Higher-Order Logic and Disquotational Truth


Truth predicates are widely believed to be capable of serving a certain logical or quasi-logical function. There is little consensus, however, on the exact nature of this function. We offer a series of formal results in support of the thesis that disquotational truth is a device to simulate higher-order resources in a first-order setting. More specifically, we show that any theory formulated in a higher-order language can be naturally and conservatively interpreted in a first-order theory with a disquotational truth or truth-of predicate. In the first part of the paper we focus on the relation between truth and full impredicative sentential quantification. The second part is devoted to the relation between truth-of and full impredicative predicate quantification.

Journal of Philosophical Logic