VICTR Presents Masahura Mizumoto

A Prolegomenon to the Empirical Cross-linguistic Study of Truth

Masahura Mizumoto

Masahura Mizumoto will be giving a talk entitled “A Prolegomenon to the Empirical Cross-linguistic Study of Truth” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research on September 29, 2020 10:00 EDT, 15:00 BST, 16:00 CEST, 23:00 KST, 00:00 AEST +1, 03:00 NZDT +1.

Abstract: In this paper we propose and justify the cross-linguistic study of truth based on empirical studies of truth predicates, by investigating in particular those in English and Japanese. Based on what we call the argument from linguistic diversity, we try to establish the relevance of linguistic data by showing the data of significant differences of the uses of truth predicates between English and Japanese. Our main discovery is that the moral-political factor in the truth-bearer (utterance) strongly affects the uses of Japanese truth predicates but not those of English “is true”. We will argue that this difference is due to the different semantic properties of respective truth predicates, by appealing to what we call the argument from intra-linguistic variance. Although this project is still preliminary, it shows that there is a linguistic variance in truth predicates, or at least that the possibility of what we call the lexical alethic pluralism is real, which would have significant implications for contemporary debates over relativism, deflationism, theory of meaning, etc.

If you are interested in attending, please email for details about the zoom link and for a copy of the paper to be read in advance.

Masaharu Mizumoto is associate professor of School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.