What is truth?

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

Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 17th, 2018, 5:47 pm 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 10:34 pm wrote:I was saying, if you read the whole post, that the sentence is NOT analytic. But if Kripke thinks words are rigid designators, then he would have to consider the sentence analytic. The only way water can be such is for it to be a term of science. In which case, the sentence is a tautology. I was suggesting that real language is more performative and less scientific. So water and H2O have different meanings. With different referents, which I realize is hideously unintuitive. Each word points to a different bundle of properties. And bundles of properties are all we know. You may now realize I'm not the scientific realist you assumed. Heh.


Frankly, this still sounds confused to me, BiV, even unintelligible in parts. I'd just like to focus on the highlighted section.

It's been assumed here that the scientists are right in their reduction such that the colloquial term/name "water" and the technical scientific term/name "H20" refer to exactly the same substance. We thus have two names; one referent.

We were doing this to examine the question of whether a statement such as "water = H20" is a contingent truth or a necessary truth. You argued for the former (I think); myself, following Kripke, for the latter.

(See various comments of yours on the previous page. E,g. "I can not only imagine worlds where water is not H2O, I can find them" which implies you believe it is a truth of this world, at least, that water is H2O. On your account, it's a contingent but not necessary truth; it's true but it could have been otherwise.)

You're now effectively telling us, though, inasmuch as the two words have "different referents", that water is not H2O! You're telling us "water = H2O" is not a truth at all, whether of the contingent or necessary variety.

And you really need to watch these inverted commas. This is not just pain-in-the-ass pedantry on my part, pal. Look at what you wrote above, for example:

So water and H2O have different meanings.

This is incoherent. Neither water nor H20 has a meaning at all, never mind same or different. Water, which is the same thing as H20, or so we had been assuming, has no semantic (meaning) properties whatsoever; it's a chemical substance. On the other hand, the name "water", which is NOT the same as the name "H2O" does have semantic properties; it's a word.

Now, it's entirely uncontroversial to suggest that both names are associated in one way or another (depending on your philosophy of language: Frege, Putnam, etc.) with different properties. The name "water", for example, might have connotations of a clear, colorless, odorless liquid, and so forth; "H2O" connoted with a molecule consisting of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom, etc.

Different connotations perhaps (this bit gits a bit tricky), but what is not in question is that both names have the same denotation. In other words, both names, though possibly associated with different bundles of properties, nonetheless refer to the same substance.

To claim otherwise, as you do above, BiV -- that each word has a different referent, or "points to" a different bundle of properties -- would be a rewriting of science and the end of the world as we know it.

For clarity, consider analogous examples where we have two co-referential names, i.e. two names for one thing.

1. Frege's famous example of "The Morning Star" and "The Evening Star"; two names the ancient Babylonians supposedly had for what we later came to realize is one object: the planet Venus.

2. "Clark Kent" and "Superman" (let's pretend for the sake of illustration): two names; two sets of associated properties; one referent.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on July 18th, 2018, 1:02 pm 

I see the confusion, which seems to reside in my not specifiying what is a referent. I was suggesting that water refers to potable liquid. And that H20 (which to a scientific mind has the same status as a word or phrase, i.e. it can mean something) refers to a molecular structure. Because the properties of water are emergent (this is key here, I think), and we only have clear potable liquid when we aggregate billions or more of hydrogen/oxygen molecules at certain temperatures and pressures, I cannot really be persuaded that H20, by itself, refers to the same thing as water. Show me a pair of hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom, linked together, that are wet. Or can dissolve crystallized tea granules. Or quench thirst. If my point remains incoherent to you, then perhaps I am simply too far off the rails in philosophic terms and you can let me go flounder around for a while.

Phosphorus and Hesperus both proved to be a single planet. I remember my philosophy course in college going over that one. And it's come up here a time or two.

But that's not really quite analogous. Because both names referred to a single unitary object whose properties eventually landed in the same tidy little lump. Connotation and denotation converged.

But that doesn't happen with water. Add minerals to it or bubbles of gas. Still water. Let a science fiction writer say, "Zork and Vleeb jumped in the water. It was cool and pleasant. The liquid ammonia was just the right temperature to invigorate." Uh huh. Sounds good to me. If the waters of the Mississippi river ever became just an assemblage of H20 molecules, it would be nothing short of a divine miracle.

What you are asking me to do, without intending to, is essentially like holding up a corn nut and saying "This is gravity." I would examine it and say, "Well, I don't think so." I would suggest that gravity is something that is emergent when you have a LOT of matter, enough to make space curve and get free-falling objects to follow that curvature. Corn nuts don't have gravity fields (none that matter, anyway). H20 isn't water. Take billions of H20 molecules, bring them close together and then bring their temperature to somewhere between O and 100 degrees Celsius, under normal Earth atmospheric pressure...and then you have something that can be called "water." Increase the kinetic energy of those H20 thingies and we have "steam." Decrease it and we have "ice."
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 7:22 pm 

Terrific post, BiV and lots to discuss...


Heard the old gag about Dihydrogen Monoxide?

http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

Now, where's the humor in this? Well, clearly it takes most us some time to come to the realization:

"Dihydrogen Monoxide? Hey wait, that's the same as H2O. Wtf, they're talking about water!!!!"

What I'd be inclined to say to your latest remarks is that when a scientific reduction of the kind we've been examining is made (e.g. water is H2O), we make new discoveries. We learn, for example, that certain things we had previous taken to fall within the extension of our pre-scientific vernacular term (e.g. "water") actually do not; we'd been mistaken. Conversely, certain things that we had not realized fall within the extension of the vernacular term do.

So...

Braininvat » July 19th, 2018, 2:02 am wrote:Because the properties of water are emergent (this is key here, I think), and we only have clear potable liquid when we aggregate billions or more of hydrogen/oxygen molecules at certain temperatures and pressures, I cannot really be persuaded that H20, by itself, refers to the same thing as water. Show me a pair of hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom, linked together, that are wet. Or can dissolve crystallized tea granules. Or quench thirst.


It hard to imagine anyone defending the position that a single H2O molecule quenches thirst, or is wet, or dissolves crystals. My own inclination here would be say not that water and H20 are not the same thing (as science tells us they are, but you deny -- bad boy!); rather that water is indeed H2O, but it only quenches thirst (or feels wet, etc) in large amounts.

And, as discoveries go, this one one isn't all that earth-shattering. Didn't we already know, prior to the scientific reduction, that a single drop of water isn't going to do much thirst quenching. But water nonetheless!

Science also tells us these days that the essential nature of light is photons; another example of the scientific reduction of our pre-scientific vernacular terms. In other words, light is nothing but photons.

Now just because your sensory apparatus is unable to detect a single photon (let us suppose), or perhaps even a hundred, in an otherwise dark environment, would it be more appropriate to say: (i) there is no light present, or (ii) there is light present but BiV is unable to detect it?

Compare this with your own "a single molecule of H20 is not wet to the touch, therefore water is not H2O" argument.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 7:33 pm 

P.S. almost forgot about the Mississippi river...

Well, what strikes you as the right thing to say:

1. The Mississippi is full of water, but it is not full of H2O, therefore water is not the same as H2O.

or

2. Water is H2O. The Mississippi is full of it. And lots of other crap too.

Harumph. "impurities" then.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 9:40 pm 

Same goes for... (and similar examples you posed)

Braininvat » July 19th, 2018, 2:02 am wrote:But that doesn't happen with water. Add minerals to it or bubbles of gas. Still water.


The non-experts among us, unable to determine these things for ourselves, would call it water. (And they'd be mainly right!)

But what if we turn now with your sample to the experts -- the scientists -- for analysis: what do you think their report would say?

(i) It's pure water

or

(ii) It's 99% (or whatever) water with additives, impurities, etc
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 9:58 pm 

@ BiV

Or say you were in a restaurant, ordered a bottle of Perrier, only to discover to your horror upon opening it a cockroach floating inside.

You proceed to give the waiter a piece of your envatted mind.

Equanimity unshaken, the waiter responds, "I've read your recent posts in SPCF. Water with minerals, bubbles, and a cockroach added to it -- on your OWN account -- is still water. Enjoy your water, sir!"

I suppose if the waiter were the AI type, you might be told: "It's not a bug, sir; it's a feature"
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 18th, 2018, 10:13 pm 

Impurities and cockroaches aside,

If water is H2O and H2O is water
And steam is water vapor
then is steam also H2O vapor
or is it still just H2O
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 10:31 pm 

Brent696 » July 19th, 2018, 11:13 am wrote:
If water is H2O and H2O is water
And steam is water vapor
then is steam also H2O vapor
or is it still just H2O



Hi Brent,

I don't immediately see the problem.

Isn't this like asking:

If water is H2O and H2O is water
And the eruptions of a garden sprinkler is a spray of water
then are the eruptions of a garden sprinkler also a spray of H2O
or is it still just H2O?

Seems to me it's H2O. And it's water too. In a spray.

Or am I missing something? Why would H2O vapor not be H2O?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 18th, 2018, 10:36 pm 

P.S. (BiV alluded to this earlier)

Why would frozen water (often called ice) not be water?

Does anyone suppose that when helium, say, is frozen, it ceases to be helium?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 18th, 2018, 11:55 pm 

Graphite in a pencil, charcoal in a water filter, and a diamond, are all technically Cn (8), so I've read.

Ice is no problem as it is water crystallized. Vapor on the other hand is no longer strictly H2O but H2O plus a medium of air for disbursal. Technically it is not even water vapor but wet vapor. I am just suggesting that the functional state of steam is so different that it bears almost no similarities to what one would consider water.

Crystallization between water and ice, by the narrow perimeters of 2 degrees give them a commonality they it might be hard to say they are different. But a diamond is still crystallized coal and yet it is hard to call a lump of coal a diamond or vice verse.

So we have name that describe relationships of properties on one hand (water, ice steam), and a name that describes the relationship of properties on another level all together. (H2O)

Like before, I'm not trying to side with a side, just kind of thinking out loud about how to approach the way you guys are discussing. Personally I still hold all names are symbolic structures and "truth" is held only within the Being itself, essential essence, etc. as it is experienced. I mean speaking of H2O as an unfamiliar element that might exist in afar galaxy that completes my elemental table or my formulas for my cosmological model would be symbols supporting symbols.

But likewise as I see the nature of our existence as a mere temporal reality, then by the quality of our finitude I remove even the idea that we are real as we are not enduring, therefore even our existence is not truthful but illusionary. But people look at themselves and think "of course I am real" and I just think "now maybe, but wait a few years" then reality and what was considered truth becomes a non material past. But back to the water...........
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 19th, 2018, 1:49 am 

Brent696 » July 19th, 2018, 12:55 pm wrote:Graphite in a pencil, charcoal in a water filter, and a diamond, are all technically Cn (8), so I've read.

Ice is no problem as it is water crystallized. Vapor on the other hand is no longer strictly H2O but H2O plus a medium of air for disbursal. Technically it is not even water vapor but wet vapor. I am just suggesting that the functional state of steam is so different that it bears almost no similarities to what one would consider water.


Well, they do say one man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens. Put another way, what the former considers to be an amazing discovery, the latter regards as an absurd result -- a reductio ad absurdum.

Consider the conditional (if P then Q) : "If Clark Kent is Superman then Clark Kent can fly"

The modus ponens (P therefore Q) advocate accepts the antecedent, P, and is thus compelled, like it or not, to accept the consequent, Q. In other words, she gasps, "Clark Kent is Superman therefore Clark Kent must be able to fly, even though it blows my mind". She's made, or at least she thinks she's made, an amazing discovery.

The modus tollens approach would be to snort and retort, "Don't be ridiculous. Clark Kent can't fly, therefore Clark Kent is not superman". Not Q therefore not P.

Seems to me that's roughly what's happening here. If the scientific reduction succeeds and water is nothing but H2O then anything that can be said of one can be said of the other (cf. Clark Kent and Superman), even if there may be some counterintuitive consequences of the kind you've adverted to above.

BiV, and perhaps yourself too, seem sympathic to the high (modus tollens) road in this case. I'll tak' the low myself.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on July 19th, 2018, 11:48 am 

Good stuff, Reggie. I am mostly playing Lucy's advocate, to sharpen the definitions a bit to show that vernacular usage of "water" is not a precise fit with what a chemical formula signifies. And note that ice cannot be pure H20. Water becomes supercooled liquid when it lacks impurities. It is the impurities that trigger crystallization and allow ice to form. Ice is "doped water that's been frozen." I guess the point, if any, is that science calls for a shiteload of qualifiers in its propositions.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 19th, 2018, 2:36 pm 

Colin,

After reading your post last night, one word popped into my hear (Over simplifications), as regards this conversation between you and BIV and to which I have taken various stabs, there is an interesting article "Water is not H2O" from a Stanford professor (Michael Weisberg). here <https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~weisberg//papers/waterfinal.pdf>

As for ice, water steam (vapor), ice and water can easily be referenced as H2O as they are generally purified concentrations. Steam though, whole H2O might be a component, is a vapor and a combination of elements, specifically H2O and air or a medium of some kind.

Under the thread "What is truth", you and BIV seem to be lost in the world of relative descriptives. Something of this might be found here <https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/names/>

"""""2.5 The Causal-Historical Theory of Reference
Kripke and Donnellan (and, anticipating them, Peter Geach 1969) offer an externalist alternative to the theory that cognitive significance determines reference (see the entry on externalism about mental content). Donnellan argues that an “omniscient being who sees the whole history of the affair” (1972, 355) is in better shape to determine the referent of a particular name than one who limits themselves to the (possibly distorted or attenuated) descriptive content associated with the name by a group of agents. Kripke (1980, 91) suggests that the reference of a name is established by a dubbing ceremony (or “baptism”) at which the dubee is indicated by a demonstration or uniquely referring description. All uses of the name that derive from this source (uses deriving from the baptism itself, or acquired from someone who was present at the baptism, or from someone who acquired it from someone who was present at the baptism, etc.) refer to the original dubee, even if the speaker associates the name with a description that is untrue of that dubee.

Evans (1973) offers the case of ‘Madagascar’ as a counterexample to Kripke's externalist theory. That name originally referred to a portion of mainland Africa, but its reference subsequently shifted to the island off the coast, as a result of a miscommunication propagated by Marco Polo. Despite the fact that there is a continuous “chain” of derived uses of the name ‘Madagascar’ going back to the baptism of the mainland, the name as used now refers to an island.

Kripke includes the following caveat in his account of the reference-passing links in a causal-historical chain:

When the name is ‘passed from link to link’, the receiver of the name must, I think, intend when he learns it to use it with the same reference as the man from whom he heard it. If I hear the name ‘Napoleon’ and decide it would be a nice name for my pet aardvark, I do not satisfy this condition. (Kripke 1980: 96)
Kripke's condition distinguishes reference-passing from what we might call “vehicle-passing” or etymological relation. It is the latter that Leigh Fermor chronicles in the following passage:"""""""

But and this is a big But, names, references, descriptives, can never come under the heading of TRUTH.

Truth remains localized within the essence of Being of a thing, the farther one moves outward with descriptives, the farther one is moving from "knowing" to "knowledge of" and "knowledge of", as the basis of science, carries with it the darkness of not knowing.

So knowledge, lighting up a flower in a garden, has a small circumference as it borders the darkness around it, add more knowledge which can be interpreted as an increase in descriptives, now we see a dozen flowers, and likewise the border abutting darkness grows. So it is said the more we learn, the more we realize we do not know.

So, the more you advance outwardly into descriptives (knowledge/science), the farther you move away from the "absolute" wherein lies the truth. Descriptives, names, denotations, are all bound in a "relative" reality which is abstract from the absolute nature of truth.

Neither "water" nor "H2O" can be truer than the other, they each bear relativity in their own way as they are both merely descriptives. "What is Truth" can only refer to the absolute of Being

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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on July 19th, 2018, 3:11 pm 


Truth remains localized within the essence of Being of a thing, the farther one moves outward with descriptives, the farther one is moving from "knowing" to "knowledge of" and "knowledge of", as the basis of science, carries with it the darkness of not knowing.

So knowledge, lighting up a flower in a garden, has a small circumference as it borders the darkness around it, add more knowledge which can be interpreted as an increase in descriptives, now we see a dozen flowers, and likewise the border abutting darkness grows. So it is said the more we learn, the more we realize we do not know.

So, the more you advance outwardly into descriptives (knowledge/science), the farther you move away from the "absolute" wherein lies the truth. Descriptives, names, denotations, are all bound in a "relative" reality which is abstract from the absolute nature of truth.

Neither "water" nor "H2O" can be truer than the other, they each bear relativity in their own way as they are both merely descriptives. "What is Truth" can only refer to the absolute of Being

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Pass the collection plate. Heh. (humour always appreciated)

Brent, I have no problem with your more contemplative approach to truth, but it does seem to depart from western analytic philosophy. Which is sort of the domain here for better or worse. Truly, I am not sure where a more mystical and revelatory perspective fits in here, but if you aren't getting much feedback you shouldn't take it personally. Some here may have more epistemic trust in the abstract, maybe.

I don't see why propositions about the external world cannot be grounded in empiricism. But maybe we need a broader sort of empiricism? More holistic?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 19th, 2018, 4:36 pm 

>>>>>Pass the collection plate. Heh. (humour always appreciated)<<<<<<

Well I would have dropped the mike but in a post it would not have the same humorous effect

>>>>>>Truly, I am not sure where a more mystical and revelatory perspective fits in here, but if you aren't getting much feedback you shouldn't take it personally. Some here may have more epistemic trust in the abstract, maybe.<<<<<

"Mystical" as it might refer to deep thinking rather than "mysticism" which implies some practice whereby one assumes to receive truth through some direct osmosis with the divine, if I have such an osmosis, it is tucked away in the nature of my being and I have no practical access to it. I could just as easily refer to myself as a philosopher extraordinaire, a theoretical philosopher perhaps, but really I have no idea what I am. I just tell people I am just good with discerning context.

And yes, I will probably spend most of my time tucked away in the odds and ends or in religion being told by others what I am and what I believe, but it is the story of my life, I don't fit with the theologians any better than the empiricals, (that should be a word), and not given to rote study means I sucked at school accept for hands on subjects.

But this thread was "truth" and there is nothing that pops my groundhog head out of the dirt more than that as I write poems about the subject. I might just hang around the outliers, over with the lepers, maybe I can crack a few eggs around here, or at least plant a few seeds.

>>>>>>But maybe we need a broader sort of empiricism?<<<<<<

Not sure if it's broader but Dirty Harry comes to mind, "A man's got to know his limitations"
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 19th, 2018, 7:16 pm 

Brent696 » July 20th, 2018, 3:36 am wrote:Under the thread "What is truth", you and BIV seem to be lost in the world of relative descriptives.


Also...

Brent696 » July 20th, 2018, 3:36 am wrote:[Brent's discussion of Kripke not reproduced here for brevity]

But and this is a big But, names, references, descriptives, can never come under the heading of TRUTH.



Quite right.

And quite frankly when I glance at the goings on in other threads that advert to truth, I frequently haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. Where I come from, a statement (or proposition) can be true or false, but not absolutely true or false. What is gained by the addition of "absolutely" is beyond me.

Now, one distinction that philosophers do commonly make is that between a priori statements ("all bachelors are unmarried" is the paradigm), whose truth or falsity can be known through reflection alone; and a posteriori statements (eg. "all bachelors are fat slobs"), whose truth or falsity can only be ascertained through empirical inquiry.

Another is the distinction between statements that are contingently true and those that are necessarily true.

The former would include a statement such as "Donald Trump is the 45th president of the USA"; true, but only contingently so. It might have been otherwise; there are 'possible worlds' where Trump is not the 45th president of the USA, or not president at all. Wish I lived in one of them!

The latter would include a statement such as "four is greater than three"; true, and necessarily so. It could not have been otherwise; there is no possible world where four is not greater than three.

Now, prior to Saul Kripke's rambunctious entrance, it was widely believed that the a priori-a posteriori distinction coincided with the necessary-contingent distinction. That is to say, it was thought that every a priori truth was a necessary truth, and vice versa. There are no a posteriori necessary truths. Or so it was supposed.

Kripke, followed by Putnam, rocked the boat by arguing compellingly that identity statements involving 'rigid designators' (proper names and natural kind terms) such as "Mark Twain is Samuel Clemens" and "water is H2O" are (assuming them to be true at all) necessarily true, yet a posteriori, i.e. true in every possible world but their truth can only be known through empirical investigation. (You will not learn the truth or falsity of these statements by closing your eyes and just thinking. It required an empirical discovery).

This is purportedly so since both names/terms in the identity statement are rigid designators; they pick out (i.e. refer to) the same thing/person in every possible world.

So, getting back to your comment above, That's why Braininvat, Kripke, Putnam and myself are living it up.

And what a swell party this is :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 19th, 2018, 8:59 pm 

>>>>>>>What is gained by the addition of "absolutely" is beyond me.<<<<<<<

To speak about such "absolutely"s, nothing, but we live by them, every kiss, every hug, every glass of water that quenches our thirst. We are absolutely truth in what we do, never in what we say.

>>>>>>>This is purportedly so since both names/terms in the identity statement are rigid designators; they pick out (i.e. refer to) the same thing/person in every possible world.<<<<<

Well in order to communicate at all we have to have some agreement as to how we define our terms, so in a relative world between truth and lies, reality and non-reality such designations are considered true.

But, and this is where I always get in trouble, "truth", to me, is understood as being beyond duality. We can have statements that are true relatively, or false relatively, but Truth, might be said to be anti-theoretical to a non-reality.

Relatively speaking, love and hate express the duality of true and false, but the "true" opposite of love is apathy, no feelings, neither love or hate.

But pay me no mind, you guys know how to have fun, I was just having a bit of fun too, floating around outside the box, taking the ole grey matter for a walk around the block hoping he don't poop on somebodies grass and I don't get yelled at. Apparently I'm too old for the kids table and to young to sit with the adults.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 19th, 2018, 9:16 pm 

Hi again, Brent,

One of the problems in a thread such as this one, I think, arises from equivocation between different meanings of the English word "truth" and its cognates.

It's certainly the case we all speak of "true love", for example, or my most recent date was a "true disaster". Here, I think, "true" is synonymous with "real". And, of course, "I am the Light and the Truth..."

The kind of "truth" that interests me, at least right now, is that property of assertive sentences (e.g. "the cat is on the mat") which is opposed to falsity.

You mentioned "relative truth". Not sure if we're on the same page here, but I have heard it asserted in these forums, for example, that a statement such as "I am hungry now" has no determinate truth value; it can be true or false depending on the person, context, etc.

Philosophers of language, in a case like this, appeal to "indexicals": words like "now", "I", "here", etc. whose referent does indeed depend on the context of utterance.

The single statement "I am hungry now", then, can express a variety of propositions. Once the indexicals are taken care of, each proposition thereby expressed will have a determinate truth value.

Or so the wise men say ...
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 19th, 2018, 9:41 pm 

Brent696 » July 20th, 2018, 9:59 am wrote:

But, and this is where I always get in trouble, "truth", to me, is understood as being beyond duality. We can have statements that are true relatively, or false relatively, but Truth, might be said to be anti-theoretical to a non-reality.



Well, give us an example. I'm quite willing to be persuaded. (Relativism is a lot more fun)

But read my post above first. Statements with no determinate truth value? Easy-peasy! Propositions with no determinate truth value? That's a lot tougher.

Brent696 » July 20th, 2018, 9:59 am wrote:

But pay me no mind, you guys know how to have fun, I was just having a bit of fun too, floating around outside the box, taking the ole grey matter for a walk around the block hoping he don't poop on somebodies grass and I don't get yelled at. Apparently I'm too old for the kids table and to young to sit with the adults.


You're welcome to join me in the sand-pit anytime, pal :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 20th, 2018, 12:53 pm 

"""""Brent696 » July 20th, 2018, 9:59 am wrote:

But, and this is where I always get in trouble, "truth", to me, is understood as being beyond duality. We can have statements that are true relatively, or false relatively, but Truth, might be said to be anti-theoretical to a non-reality. """""
>>>>Well, give us an example. I'm quite willing to be persuaded. (Relativism is a lot more fun)<<<<<

I'm not sure if you caught my distinctions but I use true, as in true or false, when referencing the relative, but Truth as I reference that which relates to Being. "True" is an adjective, "Truth" is a noun, (person, place, or thing)

"""true
adjective
1.
in accordance with fact or reality.
"a true story"""""

"""""truth
noun
noun: truth
the quality or state of being true.""""""

What would be a true opposite of a "state of being" but a "state of non-being", of course we live in a relative state of reality so most people don't think of absolutes. But a noun in general, person, place or thing, carries the anti-theoretical of non-person, non-place, or non-thing.

So "what is truth" does not fall into the place of an adjective as with true or false, but speaks to the Being as "Truth" refers to nothing but itself.

>>>>>>But read my post above first. Statements with no determinate truth value? Easy-peasy! Propositions with no determinate truth value? That's a lot tougher.<<<<<<<

you are using "truth" as an adjective, easy-peasy!

>>>>>>You're welcome to join me in the sand-pit anytime, pal :-)<<<<<<

Now we talked about this didn't we, kissing stubble ain't my thing ;-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby ronjanec on September 19th, 2018, 2:35 pm 

Without any intelligent life existing anywhere, the word “truth” would have absolutely no existence or meaning existing anywhere;

“Truth” is the 100% correct and perfect answer to any question man asks about anything, anyone, or any situation, and is also a 100% correct or perfect statement or observation man makes about anything, anyone, or any situation(Or is a perfect 100% correct interpretation of reality by man);
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Neri on September 22nd, 2018, 1:49 pm 

Whenever one makes a claim of any sort, he is necessarily making a claim about something independent of the existence of his own consciousness. But why is this so? The answer is quite simple.

It is preposterous to say either that the claim, “I do not exist,” or “it is false that I exist” is true, for in such case there would be no claim to begin with. Similarly, the claim “I exist” is necessarily true for the same reason. In other words, there can be no claim without a claimant. Accordingly, when one makes a claim of any sort, that claim necessarily involves something independent of the existence of his own consciousness.

But, what does it mean to make such a claim? It certainly does not mean that any claim must not in any way involve the participation of the claimant. Surely, one has the power to interact with the outside world, and the existence of those interactions is a fact independent of the existence of one’s own consciousness.

Take, for example the claim, “I did not kill Jones.” It cannot be the case that this claim can be both true and false. Either the claimant did or did not kill Jones. In other words, a claim cannot be both the case and not the case. To put it another way, a claim cannot both correspond to a fact and not correspond to a fact.

Because “I did not kill Jones” says no more than “it is not true that I killed Jones” does not change this reality. Because the use of the word “true” is not necessary to express the claim of innocence does not mean that truth is a superfluity. To say so reduces truth to something purely linguistic having no connection with whatever does or does not exist in the real world.

Take, for example, the following statement: “The moon exists.”

Either the moon exists or it does not. Whichever of the two is actually the case, we call “the truth.” There is nothing more to it than that.

The extent of our capability to know the truth should not be conflated with truth itself. There must be truths “out there,” whether we are capable of knowing them or not. In other words, truth has a meaning independent of our ability to grasp it and does not depend on the niceties of language. Rather language depends on the reality of truth.

Similarly, the question of when we are justified in accepting a claim as true, is quite separate from the question of the reality of truth itself and should be treated separately as should the question of our ability to know the truth. Accordingly, I will not treat these matters here but will wait for the appropriate occasion.

The question has been put forward—Is truth the property of a claim? Of course, the immediate answer would seem to be that it is such a property only if the claim is true. But the question goes deeper into the meaning of the expression, “property.”

A property in this context usually means an attribute, quality, or characteristic. If one employs this expression loosely, then truth is an attribute of all claims that are true.

If, on the other hand, by “property” one means the same perceptible characteristic found in different things, then truth would not be a property but would transcend all properties.

In other words, to speak of properties in this way one makes the necessarily implicit claim that it is true that certain things have properties that exist as independent realities. To put it differently, such properties depend on truth but truth, because it depends on nothing more than reality, is not a property in this sense. On the other hand, a property of this sort depends on truth, for a property that is not true is no property at all.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby ronjanec on September 22nd, 2018, 4:10 pm 

Neri,

“The extent of our capability to know the truth should not be conflated with truth itself” “There must be truths “out there”, whether we are capable of knowing them or not”;

And the same truths “out there”, actually/also equal a particular reality that exists independent of any observer: Or again, truth has no meaning (or need for) if no observer exists anywhere, there is only reality?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Neri on September 22nd, 2018, 9:24 pm 

Ronjanec,

Facts are real and do not depend on our claims that they are true. Truth is a construct of the mind in the sense that only a conscious mind can make a claim of anything. However, “truth” expresses the correspondence between a claim and a state of affairs in the world and as such gives us whatever understanding we may have of the world.

As I pointed out, this analysis only gives us the meaning of truth and does not tell us how we can come to know the truth or how we can judge whether or not a claim may be taken as true. I leave this for another day.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby ronjanec on September 23rd, 2018, 1:55 pm 

“Facts are real and do not depend on our claims that they are true” I again agree with what you have tried to say here Neri, and believe we are basically on the same page with this particular subject except for having different ways of saying this(One minor difference is that I use the word ”reality”much more frequently than you do in trying to explain my personal view of the meaning of “truth”)

A rather basic definition of the word “reality” could equal “the way things actually are”; Or, “it is what it is” to use a popular saying today. “Truth” is again basically just a correct interpretation of a particular ”reality” that an intelligent observer makes.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Braininvat on September 23rd, 2018, 3:30 pm 

Truth is an attribute of a proposition. A proposition is a sentence about a state of affairs. A theory of truth which asserts that truth depends on a relation between a sentence and a state of affairs is called a correspondence theory of truth. Russell, Husserl, and Wittgenstein all defended a correspondence theory. Truth, in this view, has no independent existence. It resides in our use of language to form propositions that correspond to a state of affairs. Reality is how it is. It is our sentences about reality that may have the quality of truth. Or not.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby davidm on September 23rd, 2018, 3:34 pm 

I agree with correspondence theory. More, propositions do not become true at a time, but rather are timelessly true.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Neri on September 26th, 2018, 12:16 am 

BIV et al.,

A claim is true if it corresponds to a fact. But what is a claim and what is a fact?

A claim is sometimes called a “proposition” or a “sentence.” It is a declaration of fact (hereinafter DF).

A DF is a claim that something has happened or is presently happening or that nothing has happened or presently happening. It can also be a declaration that something or someone was present or not at a certain time and place or that something exists or does not exist at all. A DF is ultimately supported by sensory data or the lack thereof.

A statement of a belief not directly or ultimately founded in the senses is not a declaration of fact.

A sentence may or may not be a DF.

An opinion is not a DF.

A prediction not based on a law of nature is not a DF.

Examples of Sentences that are DF’s--

(1) I killed Jones. I did not kill Jones.

(2) It rained yesterday. It did not rain yesterday

(3) The car is coming towards me now. The car is not coming towards me now.

(4) The melting of polar ice has occurred as predicted by the climatologists. The melting of polar ice has not occurred as predicted by the climatologists.

Some Examples of Sentences that are Not DF’s—

(1) How do you feel today?

(2) What time is it?

(3) I wish I were in Florida.

(4) May you rot in hell!

(5) Please put out the trash tomorrow.

Examples of the Statement of a Belief Not Ultimately Founded in the Senses—

(1) One cannot live forever unless one accepts Christ as his lord and savior.

(2) God made the world in six days.

(3) There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Examples of Opinions (not DF’s)--

(1) Donald Trump is the worse president in US history.

(2) The Republicans deserve to lose the House and Senate in the next election.

(3) Love will cure the ills of the world.

(4) Beethoven is the best composer that ever lived.

Examples of Predictions that are Not DF’s--

(1) The world will end in 2020.

(2) This winter will be the coldest in history.

(3) The Philadelphia Phillies will win the pennant in 2019.

Examples of Predictions that are DF’s:

(1) If I let go a cannon ball, it will fall to the earth.

(2) If I let go a cannon ball and a feather on the moon, they will fall to the surface at the same rate.

(3) If I point a loaded pistol two inches from your head and pull the trigger, you will surely die.

[Note: laws of nature are confirmed by what is essentially sensory data]

For obvious reasons, in order for any sentence to correspond to a fact, the sentence must be a DF.

But, what exactly is a fact?

A fact is (1) that which has actually happened or has not actually happened in the real world or (2) that which actually exists or does not actually exist in the real world.

A fact is the past or present condition (or the future condition if predicted by a law of nature) of the presence or absence of any aspect of the real world.

[I have argued in the past that there is no real difference between an event and a thing. However, for purposes of simplicity, I will not cover that here.]

One may well ask: What exactly does it mean that a claim corresponds to a fact?

A DF corresponds to a fact if it expresses the actual presence or absence of some aspect of reality that is instantly or ultimately susceptible to confirmation through the senses.

Examples:

(1) Smith was not present at the scene of Jones’ murder when he was killed. Smith was present at the scene of Jones’ murder when he was killed.

(2) A bear was on my property on 25th August of this year. A bear was not on my property on 25th August of this year.

(3) The Tooth Fairy does not exist. (The existence of which has never been experienced)

(4) The moon exists. (The existence of which is supported by irrefutable sensory data)

(5) The earth orbits the sun. (The existence of which is supported by a law of nature confirmed by sensory data.

The existence of a past or present condition in the real world, although not directly experienced, can be reasonably inferred from facts that are actually experienced. This is an example of a DF ultimately resting on sensory data. There are other examples.

The above analysis of correspondence presumes that the senses present to the mind what is real. As I have pointed out so often, if the senses did not have the ability to do this, they would be useless in the struggle for existence, and our species would have long ago become extinct.
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