Joshua Schwartz regimented at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 16:22:34 EDT 2012

Dear John,

In contemporary alethiology, if not philosophy of logic, the term
"deflationism" derives from Paul Horwich's 1982 essay, "Three Forms of
Realism", which was recently reprinted in his _From a Deflationary Point of
View_.  In 1986 essays on truth, both Michael Williams and Hartry Field
explicitly take the term from Horwich's paper. (Williams, "Do We
(Epistemologists) Need a Theory of Truth?" in _Philosophical Topics_,
Volume XIV, No. 1, 1986, endnote 1, p. 241; Field, "The Deflationary
Conception of Truth", in _Fact, Science, and Value_, eds., McDonald, G.,
and Wright, C. (Oxford: 1986), endnote 6, p. 106.)

In footnotes added to the reprinting of his essay, Horwich indicates how
his use of the term ``deflationary" at that time strikes him as unhappy
(note A, p. 9 and note B, p. 21). On page 9 on that essay, Horwich
describes an amalgamation of "the" redundancy theory, Tarski's T-schema,
and Quine's idea of disquotation, and calls it "the deflationary redundancy
theory". This (also) strikes me as a (source of) confusion. The main idea
behind this "deflationary redundancy theory" is that "Tarski's schema"
fully captures the concept of truth. This is intended to distinguish
"Deflationism" from what Horwich calls "metaphysical realism".

On the term "Inflationism": I know that Gila Sher prefers "Substantivism"
to "Inflationism", but I can't remember where she comments on this.

Kind regards,

Joshua Schwartz
University of Chicago
Philosophy Department
PhD Candidate
jfs at uchicago.edu

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM, John Corcoran <corcoran at buffalo.edu> wrote:

> I am looking for published and unpublished discussions of the origin of the
> word 'deflationism' [or cognates] as used in philosophy of logic.
> Who coined it and what meaning did they give it?
> Even unsubstantiated claims are of interest.
> Was it coined to replace another word used for the same view?
> Have other words been proposed for views called deflationism?
> Was there ever a view called 'inflationism'?
> John Corcoran
> Philosophy
> University of Buffalo
> Buffalo NY 14260-4150
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> FOM at cs.nyu.edu
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