Tarski’s one and only concept of truth

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In a recent article, David (Tarski’s convention T and the concept of truth, pp. 133–156, 2008) distinguishes between two interpretations of Tarski’s work on truth. The standard interpretation has it that Tarski gave us a definition of truth in-L within the meta-language; the non-standard interpretation, that Tarski did not give
us a definition of true sentence in L, but rather a definition of truth, and Tarski does so for L within the metalanguage.
The difference is crucial: for on the standard view, there are different concepts of truth, while in the alternative interpretation there is just one concept. In this paper we will have a brief look at the distinction between these two interpretations and at the arguments David gives for each view. We will evaluate one of David’s arguments for the alternative view by looking at Tarski’s ‘On the concept of truth in formalized languages’ (CTF), and his use of the term ‘extension’ therein, which, we shall find, yields no conclusive evidence for either position. Then we will look at how Tarski treats ‘satisfaction’, an essential concept for his definition of ‘true sentence’. It will be argued that, in light of how Tarski talks about ‘satisfaction’ in Sect. 4 of ‘CTF’ and his claims in the Postscript, the alternative view is more likely than the standard one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3393-3406
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy

Free keywords

  • Satisfaction
  • True-in-L
  • Truth
  • Tarski


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