What is truth?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 8th, 2018, 6:30 pm 

A prevailing theme in 20th Century AP was also an ancient question: what is truth?

I'm deflationary without being a skeptic. IOW, I agree with Frege that truth is a concept too basic to define.

What theory of truth do you prefer?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on March 8th, 2018, 8:08 pm 

I like Russell and correspondence theory. But am not well versed in this stuff, and interested in deflation theories.

I guess I'm a typical metaphysical realist.

Quine and his challenge interests me...For one thing, if Quine is right, and there are no truly necessary truths (that is, analytic truths), then metaphysics, which traffics in such truths, is effectively dead.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 8th, 2018, 11:08 pm 

Correspondence is attractive with its bearers and makers. But the truth is still out there. :)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 1:33 am 

I think truth is dependent upon defined rules. The genesis and plasticity of rules is another thing altogther; and in my view beyond direct human concern.

The concept of "truth" has certainly advanced communication, interaction and scientific exploration. It is something "special." From such a position I kind appreciate why the more religious factions of human society would imply "God is the truth," and other less deistic proposal like Taoism and "The Way."

Overall I guess from a more rigid perspective we could say truth is the exploration of perspective; which would subsume terms like "meaning" and "validity."

Anything is true, but somethings are more true than others (to steal from Orwell!)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 9th, 2018, 2:08 am 

Asparagus » March 8th, 2018, 5:30 pm wrote:A prevailing theme in 20th Century AP was also an ancient question: what is truth?

I'm deflationary without being a skeptic. IOW, I agree with Frege that truth is a concept too basic to define.

What theory of truth do you prefer?


Rather than simply picking one, I prefer to speak to the merits and flaws of different theories, starting with the one mentioned in the OP.

Deflationism -- to this I give very high merit and would like to flesh it out a little. One thing we see all too often in ideology and the behavior of ideologues is the redefinition of truth according to agreement with their ideology. This is not only dishonest in dialogue but indicative of considerable self-delusion. Thus I could not agree more that the meaning of truth must be utterly separate from any other philosophical and metaphysical claims. I would point out that this is likely to to be an ideal to strive for rather than something simple.

Correspondence -- to this I give mediocre merit. This is the most instinctive theory of truth -- that what is true corresponds to some reality. But there are several flaws in this one of which is that there seem to be metaphysical implications. Indeed, my first feeling of uneasiness in confronting this theory comes from an implication that reality is presumed. And then there is the presumption that reality exists for the comparison.
Though I am not anti-realist, for I affirm that there is strong evidence for an objective aspect to reality, just not for reality being exclusively objective.

Coherence -- to this I cannot give much merit. Coherence is a requirement for meaningfulness and thus we can say is a pre-requisite for truth. But it is not sufficient. Just because something is logically coherent does not mean it is true.

Tarsky or Semantic -- reluctant to give merit to this one. I am skeptical of attempts to concoct a theory of truth for the purpose of resolving the liar's paradox. To me it looks a great deal like semantic games.

Pragmatic -- high merit but only as a supplemental theory of truth not a primary one. I do indeed believe that the effect of believing something is part of its truth value. But the key word here is part, and so it is not the whole of its truth value.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 9th, 2018, 9:00 am 

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 1:33 am wrote:
Overall I guess from a more rigid perspective we could say truth is the exploration of perspective; which would subsume terms like "meaning" and "validity."


Could you expand on this?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 12:09 pm 

Asparagus » March 9th, 2018, 9:00 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 1:33 am wrote:
Overall I guess from a more rigid perspective we could say truth is the exploration of perspective; which would subsume terms like "meaning" and "validity."


Could you expand on this?


Not a great deal. Just saying I think the search for truth is the "truth"; whilst assuming there is no truth is ... well, to live a "lie" I guess.

This is on the cosmological scale rather than the previous truth I mentioned that exists under set conditions and rules (such as mathematics.)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Watson on March 9th, 2018, 12:15 pm 

The value of truth has lost, or at least been diminished over the last 14 months.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Event Horizon on March 9th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

Is truth not the absence of untruth? We all know we are lied to by politicians, CEO's, friends, family, children, conmen and hoaxers. The thing is, we mainly tolerate this as an inevitable part of life, and maybe we are so used to it that it has just become part of life.
Experiments were carried out with a chimp that was taught to play cards. It went crazy when the technician deliberately cheated. This shows that the primate could tell and react to being basically lied to.
Also, if you have a dog, they will often pretend they have not been fed to get another dinner. I guess technically they are lying to get a perceived advantage.
I don't think lying is a uniquely human thing, but that humans have the choise to lie or not. We think about, even plan it. I don't know if other animals process it much, they do not have morals to my knowledge whereas we mostly do. Interesting thread.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on March 9th, 2018, 1:20 pm 

Watson wrote:The value of truth has lost, or at least been diminished over the last 14 months.



I would say truth's value hasn't changed at all. You are describing a cultural shift, not a change in the meaning of truth or falsity. The cultural shift may be to placing less value on asking tough questions or checking facts or requiring that certain narratives contain statements of verified fact. It doesn't matter to a truth whether that President asserts it or denies it. If immigrants are, statistically, less likely to commit felonies, then that truth is "out there" regardless of what anyone says. So long as we clearly define felonies and keep accurate records in our criminal justice system, that empirical truth is incontrovertible. Immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans. That truth has actually grown more valuable, in that it contradicts a popuar paranoid narrative that many people enjoy listening to over and over. It serves to make the lies about immigrants all that much clearer. The ability to collect large amounts of information across a national network has actually been a great thing for advancing truth and making lies more difficult.

Another example would be the President's recent lie about the economic value of tariffs on metals, and of trade wars. Thanks to the abundant data on how such measures have played out in the past, data on our present domestic production capacity for metals, data on exports of agricultural products, etc.....thanks to all those pesky facts that any economist can acquaint you with, that lie was easily exposed, and now even the President's own party and advisory staff have turned against him on the matter. Truth is doing great. An Information Age, where tons of data lie at our fingertips, is good for truth, and exposing falsehoods.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Watson on March 9th, 2018, 4:01 pm 

Well there are some absolute truths, in mathematics for example. Two times two is always going to be four, absolutely. Other times a truth is more of a subjective assertion. And the opposite of this is not a lie. It is just a different subjective assertion, maybe based on different facts, or more cynically, based on a different agenda.
The more the truth deviates from the absolute, the less likely the truth is to be.

Their are those that take trumps economic lies and buy into this false truth, and data does not expose the falsehoods because it is contrary to the truth they already have. This is where the value of truth gets diminished. When an influential person is willing to manipulate the truth in the minds of portions of a population, data doesn't change that. They just exist in their own little fog of diminished truth.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby RJG on March 9th, 2018, 5:07 pm 

Asparagus wrote:What is truth?

X=X; X≠~X

...this is it!

There is no higher authority. (...so all please bow down in reverent respect). Without it, everything is nonsensical, meaningless, and without truth value.


*****

Truth hierarchy
:

1. Absolute truth -- undeniable/undoubtable (…Descartes foundation of all knowledge)
2. Objective truth -- logically derived - via 'logic/math' (a priori)
3. Subjective truth -- experientially derived - via 'science' (a posteriori)
4. Religious truth -- via blind faiths
5. Non-truth -- via logical impossibilities; X=~X
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 9th, 2018, 5:52 pm 

Watson » March 9th, 2018, 12:15 pm wrote:The value of truth has lost, or at least been diminished over the last 14 months.

The power of the lie was mentioned in Genesis. And false gods and such.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 9th, 2018, 5:55 pm 

Event Horizon » March 9th, 2018, 1:18 pm wrote:Is truth not the absence of untruth?

Yep. Or when something is revealed that was previously hidden.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Asparagus on March 9th, 2018, 6:01 pm 

@RJG
Ok.

@everybody
Related question: this comes to me from time to time. If you lived in a world where everybody could read your mind and vice versa, how different would your life be?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Event Horizon on March 9th, 2018, 7:38 pm 

Asparagus » March 9th, 2018, 11:01 pm wrote:@RJG
Ok.

@everybody
Related question: this comes to me from time to time. If you lived in a world where everybody could read your mind and vice versa, how different would your life be?


What a question. That would mean nobody could harbour ill intent, but really really intrusive. I'm not that sure it would result in a society that is not in some way a kind of hive, or harbouring a hive mentality. I actually really value my individuality, and that would be almost impossible if we all knew each others' thoughts I think. Its a thought that although hypothetical I find a bit disturbing.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 9th, 2018, 9:23 pm 

Asparagus » March 9th, 2018, 5:01 pm wrote:@RJG
Ok.

@everybody
Related question: this comes to me from time to time. If you lived in a world where everybody could read your mind and vice versa, how different would your life be?


It would be a world without intelligent life -- all such having exterminated each other long ago. Sure it would eliminate deception, but it would also eliminate thinking before you speak.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 9th, 2018, 9:52 pm 

RJG » March 9th, 2018, 4:07 pm wrote:Truth hierarchy[/u]:

1. Absolute truth -- undeniable/undoubtable (…Descartes foundation of all knowledge)
2. Objective truth -- logically derived - via 'logic/math' (a priori)
3. Subjective truth -- experientially derived - via 'science' (a posteriori)
4. Religious truth -- via blind faiths
5. Non-truth -- via logical impossibilities; X=~X


Rejected.

Absolute is an adjective the opposite of which is relative. Many times there is a need for a rule just because you need some rule rather none, like on which side of the road you drive. For this reason there are truths which are a matter of convention and thus relative to the society, authority, or whatever decides that convention. Absolute truth is contrasted with this as being true for a good reason rather than simply some arbitrary dictation.

Objective is an adjective the opposite of which is subjective. The difference here is that the objective is the same for everyone, and thus demonstrable in some way. The subjective is indeed a matter of personal experience, personal reasons, personal preferences and choices but without any means of demonstration or proof and thus it isn't reasonable to expect others to accept this.

Religious is an adjective relating to religion of which there are legion, only some of which indulge in blind faith or in fact any kind of faith at all. The closest opposite to this is the adjective "secular." And the greatest irony is that freedom of religion requires a rule of secular government and law.

With these three sets of adjectives the idea of a singular hierarchy is absurd. There are only regimes of appropriate applicability. Indeed, like the case of religious and secular, you can say they work in conjunction with each other. You need both the relative rules of convention AND the absolute rules which are made for good reason. While the objective is good for science and the expectation for the agreement of others, it is the subjective which is most immediate and tangible realization of truth.

With that said, however, you can say that there is a hierarchy in the sense that in each of these pairs one must take precedence over the other: absolute over relative, objective over subjective, and secular over religious. It is foolish to stick to convention if there is a good reason why things should be done in a different way. If there is objective evidence then it is only reasonable that subjective experiences should be set aside. And since the very purpose of secular law is to protect us from the excesses of religion then its determinations must also take precedence over the religious -- for that is the only way in which we can indulge religious freedoms in a consistent manner.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby doogles on March 11th, 2018, 2:16 am 

This is something I drafted maybe 20 years ago.

I'm just going to throw it in, as my 2c worth, and run.

I'm off for holidays for a couple of weeks.

DEFINITIONS AS A BASIS FOR TRUTH

AT TIMES WHEN THERE IS UNIVERSAL AGREEMENT on something, it is most probable that we are dealing with notions that developed from the start on foundations we call definitions. There is universal agreement, for example, on basic mathematical principles. Every nation on this planet agrees with the principles involved in mathematics. But this is only because we have agreed to use basic definitions such as the combination of the letters t-w-o (in English-speaking countries) to represent the concept of a pair of things. And this arithmetical concept of Arabic numerals developed relatively recently in the Middle East, including India, to the long-lasting credit of that area.

They realised it was easier to write the symbol ‘2’ instead of 1+1, and ‘7’ instead of 1+1+1+1+1+1+1. We all agree that 1+1+1+1+1+1+1 equals ‘7’ or ‘seven’. Yet it is an unarguable truth only because we have defined it as such. Of course, the system of using a made-up system of figures and words to represent the numbers of anything has the greatest advantage when we get into the larger numbers. You can imagine how much space it would take to show the number one thousand as a series of single figures. We all agree by these definitions that twenty times fifty equals a thousand. This is reality. I repeat - the whole discipline of mathematics is based originally on definitions. All of us on this planet agree with the conclusions of mathematics. Well we agree until we come to the parts we don’t understand – for example in some areas the answers could be plus or minus the same number - and that seems weird.

The mathematical symbols we use these days work. Imagine trying to get the square root of some Roman numerals. The Indian/Arabic-founded numerical system is a wonderful example of an idea-system that has been thrown into the system and which has survived. Remember how Julian Huxley suggested that we have now reached a stage of survival of the fittest idea-systems.

Modern mathematics did not come into being until we defined the basic structures, and then set about making them work for us. We state the rules at the beginning, and thereafter there is no misunderstanding about what we mean.

We have only ever done this to a limited way in areas of human thinking.

Using definitions in a sense, though not by deliberate intent, all English-speaking people at least agree that the big warm round thing that appears in the sky on most days will be called the ‘sun’, or its equivalent word in other languages. We agree by implied definition that we can use the word ‘rise’ to describe anything that goes up towards the sky. We agree that the direction in which a magnetised piece of iron points, out in the open, in the general direction of the midday sun, is the ‘Magnetic North’, and that the opposite direction is the ‘Magnetic South’. If we face the North, the direction on our right will be called the ‘East’, and that on the left will be called the ‘West’. In this way, the concepts of ‘left’ and ‘right’ have also been defined. Combining these, we all agree that the sun rises in the East. There is no dissension here, unless you wish to be pedantic and state that the Earth rotates towards the sun in an easterly direction. Bear in mind that there is evidence that it may not have always happened that way. When we stick to matters that involve the use of definition, there is no conflict between groups, either locally or internationally.

SCIENTIFIC TRUTH

We mostly accept as true the conclusions of experiments based on scientific methods. The discipline of statistics, and the way it calculates the probabilities of results happening by chance, is employed to assess associations between events. It does not really establish causes and effects but it gives a clue to such a thing.

It works on the principle of probabilities, that whatever happens as a result of an experiment did not happen that way by chance. Usually, the results are only accepted initially if such odds are less than one in twenty.

This ‘probability of the figures coming out the way they do by chance’ is expressed universally as the letter ‘P’.
The symbol ‘<’ is used universally for ‘is less than’. We use decimal ratios to express the actual odds: for example, we express ‘one in twenty’ as ‘0.05’ (5 in 100). You may have seen the results of an experiment wherein it is stated at the end that ‘P < 0.05’, or ‘P < 0.01’. This means that the Probability of the figures coming out the way they did by chance is less than (<) one in 20 or one in a 100 - the smaller the ratio, the greater the chance that there is an association between the action and the result.

But the results of a single isolated experiment are never accepted absolutely in their own right. Further substantiation is required. If others repeat the experiment with the same result, belief in the association between the events inherent in the experiment becomes stronger.

If the results of a single experiment become a vital stepping stone to a further experiment, which is validated by repetition, then the results of the first experiment become more widely accepted.

If a theoretical proposition is used as a basis for a successful practical result, then the theory becomes validated. An example of this was where the formula E=mc2 was a precursor to the actual explosion of an atomic bomb. This equation implied that matter contained a vast amount of potential energy and that if the atom could be split, massive amounts of energy could be released.

But there is no way any of us can actually prove a cause and effect situation. Logically we can only produce a mass of evidence that suggests that A is causing B to the point where it becomes generally accepted. The only thing we can prove is the ‘null’ hypothesis. That is, if someone says for example “I have produced evidence that A is always followed by B”, and then another person sets up the same experiment in which B does not follow A, then this is enough to state that B does not always follow A. The second person has proved what we call the null hypothesis.

Scientific experimentation always incorporates an element of doubt in its conclusions. DOGMA of any kind never does. And to their discredit, supporters of any sort of dogma on this planet tend to use this honest statement of the most remote of doubts as evidence of weakness in science.

Unfortunately most dogmatic belief systems have not been challenged adequately. So what are we left with?

THE TRUTH AS BEING WHAT MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE (CONSENSUS)

Do horses gallop using a similar action to greyhounds? If you look at 19th century paintings of galloping horses, you would have to conclude that everybody, particularly artists, at that time sincerely believed so. The advent of the moving picture that could be played in slow motion revealed that every artist’s belief about the galloping action of horses was incorrect. In fact, the movements are quite different, and not easy to describe. In simple terms, they do not have two legs forward and two legs back. They have non-matching legs out and back, and one front leg becomes the leading weight bearing limb.

We accept that there was really a Great War between 1914 and 1918 only because enough people have said that there was a great war in that period. You and I didn’t really see it. And we didn’t take the time to look up the old newspapers in the public library, did we? Not that that would have been conclusive proof because we didn’t know the journalists writing the articles, so there was no way of deciding whether it was all a gigantic hoax or not. This could apply to the many books written about the subject. When it comes down to the nitty gritty of belief, you and I believe it really happened only because a large number of people have left a multitude of evidence that it happened.

But there are limits to the truth being what the majority of people believe. Perhaps one of the silliest group mistakes in my lifetime was that erroneous decision throughout the world to have official celebrations for the end of the second millennium, and the starting of the third. We collectively celebrated at the start instead of the end of the last year of the second millennium according to our current calendar system. Respectable senior people in our community endorsed this.

But even primary school children know that the year 10 was the last year of the first decade, and that the next set of 10 did not commence till the first set was finished (at the end of the year 10, not the start of the year 10). Likewise, the year 100 was the last year of the first century, and the year 1000 the last year of the first millennium, and the year 2000 the last year of the second millennium and the millennium did not finish till the end of the year 2000. Certainly we celebrate our 50th and 60th birthdays on the day we become 50 or 60, but this is at the end of our 50th or 60th year. This demonstrates that the ‘powers that be’ and the masses can get things wrong on an international scale.

There were a few people asserting in the 1990s that the Holocaust never happened during the Second World War!

Again, unfortunately we do tend to take the easy way out and regard things as being real if enough people say they are. We don’t bother to check everything others tell us, particularly when we are young children. We tend to regard everything our parents and teachers say as being the truth, mainly because we do not have the time or the know-how to check on everything for ourselves. For most of us, there comes a time when we need to question what everyone else is saying, and then we have to start looking at the available evidence to determine which versions of reality make sense to us. We have to decide whose judgments are wisest for us to heed. In short, the final judgments of reality or truth are indeed very subjective. Even if everyone believes something at any time, it may turn out to be incorrect in the light of further evidence.

There have been court cases where the outcome has subsequently proved to be extremely doubtful, cases where the Prosecution, witnesses, and all twelve jurors may possibly have got it wrong.

Take the case of Lindy Chamberlain as an example. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of the murder of her own ten-week-old baby, and sent to gaol. Lindy claimed that she saw what she thought was a dingo carrying the baby off one night when she and her family were camping at Uluru in Central Australia. It appears that in her trial some pertinent evidence had been suppressed, and the jury were only too willing to listen to some so-called expert evidence which itself was subsequently thought to be questionable. The original blood specimens studied by one particular expert became no longer available for re-testing, and some other so-called expert witnesses stated dogmatically that dingoes would never take a baby.

Yet in recent times, even adults have been attacked and mauled by dingoes on Fraser Island. Such is the basis of what we sometimes believe to be the truth. Years later, after what must have been a devastating time for her, she was finally exonerated. Now dingoes are regarded as potential killers of humans.

Have you noticed that it takes much longer to reverse a decision than it does to make it in the first instance? That’s an indictment of legal systems in most parts of the world.

In Georgia, USA, a ‘Moratorium Campaign’ on capital punishment in 2006, showed that 39 people had been executed since 1976, but that 6 Death Row inmates had been exonerated since 1973. The time taken to exonerate these six varied between two and thirteen years. A USA-wide study by Professor Michael Radelot and others in their book In Spite Of Evidence in 1992, suggested that 23 people were wrongfully executed between 1990 and 1992.

Apart from Court cases, if a group of people is initially wrong in their philosophical or religious views, it takes a much greater effort to change their minds than it did for them to form their original belief. We’ve already mentioned Bruno’s and Galileo’s attempts at this. Few people can tolerate having their assumptions challenged. Self-image and status are at stake.

There is an old maxim that ‘the test of truth is time’. Perhaps this maxim is a little nearer to the answer to the question of “What can we believe?” The longer a belief system is held by a large majority of people, the closer it will come to being the truth.

But how long is the ‘test of time’. After almost 2000 years, we are still awaiting the second coming of Christ. On the other hand, after hundreds of years since the days of Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo, the majority of people now believe that the Earth rotates around the sun.

Unfortunately, we have to conclude that polarised views can sometimes exist among us, and there is no way of validating the issue one way or the other. It’s no wonder many of us finish up confused and disillusioned. The safest course, and this seems to be generally accepted these days, is to agree to disagree.

In an ideal world, we should have access to the opinions of every expert in the field under consideration, the ability to consider those opinions, and the ability to discern which people are most likely to have the most authoritative opinions.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on June 21st, 2018, 4:08 am 



That which makes the very question emerge.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on June 21st, 2018, 9:32 am 

The existence of the question is a fundamental beginning answer unto itself. The answer is, before even the question emerged. Answering the question would mean penetrating into and through the question itself and into the complexities of its existence.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on July 3rd, 2018, 3:53 pm 

Truth it seems at best consists in the existence of something. This something always has a context even it doesn't have sensible content - because this something came or emerged from the context and it is its "mother" or "body". This context as I look at it seems, in my abstracting nature, to be complex whole, multi-perspective and multi-levels. Existence of something cannot NOT have context, and propositions do not come with content alone.

With this then, I would tend to differ from Frege's observation that these two sentences have the same content:

1. I smell the scent of violets.
2. It is true that I smell the scent of violets.

The second sentence has the similar content with the first sentence but with the ascription part of its content also. These two sentences operate on different parts of their whole context as they are being considered together or separately.

With the above principle also these another two sentences below, though having similar content, will not be exactly the same in view of the parts of the context from which they emerged:

1. I smell the scent of violets.
2. I smell the scent of violets.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on July 3rd, 2018, 4:31 pm 

Don Juan,

Did you read the thread? Did you even read the OP?

This thread was about the different theories of truth. So if you are wondering why nobody is responding to your posts, it is because they seem a bit irrelevant to the discussion.

Though while you haven't addressed the question of what theory of truth appeals to you, your last post, at least, is not without theory of truth implications, when you say "truth consists of the existence of something." You seem to be rejecting the deflationism in favor of inserting all kinds of metaphysical assumptions in your assignment of truth value. Regardless, the claim seems a bit dubious to me.

Consider the following examples...

1. Can we not make true statements about Santa Claus without implying that Santa Claus actually exists? Of course there is no problem with metaphysical theories such as I have suggested which equate various kinds of reality or existing with the differnt kinds of doing. In such, Santa Claus exists as a character in a story. But the objection of deflationism remains that you are presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth.

2. In mathematics however we can set up a problem where the undetermined number represented by the variable x does not exist. And yet we can derive true conclusions about x from the given properties despite the fact that the number does not exist. Thus in mathematics, at least, we can have true statements without implying existence.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on July 3rd, 2018, 4:41 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:Don Juan,

Did you read the thread? Did you even read the OP?

This thread was about the different theories of truth. So if you are wondering why nobody is responding to your posts, it is because they seem a bit irrelevant to the discussion.


I would be replying to the other parts of your post maybe later, but I would reply to this first.

I read the thread. I read the OP.

This OP is not about the NAMES of theories, but about WHAT theories. You need to make a distinction between the name and that something that is named. I am positing a theory, although I did not give yet a name.

I am not wondering nobody is responding, I am not immediately after that, but I would prefer that everyone reflects about the replies or inputs I contributed. I think reflections are enough even not expressed.

But then you are responding - and you are the first to respond. That makes me think.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on July 3rd, 2018, 5:11 pm 

mitchellmckain » July 3rd, 2018, 10:31 pm wrote:Don Juan,
Consider the following examples...

1. Can we not make true statements about Santa Claus without implying that Santa Claus actually exists? Of course there is no problem with metaphysical theories such as I have suggested which equate various kinds of reality or existing with the differnt kinds of doing. In such, Santa Claus exists as a character in a story. But the objection of deflationism remains that you are presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth.


What do you mean exactly by "presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth"?

2. In mathematics however we can set up a problem where the undetermined number represented by the variable x does not exist. And yet we can derive true conclusions about x from the given properties despite the fact that the number does not exist. Thus in mathematics, at least, we can have true statements without implying existence.


What do you mean by "undetermined number", are you referring to a NUMBER and to a set? What exactly are your assumptions for the derivation? What do you use exactly in the derivation? What do you mean by existence?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on July 3rd, 2018, 6:35 pm 

Don Juan » July 3rd, 2018, 4:11 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » July 3rd, 2018, 10:31 pm wrote:Don Juan,
Consider the following examples...

1. Can we not make true statements about Santa Claus without implying that Santa Claus actually exists? Of course there is no problem with metaphysical theories such as I have suggested which equate various kinds of reality or existing with the differnt kinds of doing. In such, Santa Claus exists as a character in a story. But the objection of deflationism remains that you are presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth.


What do you mean exactly by "presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth"?

Address the example. Can we not make true statements about Santa Claus without requiring him to exist? I say it is possible -- why not? It is also possible to assert that he exists in a way but that would push ideas about reality (metaphysics) into the question.

Don Juan » July 3rd, 2018, 4:11 pm wrote:
2. In mathematics however we can set up a problem where the undetermined number represented by the variable x does not exist. And yet we can derive true conclusions about x from the given properties despite the fact that the number does not exist. Thus in mathematics, at least, we can have true statements without implying existence.


What do you mean by "undetermined number", are you referring to a NUMBER and to a set? What exactly are your assumptions for the derivation? What do you use exactly in the derivation? What do you mean by existence?

Perhaps you would use the world "variable." The use of a variable for an undetermined number is a frequent practice in mathematics. I am referring to a variable. the variable refers to a number or set of numbers (possibly the empty set). The point is that I can make true statements using this variable even if there is no such number. Why should I make any assumptions? To say that the number exists means that there is a number which satisfies the conditions/descriptions given for it. This is quite well defined in mathematics.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on July 4th, 2018, 12:51 am 

I guess that one of the things implied by the examples, is a suggestion that truth is highly contextual. We can say statements about Santa Claus are true only because there is a context of stories and traditions about this character. We can say statements about variable x are true only because there is a context of statements already given about this variable. I think this is not so divorced from everyday life, where the truth value of statements, made about people especially, are also highly contextual. Perhaps this is because there are some similarities between people and variables in the sense that people change, not only in time but also depending in relational ways such as wearing different hats in different parts of their life.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on July 4th, 2018, 5:41 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:Address the example. Can we not make true statements about Santa Claus without requiring him to exist? I say it is possible -- why not? It is also possible to assert that he exists in a way but that would push ideas about reality (metaphysics) into the question.


I do not understand what you mean by “presuming a metaphysics in your theory of truth.” Please kindly explain.

The theory I am contemplating about does not have problem with Santa Claus because it exist at least as a mental construct.

Perhaps you would use the world "variable." The use of a variable for an undetermined number is a frequent practice in mathematics. I am referring to a variable. the variable refers to a number or set of numbers (possibly the empty set). The point is that I can make true statements using this variable even if there is no such number.


To what specifically you would base your true statements?

Why should I make any assumptions?


You cannot NOT assume – a consequence of context, a big part of it can be subconscious – you cannot escape context because it has you.


To say that the number exists means that there is a number which satisfies the conditions/descriptions given for it. This is quite well defined in mathematics.


But then to what specifically would you base your derivation?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Don Juan on July 4th, 2018, 5:47 am 

mitchellmckain » July 4th, 2018, 6:51 am wrote:I guess that one of the things implied by the examples, is a suggestion that truth is highly contextual. We can say statements about Santa Claus are true only because there is a context of stories and traditions about this character. We can say statements about variable x are true only because there is a context of statements already given about this variable. I think this is not so divorced from everyday life, where the truth value of statements, made about people especially, are also highly contextual. Perhaps this is because there are some similarities between people and variables


A shift in perspective eh? Now we are beginning to be in the same page. But then, what do you mean by existence? How do you specifically consider say, a unicorn, does it exist or not? or you have some qualifications for it?

And also what do you mean by "highly contextual?" Does this meaning discount wholeness or unity?

in the sense that people change, not only in time but also depending in relational ways such as wearing different hats in different parts of their life.


...and are you referring to yourself? Just asking.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby BadgerJelly on July 4th, 2018, 6:04 am 

Don -

Existence and truth are not the same. If they were then everthing would be true, even the lies. And, if we’re going to taek such a path we can say that an existent lie is a lie purposeful or not? That is yet another nuance of language.

Remember that “concepts” needn’t be articulated “linguistically.” I don’t need a communicable term for “fire” in order to appreciate the pain of burning my hand in said “fire.” Here there is a sensory experience felt as “hot thing” followed by “too close and hot thing hurts” - all non-verbally, yet pre-lingual and “languaged” in some abstract way (if you allow me the freedom to express the term “language” beyond the obvious; as a general conscious apparatus to navigate from experience to experience and order teh patterning of existence.)
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