taken into account, to search for a more traditionally argumentative manner of deciding between the candidates. That does not mean looking for an argument that is knock- down drag-out, for there is no such beast in these parts. Rather what is wanted is a line of thought which can establish a decently strong presumption in favor of one view but which will also lead into a discussion of the various difficult issues that divide the two parties. Consider the following argument against the possibility of sentences having truth-value. “Suppose that it is said at time T1 (or at place P1 or by person H1) ‘My arm hurts’ and it does. If it is sentences that are true or false, the sentence ‘My arm hurts’ would be true. Suppose, however, that it is said at time T2 (or at place P2 or by person H2) ‘My arm hurts’ and there is no pain. The sentence would then be false. Since one and only one sentence is in question, that sentence would be both true and false. But that is impossible. Therefore, sentences cannot be what have truth-value.” I shall call that the argument from indexicals. It should be noticed that it is a more robust form of what the current literature calls the argument from indexicals. That shall be explained later. Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 15

Variations of it (the robust form) were widely accepted in mid-20th century .17 Even those who did not accept it worried about it: Davidson, seeking to defend the view that sentences are truth- bearers, found the argument set out above to be “[a] very large fly in the ointment” of accomplishing that aim.18 More recently, though, the argument has seemed to suffer from two major difficulties and, as presented above, is not advanced today. My aim in the remainder of this chapter is to resuscitate the argument in its original form by showing that the standard criticisms of it fail. That argument's first phase goes: “Suppose it is said at T1 (etc.) ‘My arm hurts’ and it does. The sentence ‘My arm hurts’ would be true. Suppose, however, that it is said at time T2 (etc.) ‘My arm hurts’ and there is no pain. The sentence would then be false. Since one and only one sentence is in question, it would be both true and false. But that is impossible....” How would a contemporary critic respond to that? By saying something like “Look, ‘My arm hurts’ when said (uttered or inscribed) at T1 (or at P1 or by H1) is a different sentence-token from ‘My arm hurts’ said at T2 (or P2 or by H2). Consequently, while there is only one sentence-type involved, there are two distinct sentence-tokens. There is no incompatibility derivable from holding that one of those tokens is true, the other false. Hence there is no logical difficulty, as the argument alleges, in holding sentences to be the bearers of truth-value, as long as it is understood that it is sentence-tokens and not sentence-types that are meant.”19 It is obvious what differentiates the original argument and the criticism of it: the employment of the type-token terminology. The supporter of the argument thinks that it demolishes the possibility of sentences having a truth-value. The response, however, by invoking the type-token distinction, makes it look as if the argument, though partially successful in that it does show that sentence-types could not have a truth-value, fails to touch the other candidate, sentence-tokens. So, the criticism goes, the argument fails to establish its conclusion, that sentences could not be bearers of truth-value. The history of that extended episode of development and criticism has been lost from view. What remains, and is today called the argument from indexicals, is a reduced version of the original, a version that is used to show that sentence-types cannot be what has a truth-value. That it was originally aimed at sentences generally is forgotten. I shall here revive and defend the older robust form. To support the original argument in this day and age will then mean attacking, in some fashion or the other, the type-token distinction. Threatening such an attack must appear quite quixotic given the deeply entrenched position of that terminology in today's philosophical world. 16 I

Nonetheless, I shall argue that the distinction, in its employment in criticism of the argument in question, irredeemably fails. Whether the inadequacies of the type-token distinction in this context have any bearing upon its value when employed in other philosophical contexts is not an issue that I have any interest in pursuing here. The core of the argument can be briefly represented as “In the relevant stories or examples it is seen that a given sentence would be true here and false there, so it would be both true and false.” Opponents treat what is taken for granted there, namely that there is one and only one sentence involved in each of those stories, as plainly mistaken, as exhibiting a simple failure to notice the relevance and consequences of the distinction between sentence-types and sentence-tokens. But to see the argument through the lens of the type-token distinction is to be unable to notice that there is something that does justify talking about a single sentence being involved in the stories relied upon by the argument. What lies behind, and justifies, the idea that there is but a single sentence involved in the relevant cases is the language of occurring. In that language, that terminology, a single sentence, such as “My arm hurts”-and there is only one English sentence “My arm hurts”-may well occur at different times, places or in different people's mouths. There is nothing in the slightest extraordinary (or technical) about talking and thinking of words and sentences as occurring or as not occurring. We do it all the time in the relevant contexts. The same sentence or word may occur not at all or once or many times and in many places. Some words occur frequently in, say, a given author's work while others occur there only rarely. For instance, Martha Nussbaum discussing her claim that Antigone is a play about practical reason: "Eleven words connected with practical deliberation, occurring a total of 180 times in the seven plays of Sophocles, occur a total of 50 times in the Antigone.... The word phronema occurs six times in the Antigone and in no other play; dusboulia and euboulia occur twice each in the Antigone and nowhere else; phren has 17 of its 58 occurrences in the Antigone.”20 The recurrence of sentences is much more infrequent than that of words: Chomsky has observed that most sentences that occur in works held by the Bodleian will occur in all its books only once.21 The language of occurring includes a noun form as well: we can talk not only of a given word or sentence occurring, but can also derivatively speak of its occurrences (see the quote from Nussbaum above). For example, from a column about new English words: "A study of news stories in major papers going back ten years reveals numerous occurrences of the phrase crash and burn referring specifically to air and auto accidents.”22 Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 17

Occurrence language is not the only one ordinarily available, though it is perhaps the most common (i.e. it is what most commonly occurs). One can also speak of sentences (and words) appearing. From a book on the Hebrew of the Biblical period: "Outside of the Old Testament itself, little survives of the Hebrew of the Biblical period. About 1,000 words appear in the Bible just once and cannot be checked in any other biblical passage.”23 Or one can speak of a single word or sentence being repeated or met with, found, encountered, etc., more than once, occasionally, repeatedly, rarely, etc. It is also possible to speak of using a word or even a sentence and thus of its, that particular word or sentence, being used here, there and everywhere. In short, everyday practice has a rich vocabulary for discussing the fact that a single word or sentence may turn up more than once. The argument from indexicals in its strong form presupposes the possibility of using that vocabulary. It reaches its conclusion by trading on the idea that a given sentence can occur at two times, at two places, in the mouths of two speakers. By reminding us of the possibility of the same sentence occurring more than once, the argument invites us to see the consequences of then thinking that truth and falsity apply to the sentence itself. There are not, in the vocabulary presumed by proponents of the argument, two things, a sentence and its occurrences - there is but one thing, a sentence which occurs now or here or uttered by H and which may well occur once again then or there or uttered by someone else. When it, the specimen sentence, occurs here, it would be true; when it occurs there, it would be false; it cannot, however, be both; hence it, the sentence, is neither. There is thus no illegitimate move in the argument that can be exposed by invocation of the type-token terminology. Instead there is on the part of critics of that argument a failure to see how it is constructed at the crucial point, to see what notions the argument does draw upon, and in consequence a too hasty resort to the ever handy type-token distinction. The argument, at least up through the step that is standardly criticized, is valid, even sound. Critics of the argument have simply assumed that there are no descriptive resources, other than the Peircean, i.e. type-token, terminology with which to understand the relation between the sentence “My arm hurts” (etc.) as uttered by Sue and as uttered by Joe. What I have done is to point out that there is available a quite extensive range of terminology within which that relation is ordinarily expressed and understood and that it is precisely that language which is relied upon by proponents of the argument from indexicals. Thus, there is no descriptive gap that must be filled by talking of sentence-types and sentence-tokens. 18 I

Finding the logical space occupied by a native population, it still might be held that civilized thought would be better off if the native occupants were displaced. That is, it might be recommended that talk and thought of sentences occurring and recurring and the variants thereon be replaced by talk of sentence-types and sentence-tokens. That terminology would then be treated, not as closing a hole in our vocabulary, but rather as an alternative mode of conceiving the relation between, e.g., Sue's “My arm hurts” and Joe's “My arm hurts”. More precisely, the suggestion would be that talking of types and tokens is the superior alternative, preferable to the languages of occurring, appearing and all such. Of course, since those who might make that suggestion have not been aware that their preferred manner of conceptualizing the matter is at best an alternative to existing arrangements, they have not been in a position to offer any in support of a proposal to substitute Peirce's technical terms for talk of a sentence occurring, etc. And it is not clear just what specific reasons might be advanced. The only reason that suggests itself is that by coming to talk in the Peircean way, instead of as we do, it would be possible to render a certain valid argument invalid. That style of justification, however, is intellectually disreputable and so unavailable. But failure to discern possible reasons in favor of the move is not the only flaw in any attempt to replace talk of sentences occurring with talk of types and tokens. If one consults works that attempt to explain the type- token terminology, it turns out that the of those technical terms has typically (though not universally) been explained by the more primitive, and supposedly inadequate, language of occurring. Simon Blackburn, for instance, in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, sets up the introduction of the type-token terminology by asking “How many words occur in the works of Shakespeare?”24 Again, consider the following sample of such , found in a variety of standard reference works, and note how the explanations resort to the notion of occurring. "A token-sentence is ... a particular set of sounds or marks occurring at a definite time or existing for a definite period. A type-sentence is a sentence in that sense in which the same sentence may be said to occur many times....”25 "Token. A specific utterance of a given linguistic expression or a written occurrence of it. An expression type, on the other hand, is an entity abstracted from all actual and potential occurrences of a linguistic expression.”26 "...let us pause to recognize an in the very term 'sentence'. The ambiguity can be brought to light by asking how many sentences occur in the box below.”27 Quine, in Quiddities (his philosophical dictionary), not only explains types and tokens in occurrence language, but also uses two of the variants Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 19 on that, mentioning that a single word may “turn up” or “be inscribed” more than once: "In this second sense of the word word it is not two words der that turn up in the inscription, but one word der that gets inscribed twice. Words in the first sense have come to be called tokens: words in the second sense are called types.... The word der figures as an article in its first occurrence and as a relative in its second.”28 It is so natural to speak of words and sentences occurring that those writers are not conscious that they resort to that language in explaining the invented terms. Quine seems to have been the first to have realized that the possibility of words and sentences occurring needs accounting for. Having completed his above account of types and tokens, he says "It is seldom appreciated that occurrence is a third thing.”29 However, even upon noticing that some discussion is owed here about what occurrences might be, he asks "Just what sort of thing, then, is an occurrence?”30 Since he has already committed himself to the type-token terminology, he can only conclude that an occurrence (of a word or a sentence) really is some "third thing", something over and above types and tokens. Had Quine clearly realized that just previously he had used “occurrence” (and its variants) in explaining what a type and its tokens are, he might have been led to a quite different, and more accurate, account of how the two systems of talk are related. Recently, there has arisen an objection to that practice of introducing the distinction by talking of sentences/words occurring.31 Linda Wetzel has noticed what I pointed out above, namely that occurrence language is the standard terminology in which the distinction is drawn. However, she disapproves of it. “Unfortunately, tokens are often explained as the ‘occurrences’ of a type….”32 What does she find “unfortunate” about such explanations? “…not all occurrences of types are tokens.” What she has realized is that a word occurring in a sentence-type cannot be a spatial-temporal object since types are not spatial-temporal things. Then, she defines tokens as spatial-temporal things: “Tokens are concrete particulars…they have a unique spatiotemporal location.” It follows from that realization and that that a word that occurs in a type-sentence cannot be a token. It is true that in the standard explanations (see explanations above) of Peirce’s distinction it is typically asserted (and never denied) that a token is in space and time and so has other spatial-temporal characteristics. There is, however, no implication in those accounts that “tokens” are being defined as spatial-temporal things. Rather, given a failure to notice the case that Wetzel has spotted, the authors of those explanations fail to see that they cannot correctly claim that tokens are universally spatial-temporal beings. 20 I

Those who have explained tokens in the standard manner, as occurrences of types, can say in reply to Wetzel that “We do not define ‘token’ as a spatial-temporal being. What you have made us realize is that in calling tokens spatio-temporal things we have not been taking into account the words of which a type sentence is constructed. We now see that there are tokens that are not spatial-temporal. Thanks for the correction.” Notice that none of her discussion explains or justifies her disapproval of using occurrence language in the explanation of the distinction. For whatever reason she simply does not want to employ the notion of occurring in explaining what a token is. She could rightly say that what she has discovered is that not all occurrences of words are spatio-temporal things. In short, her rejection of the standard and natural practice of saying that tokens are occurrences of types is based not on an argument but is done for no discernible reason. Given, then, that the usual way of introducing the type-token terminology is not in question, there is a significant consequence. That way of explaining the distinction makes the language of occurring primitive, more fundamental, than that of types and tokens. Consequently, the project of replacing talk of occurring with talk of types and tokens and making philosophical progress thereby must be abandoned. Our understanding of the replacement language is standardly created by the other terminology. The ladder cannot be thrown away. It might be objected here that the type-token terminology must be something more than a mere verbal variant on talk of occurring. If it meant precisely the same, its use would not render the indexical argument invalid. That objection must be partially conceded: “sentence-type” and “sentence- token” are only partial replacements for talk of sentences occurring. They, being substantives, replace the noun form “occurrence” only-the new terminology has not been extended to replace the verb “to occur” in which one can speak of a sentence occurring. If one could say of sentences-types “it tokens”, the two languages would be nothing more than verbal variants and then the argument would remain valid. While the verb “to token” has been created, it is used not so that a sentence tokens, but as something a person does-“She tokens” is a new barbarism for “She says”. So, the Peircean terminology is not something more than that of the existing terminology of occurring-it is rather something less. That talk of sentence (or word) types and tokens does not cover precisely the same range as talk of occurring and occurrences does nothing toward making it a superior alternative to the going way of understanding the relation between the sentence “My arm hurts” occurring on Joe’s lips and on Sue's. Once again, the only obvious reason why one might think it a Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 21 preferable way of talking and thinking is that it renders what is, from one point of view, an undesirably valid argument invalid. That, however, is no better reason at this phase of the argument than it was previously. Henceforth I shall not speak of sentence-types and sentence-tokens, except perhaps as a parenthetical reminder of how we should not be talking. The appropriate terminology for the problem at hand is that of sentences and of sentences occurring (appearing, etc.). One must exercise care at this point however. With our predilection for substantives we philosophers are apt to treat the noun “occurrences” as the preferred expression. And then, with the history of type and token talk embedded in our practice, we can continue on as if “occurrence’” were nothing but a newfangled way of talking of tokens. But that is a mistaken. Tokens are treated as entities separate from types – that is why the truth-value of a token cannot be predicated of the type. There are not, however, two things, a sentence and its occurrences: rather the sentence occurs at times and places. We can, of course, talk of an occurrence of S. That, however, is a nominalization of “the sentence S occurred” and not an ontologically superior manner of speaking–and it is the occurrence of the sentence after all. This investigation was undertaken because it has been thought that the type-token terminology renders invalid the robust form of the argument from indexicals which concludes that sentences cannot be truth-bearers because they would then be both true and false. I have argued that the philosophically invented type-token distinction is employed there in place of the natural talk of sentences occurring–and is in fact normally explained by the original, ordinary, terminology that the full argument rests upon. Since the only point to the continued use of the Peircean terminology would be to make the argument invalid, we must abandon it and the objection built upon it.

4. Reviving the Argument from Indexicals (II)

It is too soon, however, to claim that the argument from indexicals does work for there are two more objections to consider. Let me start with a perplexity. The argument contends that if a sentence occurring at some place or time were to be true or false, then truth or falsity would be an ineradicable of the sentence, so that if it had the opposite truth-value in another occurrence it would be both true and false. However, there are some things that are true of a sentence in a certain occurrence that we do not hold to become ineradicable features of the sentence: e.g. the sentence “She had pickles for lunch today” might be 22 I written in green ink somewhere but we do not think that therefore it becomes a permanent property of the sentence “She had pickles for lunch today” that it is written in green ink. Why does the indexical argument treat “is true/false” differently from “is written in green ink”? A critic might now go on to say that there is no good reason to treat them differently, that the model is “is written in green ink”, that “is true” does not thereby become a permanent property of the sentence, and so the argument from indexicals fails at this point even if not earlier.33 Now it is true that some predicates are applicable to sentences only as found in a particular environment – “is written in green ink”, “was spoken so softly”, “had a lengthy pause between the fourth and fifth words”. Other predicates, however, are true of a given sentence in any occurrence or even as considered without reference to local circumstances: “is composed of five words”, “is English”, “has two adjectives”. The indexical argument sorts “is true” and “is false” with “is composed of five words” and not with “is written in green ink”. What justifies that allocation? The truth predicates are not entirely like the ones applicable to a sentence no matter when and where occurring, e.g. “is English”. For “is true” would not serve to mark out the identity of a given sentence as does “is composed of five words”. On the other hand, truth predicates do not sort at all with “is written in green ink”, etc. For it is possible, makes sense, to say “the sentence was written in green ink”, “It will be written in green ink” as well as “is written in green ink”. That is, the predicates that are only variably true of a given sentence admit of past, future and present tenses. However, the “is” of “is true/false” is tenseless. The “is” in “is true/false” has no contrasting “was false” or “will be true” and hence is not in the present tense. Suppose that a sea battle will occur tomorrow–someone might concede that by saying “It is true that a sea battle will occur tomorrow (but)...”. However, it is senseless to say “It will be true that the sea battle will occur tomorrow” or “It was true that the sea battle occurred yesterday”: what can be said is “It is true that the sea battle will occur tomorrow” and “It is true that the sea battle occurred yesterday”. “Was true” and “will be false” and so on are not part of truth talk.34 That feature of the truth predicates is what justifies their assimilation by those offering the robust form of the argument to the predicates that identify a given sentence as the sentence it is: “is composed of five words” is not tensed, there is no “The English sentence ‘The cat is on the mat’ used to be composed of seven words but has only six at present.” As the allusion to is intended to make clear, the discussion of these issues needs to be conducted at significantly greater length. But that Opening the Case for a Non-Linguistic Truth-Bearer 23 must be done elsewhere. While it may seem to the critic that truth-values are as evanescent as ink, that is not so. The argument at issue depends on recognizing that “S is true/false”, if true of a sentence, would be timelessly true of it and hence that sentences such as “My arm hurts” would be both true and false. While the argument from indexicals does conclude from what has so far been argued that sentences are not what is true or false, critics have raised an objection to that final move in the argument. Even allowing that my defense of the original argument is successful, what has so far been said does not, those critics will hold, entitle the conclusion that no sentences have a truth-value. The argument leaps, they would say, from “Not all sentences have a truth value” to “No sentences have a truth-value.”35 Why is it thought that the argument commits a logical leap? Let us divide sentences that might conceivably have a truth-value into two kinds: call them “general sentences” and “indexical sentences”. Examples of general sentences are “Cats love fish” and “Females bear children” as opposed to the indexicals “Cats in this room love fish”, “My shoulder hurts”, “It was raining” (or even “John Smith died yesterday”). Given that division, objectors will point out that the argument turns upon noticing that a single sentence might have different truth-values if uttered in different places or at different times or by different people. But such variation in truth-value would be possible only for indexical sentences-and in fact all the examples used by those offering the argument from indexicals to establish that possibility of variation involve indexical sentences. On the other hand, general sentences, were they truth-bearers, would have the same truth-value no matter when, where or by whom uttered. Hence the argument, though it works (let us now admit) for indexical sentences and does show them incapable of being truth-bearers, fails to cover the case of general sentences. Nonetheless, it fallaciously concludes that even those sentences cannot be truth-bearers. Let me grant that the argument works solely through a consideration of what would happen if indexical sentences were truth-bearers and also allow that it does come to a broad conclusion that concerns even general sentences. But the criticism that it thereby baldly leaps from “not all” to “none” is unjustified. For that criticism presumes that the argument is straight-forwardly deductive. However, the best, most charitable, representation treats it as an to the best explanation. Those who advance the indexicals argument have in fact assumed that one can make sense of the impossibility of indexical sentences having truth- value only by seeing that sentences generally will not do as truth-bearers. (Even Davidson, who does not advance that argument, assumes that what 24 I works for indexical sentences works for all when he searches for a way to get round its conclusion.36) What needs to be produced, and has not been, is a defense of that assumption. It is clearly not necessary to think that the argument applies to general sentences as well as to indexicals. It would be possible, that is, to dig in and insist that, while the considerations embedded in the argument are successful for the case of indexical sentences, those considerations are not extendable beyond those cases, are not applicable to general sentences. One might develop that recalcitrance as follows. Let it be granted that indexical sentences cannot be bearers of truth- value, that when such a sentence is uttered, it is not the sentence itself which is true or false, but something else, say, what is said. The maneuver here in question would go on to say that, despite that success of the argument, when it is a general sentence which is uttered, it is the sentence itself and not something else, say what is said or a proposition or whatever, which is either true or false. So, the idea goes, we must accept a fundamental bifurcation within the class of truth-bearers: indexical sentences are not in the class although general sentences are. That is not an argument claiming that the defenders of the argument from indexicals cannot do what they think they can, namely treat general sentences in the same fashion as indexical ones. Instead, it is an assertion that we do not have to take the final step if we are willing to accept the consequence of such a refusal, if we are willing to accept the view that some (declarative) sentences are and some are not truth-bearers. That particular expression of the view is too strong: it is assumed there that a successful case has already been made out that general sentences are truth-bearers-but the case for any type of sentence being capable of that function waits until the following chapters for both presentation and evaluation. At best someone could here say that, given the main body of the argument, although indexical sentences cannot be truth-bearers, general sentences might be. However, even in that attenuated form this manner of escaping the conclusion won't do. While we philosophers are constitutionally prone to misguided assimilations and thus frequently fail to respect differences, in the present case there are no relevant differences to be respected. For there is no discernible reason which would support the thesis that while one variety of declarative sentence, the indexical, is not a bearer of truth-value, the other variety of declarative sentence, the general sentence, is, or might be, a carrier of truth and falsity. The claim that there is a split within the class of truth-bearers has nothing to recommend it (except if one that avoiding the conclusion that no sentences are truth-bearers at all costs