HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 15 no. 1 (2014)

Themes in Brand Blanshard's Coherence Theory of Truth

Edwin Etieyibo

Discipline: Philosophy, Social Science



In this paper I examine five essential themes in Brand Blanshard’s coherence theory of truth. Blanshard defines truth in terms of the rational or the interdependence of concepts, where concepts determine objects of experience rather than merely conform to them. On this view, truth is contextual and is the approximation of thought to reality or the systemization of the two ends—the immanent and transcendent. I raised some worries for this account of truth, foremost of which is the worry that it commits us to a deep-seated skepticism, both theoretical and practical. In order to be able to tell when the immanent end is achieved and if it is making progress towards the transcendent end (i.e., when the ultimate systematization is realized), we require an omniscient standpoint of cosmic order or overarching system of beliefs. While this seems possible in principle it is not so in practice.