Supervaluation-Style Truth Without Supervaluations

Johannes Stern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
480 Downloads (Pure)


Kripke’s theory of truth is arguably the most influential approach to self-referential truth and the semantic paradoxes. The use of a partial evaluation scheme is crucial to the theory and the most prominent schemes that are adopted are the strong Kleene and the supervaluation scheme. The strong Kleene scheme is attractive because it ensures the compositionality of the notion of truth. But under the strong Kleene scheme classical tautologies do not, in general, turn out to be true and, as a consequence, classical reasoning is no longer admissible once the notion of truth is involved. The supervaluation scheme adheres to classical reasoning but violates compositionality. Moreover, it turns Kripke’s theory into a rather complicated affair: to check whether a sentence is true we have to look at all admissible precisification of the interpretation of the truth predicate we are presented with. One consequence of this complicated evaluation condition is that under the supervaluation scheme a more proof-theoretic characterization of Kripke’s theory becomes inherently difficult, if not impossible. In this paper we explore the middle ground between the strong Kleene and the supervaluation scheme and provide an evaluation scheme that adheres to classical reasoning but retains many of the attractive features of the strong Kleene scheme. We supplement our semantic investigation with a novel axiomatic theory of truth that matches the semantic theory we have put forth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-850
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Philosophical Logic
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Axiomatic theories of truth
  • Grounded truth
  • Kripke’s theory of truth
  • Strong Kleene
  • Supervaluation
  • Truth


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