Conceptual Marxism and truth: Inquiry symposium on Kevin Scharp’s Replacing Truth

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In Replacing Truth (2013), Scharp takes the concept of truth to be fundamentally incoherent. As such, Scharp reckons it to be unsuited for systematic philosophical theorising and in need of replacement – at least for regions of thought and talk which permit liar sentences and their ilk to be formulated. This replacement methodology is radical because it not only recommends that the concept of truth be replaced (in troublesome domains), but that the word ‘true’ be replaced too. Only Tarski has attempted anything like it before. I dub such a view Conceptual Marxism. In assessing this view, my goals are fourfold: to summarise the many components of Scharp’s theory of truth; to highlight what I take to be some of the excess baggage carried by the view; to assess whether, and to what extent, the extreme methodology on offer is at all called for; finally, to briefly propose a less radical replacement strategy for resolving the liar paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-421
Number of pages19
JournalInquiry - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
Early online date7 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2019


  • Truth
  • Liar paradox
  • Conceptual engineering


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