"Does philosophy not result in conceptual truths – and is that not a cognitive achievement? That would be misleading … these conceptual truths are not statements of fact. They are descriptions of normative connections within the web of concepts that constitute our form of representation. They are said to be true. Indeed, they are often said to be necessary truths. That, of course, is correct –- but misleading. Their truth is akin to that of the proposition that the king in chess moves one square at a time. What we realize when a philosophical insight dawns on us is a feature of our form of representation. We attain an understanding of the way in which our familiar modes of description of things hang together."
— Peter Hacker, “Philosophy: A contribution not to human knowledge, but to human understanding”
"I find this abuse prevailing among my most accomplished adversaries. But once establish the proper verbal custom, let the word ‘truth’ represent a property of the idea, cease to make it something mysteriously connected with the object known, and the path opens fair and wide, as I believe, to the discussion of radical empiricism on its merits. The truth of an idea will then mean only its workings, or that in it which by ordinary psychological laws sets up those workings; it will mean neither the idea’s object, nor anything ‘saltatory’ inside the idea, that terms drawn from experience cannot describe."
— William James, The Meaning of Truth
"Though he begins, like Descartes, with the fact of thought, Davidson argues for a total revision of the Cartesian picture. All propositional thought, positive or skeptical, of the inner or of the outer, requires possession of the concept of objective truth, and this concept is accessible only to those creatures that are in communication with others. Knowledge of other minds is thus basic to all thought. But such knowledge requires and assumes knowledge of a shared world of objects in a common time and space. Thus the acquisition of knowledge is not based on a progression from the subjective to the objective; it emerges holistically, and is interpersonal from the start."
— Introduction to Problems of Rationality, by Donald Davidson
"Reducing science from a possible source of redemptive truth to a model of rational cooperation is the contemporary analogue of the reduction of the Gospels from a recipe for attaining eternal happiness to a compendium of sound moral advice… To give up the idea that there is an intrinsic nature of reality to be discovered either by the priests, or the philosophers, or the scientists, is to disjoin the need for redemption from the search for universal agreement."
— Richard Rorty, “Philosophy as a transitional genre” p103-4
"‘The truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent in it. Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true by events. Its verity is in fact an event, a process, the process namely of its verifying itself, its verification. Its validity is the process of its validation."
— William James, The Meaning of Truth
"The idea that we should love Truth is largely responsible for the idea that religious belief is “intellectually irresponsible.” But there is no such thing as the love of Truth. What has been called by that name is a mixture of the love of reaching intersubjective agreement, the love of gaining mastery over a recalcitrant set of data, the love of winning arguments, and the love of synthesizing little theories into big theories. It is never an objection to a religious belief that there is no evidence for it."
— Richard Rorty, Pragmatism as Romantic Polytheism, p35
"As many truths as men. Occasionally, I glimpse a truer Truth, hiding in imperfect simulacrums of itself, but as I approach, it bestirs itself & moves deeper into the thorny swamp of dissent."
— David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
"For ‘truth’ sounds like the name of a goal only if it is thought to name a fixed goal — this is, if progress toward truth is explicated by reference to a metaphysical picture, that of getting closer to what Bernard Williams calls ‘what is there anyway.’"
— Richard Rorty, Philosophical Papers, Vol.3, p39
"We should not say that truth is correspondence, coherence, warranted assertibility, ideally justified assertibility, what is accepted in the conversation of the right people, what science will end up maintaining, what explains the convergence on single theories in science, or the success of our ordinary beliefs. To the extent that realism or antirealism depend on one or another of these views of truth we should refuse to endorse either."
— Donald Davidson, “The Structure and Content of Truth” p309
"It was when I said
‘There is no such thing as truth’
That the grapes seemed fatter
The fox ran out of his hole"
— Wallace Stevens, “On the Road Home”
"Davidson has helped us realize that the very absoluteness of truth is a good reason for thinking ‘true’ indefinable and for thinking that no theory of the nature of truth is possible. It is only the relative about which there is anything to say."
— Richard Rorty (on Donald Davidson), Philosophical Papers, Vol.3, p3