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 14th, 2018, 5:55 am 

Braininvat » March 9th, 2018, 9:08 am wrote:

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.


I've been wondering about this comment, BiV.

I'm no expert, but as far as I can understand (and Quine isn't easy LOL) he would not deny truth per se, but only deny that individual statements can be true or false. His conception of truth was holistic, I believe, which is to say, bundles (for want of a better word) of statements can be true or false.

Furthermore, I'm not sure we can equate necessary truths with analytic truths, as you did above. Kripke famously argued, as you probably are aware, that certain necessary truths are known to us only a posteriori; for example that "water = H2O".

And if that's the case, shouldn't we say that "water = H20" (just as one example) is necessarily true, but not analytic?

Also, it's not obvious to me that metaphysics (however we define that) traffics in necessary truths, as you suggested above. I mean, choose your own metaphysical claim ("reality is matter in motion and nothing else"). True or false, or a load of bollocks haha, it does not seem necessarily so.

Supposing the claim is true, for the sake of argument, and to begrudgingly appeal to possible world semantics, could there not be possible worlds where reality is not merely matter in motion? And if so, the claim is not necessarily true. It's a truth in some worlds, but not others.

I'm probably confused again. Interested to hear your thoughts.

And where's Lomax when you need him?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on July 14th, 2018, 4:53 pm 

Reg_Prescott » July 13th, 2018, 9:33 pm wrote:Oh, and this is Reg Prescott....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo7l1QAe_es

Because he reminds me of my life: a bloody mess LOL

Oh dear... that was painful to watch... I had to stop after the finger.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 14th, 2018, 6:02 pm 

>>>>>>"water = H2O".<<<<<

I'm sure brain will answer you eventually, he doesn't mind being called brain does he, so the question is "what is truth" and I am looking at your equation and only seeing symbols. You might want to say this is true, but if I only spoke French would it still be true. Symbols are symbols, there is no truth in them, my perception of the word water might and probably is different than your perception of the word.

For truth, you ultimately have to go Helen Keller on it, holding the water "ITSELF" in your hands. Just as "itself" could not apply to the words, it apply only to "being". Anything else, words, formulas, are all abstract, they describe but are by nature are separated from the essence of the thing.

Metaphysics, and believe me spending my twenties in holistic health and the new age world this term is slovenly over used, I defined for my self as just another avenue to attain knowledge. Science today can measure things out, background radiation of the universe etc..and thus come to the conclusion the universe had a beginning,

Prior to this, a philosopher might have, by taking careful note of all things around him, seen that all things come and go, all things beginning and end, and although he might not have actually seen the sun die, yet he can, by the universality of finitude around us, infer all things have a beginning and an end. Has our knowledge of the universe has expanded greatly over the centuries, still this principle abides. So the rule is, "as below, so above" or the principle of correspondence. But this can be tricky, our visualization of the atom was generally a down sized version of the solar system, but that only speaks to the mechanical model of each system. To me that's a bit simplistic, metaphysics to me speaks of underlying purpose. More like when a painter paints a painting, so is there always something of himself reflected in the painting. By mechanical modeling, the nature of the brush strokes can be totally at odds with the landscape or what ever the painting depicts.

just some thoughts
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Re: What is truth?

Postby TheVat on July 14th, 2018, 6:26 pm 

Reggie, I confess I am not up on th Kripke h2o example, and am really rusty on Quine. I think you may be right that metaphysics does not require necessary truths, so I will have to rethink that comment from March. I confess I may have some troubles making a proper distinction between analytic and necessary truth. Give me some time. And hints always welcomed. Do you think it quietly and queerly querulous and quixotic of Quine to question the quantum quagmire of metaphysics?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 10:04 pm 

Braininvat » July 15th, 2018, 7:26 am wrote: Do you think it quietly and queerly querulous and quixotic of Quine to question the quantum quagmire of metaphysics?



Hahahahahah!

Stop that! I'm confused enough already, pal. :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 10:36 pm 

mitchellmckain » July 15th, 2018, 5:53 am wrote:
Reg_Prescott » July 13th, 2018, 9:33 pm wrote:Oh, and this is Reg Prescott....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo7l1QAe_es

Because he reminds me of my life: a bloody mess LOL

Oh dear... that was painful to watch... I had to stop after the finger.



Haha!!

Kenny Everett (who plays Reg Prescott) was a British DJ and comedian who was popular when I was a kid -- about 200 years ago.

Not sure if his handiwork made it across the pond. (You're American, right?)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 10:44 pm 

Brent696 » July 15th, 2018, 7:02 am wrote:>>>>>>"water = H2O".<<<<<

I'm sure brain will answer you eventually, he doesn't mind being called brain does he, so the question is "what is truth" and I am looking at your equation and only seeing symbols. You might want to say this is true, but if I only spoke French would it still be true. Symbols are symbols, there is no truth in them, my perception of the word water might and probably is different than your perception of the word.


Hi Brent.

Well, you could simply restate the claim ("water = H20") in natural language; i.e., "water is H20".

I think philosophers tend to prefer the former version to avoid the ambiguity in the English verb "is". By that I mean, to avoid the ambiguity between the "is" of predication ("Frank Sinatra is American") and the "is" of identity ("Frank Sinatra is God").
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 10:51 pm 

Brent696 » July 15th, 2018, 7:02 am wrote:>>>>>>"water = H2O".<<<<<

I'm sure brain will answer you eventually, he doesn't mind being called brain does he, so the question is "what is truth" and I am looking at your equation and only seeing symbols. You might want to say this is true, but if I only spoke French would it still be true. Symbols are symbols, there is no truth in them, my perception of the word water might and probably is different than your perception of the word.



Surely this can't be right, Brent. Take any statement like, say:

"Frank Sinatra was born in New Jersey"

Now, "Frank Sinatra" (note the inverted commas) we might say is a symbol that refers to a particular dude, namely, Frank Sinatra (note no inverted commas).

Same goes for "New Jersey" and New Jersey.

Is the statement true? I'd bet on it.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 14th, 2018, 11:00 pm 

>>>>>>Well, you could simply restate the claim ("water = H20") in natural language; i.e., "water is H20".

I think philosophers tend to prefer the former version to avoid the ambiguity in the English verb "is". By that I mean, to avoid the ambiguity between the "is" of predication ("Frank Sinatra is American") and the "is" of identity ("Frank Sinatra is God").<<<<<<

"Is" would not matter, and perhaps "water" is not H2O, never has been, never will be, they are only letters, squiggly lines they hopefully we have some agreement as to what they might mean, even H2O is not water, never has been, never will be. ((((This is where if you were actually standing in front of me I throw a glass full of water in your face and then I can't even say "that is water" because "that" would only be the words coming out of my mouth, but nevertheless you would be experiencing water first hand, and the wetness upon your face, the reality of your experience, then you would truly know the truth that is water.

That was fun to write, Hey, you might have got that, but you didn't express it back, so I thought I would reiterate. Maybe philosophers actually start thinking that their thoughts are actually real.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 11:02 pm 

[quote="Brent696 » July 15th, 2018, 12:00 pm Maybe philosophers actually start thinking that their thoughts are actually real.[/quote]


Keeps them off the streets, I suppose.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 11:11 pm 

[quote="Brent696 » July 15th, 2018, 12:00 pm

"Is" would not matter, and perhaps "water" is not H2O, never has been, never will be, .[/quote]


This is where we have to be very careful. Of course, what you said above is true, but confused I think (and aren't we all?).

"water" (note the quotes) is a word, or a symbol if you prefer. It has five letters.

Water (no quotes) is a liquid at room temperature that some losers drink. I prefer beer. It doesn't have any letters. We're told it is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.

So, of course your statement is true: a symbol is not a chemical substance: it refers to a chemical substance.

(sorry for messing up the quote function. It was a long night. Haha!)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 14th, 2018, 11:29 pm 

>>>>>>>Water (no quotes) is a liquid at room temperature that some losers drink.<<<<<<<

Then if you are ever dying of thirst out at sea (as I don't think there are any deserts where you are), just give me a call and I will text you some water
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 14th, 2018, 11:31 pm 

Brent696 » July 15th, 2018, 12:29 pm wrote:>>>>>>>Water (no quotes) is a liquid at room temperature that some losers drink.<<<<<<<

Then if you are ever dying of thirst out at sea (as I don't think there are any deserts where you are), just give me a call and I will text you some water



Hahaha!
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Re: What is truth?

Postby TheVat on July 15th, 2018, 11:13 am 

Water is H2O -

Yes, the truth here is so dependent on precise meanings we attach to word/symbol. If we mean that "we tested a glass of water and discovered it was hydrogen and oxygen atoms arranged in twisty triangles, " then we have an a posteriori and synthetic truth. And it's not a necessary truth (in the philosophers meaning) because someone in another solar system - or another universe - could have a drink called water, and testing might find it's NH3. So, one version of our sentence seems entirely inductive. We know its truth because lots of water was examined.

OTOH, the sentence could mean "H2O is called water. H2O and water are two symbols that we agree mean the same thing. Or, if they are used differently according to context, we still know they refer to the same stuff." In that case, the statement is analytic. But not, again, necessary. There can obviously be worlds where another word refers to H2O. France, for example. Or Vulcan. (you couldn't pronounce it)

So, the trick, it seems to me, is to know if a sentence has a clearly implied inductive basis. On common parlance, we agree that "water is H2O" does. We are presenting a discovered truth, a contingent truth, an a posteriori truth, one that was teased out of the world by cracking open water and seeing what came out. Per Quine, the statement would reside in a nest of relevant observations and statements about hydrogen, oxygen, electrolysis, atomic weights, emergent properties, van der Waals forces, anisotropy, etc.

And it makes no metaphysical statement. Because there could be another universe where H2O is, despite being potable and having the same molecular structure and seeming to be like our water in every way, is in fact subtly different in being composed of elementary particles that somehow are not quite like our electrons and quarks and gluons. Or the universe could be composed of antimatter.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:20 am 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:Water is H2O -

Yes, the truth here is so dependent on precise meanings we attach to word/symbol. If we mean that "we tested a glass of water and discovered it was hydrogen and oxygen atoms arranged in twisty triangles, " then we have an a posteriori and synthetic truth. And it's not a necessary truth (in the philosophers meaning) because someone in another solar system - or another universe - could have a drink called water, and testing might find it's NH3. So, one version of our sentence seems entirely inductive. We know its truth because lots of water was examined.



Ahhhhhh!!!!!!

Kripke says otherwise, me old pal.

If water is indeed H20 (as in, you scientists haven't screwed up), then it it necessarily true that water is H20: "water" and "H20" are two names for the same thing; they are co-referential. And a thing cannot not be itself, right?

In Kripke's jargon, they are rigid designators; names that refer to the same thing in every possible world, or at least those in which water exists.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:23 am 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:
"And it's not a necessary truth (in the philosophers meaning) because someone in another solar system - or another universe - could have a drink called water, and testing might find it's NH3.




But that would not be water. That would be what they call "water".

You can call my beer a "kangaroo" if you like. It's still beer.

Gosh, I love this crap :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:30 am 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:

So, the trick, it seems to me, is to know if a sentence has a clearly implied inductive basis. On common parlance, we agree that "water is H2O" does. We are presenting a discovered truth, a contingent truth, an a posteriori truth, one that was teased out of the world by cracking open water and seeing what came out.
.




Not a contingent truth, at least if you believe Kripke (and I do).

If water is indeed H20 then "water" and "H20" are two names for the same thing. If water is H20, then how can water not be water, H20 not be H20, and water not be H20?

And I may have to commit suicide over quote function incompetence.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:35 am 

The way Kripke explains this is: if you think you can imagine a world where water is not H20, your intuitions have led you astray.

What you are imagining is a world where what is called "water" is not (our) water.

That's not water (assuming the scientists have got this right). Water is H20 and a thing cannot not be itself.

What they call "water" refers to something else. Millers Lite perhaps.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby mitchellmckain on July 15th, 2018, 11:40 am 

Reg_Prescott » July 15th, 2018, 10:23 am wrote:
Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:"And it's not a necessary truth (in the philosophers meaning) because someone in another solar system - or another universe - could have a drink called water, and testing might find it's NH3.




But that would not be water. That would be what they call "water".

You can call my beer a "kangaroo" if you like. It's still beer.

Gosh, I love this crap :-)

Reg_Prescott » July 15th, 2018, 10:30 am wrote:
Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:
So, the trick, it seems to me, is to know if a sentence has a clearly implied inductive basis. On common parlance, we agree that "water is H2O" does. We are presenting a discovered truth, a contingent truth, an a posteriori truth, one that was teased out of the world by cracking open water and seeing what came out.
.


And I may have to commit suicide over quote function incompetence.

Once again you dropped the last two characters "] both times stopping at the end of the url function rather than the end of the quote function.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:42 am 

Thanks, Mitchell.

Kripke gets me too excited, :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 11:49 am 

Just corrected all the quote butchery LOL

Thank you again, Mitchell. It works!
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Re: What is truth?

Postby TheVat on July 15th, 2018, 12:52 pm 

Reg, I remember Kripke and his arguing that the sentence is analytic and necessary truth. I think he's cheating a little with his semantics. Water, as the word is used generally (performative) only means "the basic potable liquid around here." Speech is ACTION, not a rigid citation of esoteric scientific assumptions. One must look at the speaker. "water is H2O" would only be a boring tautology if it were not intended to be an inductive report on the local potable. That's why Zork can say, "where I come from, water is NH3" and we understand what he means.

If water ONLY meant H2O then all those folks in the pre-1700s would have been going about spewing nonsense syllables. But they weren't. Because water isn't a rigid designator that only exists after 1772 when Scheele discovered oxygen.

I can not only imagine worlds where water is not H2O, I can find them. Because meaning shifts under the pressure of induction and the habits of verbal action. Kripke is stipulating something about words that no one is obligated to agree with.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 12:58 pm 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:Reg, I remember Kripke and his arguing that the sentence is analytic and necessary truth. I think he's cheating a little with his semantics. Water, as the word is used generally (performative) only means "the basic potable liquid around here." Speech is ACTION, not a rigid citation of esoteric scientific assumptions. One must look at the speaker. "water is H2O" would only be a boring tautology if it were not intended to be an inductive report on the local potable. That's why Zork can say, "where I come from, water is NH3" and we understand what he means.

If water ONLY meant H2O then all those folks in the pre-1700s would have been going about spewing nonsense syllables. But they weren't. Because water isn't a rigid designator that only exists after 1772 when Scheele discovered oxygen.

I can not only imagine worlds where water is not H2O, I can find them. Because meaning shifts under the pressure of induction and the habits of verbal action. Kripke is stipulating something about words that no one is obligated to agree with.


I disagree but can't think of a counterargument.

See you tomorrow LOL.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 15th, 2018, 1:34 pm 

This first part down to "reflections" is taken from Wiki but formatted a bit.

In 'Lecture III', Kripke discusses natural kinds, develops the distinction between epistemic and metaphysical necessity, and discusses the mind–body problem in philosophy of mind.
Kripke begins by summarising the conclusions drawn in the first two lectures.

First, the referent of names is not usually fixed by some property or set of properties that the speaker believes are possessed by the thing or person named. Instead, the referent of names is usually determined by a series of causal links between people who have used the name.

Second, when the referent of a name is determined by a property attributed to the thing named, the link is contingent, rather than necessary or essential. People begin using the name 'Jack the Ripper' to refer to the person responsible for the murder of five women in London. So, the name was fixed to its referent by a description.

(However, the person who carried out the murders might have been jailed for another crime and, thus, might never have had the property of murdering those women. So, the link between the property of being a murderer and the person referred to is contingent.)

Third, identity is not a relation that holds between names. It is a relation that holds between an object and itself. When someone accurately claims that two names refer to the same object, the claim is necessarily true, even though it may be known a posteriori.

(Thus, Kripke claims to have successfully refuted the assumption made by everyone before him that anything that is necessarily true will be known a priori (i.e. Immanuel Kant 1781/1787).)

Importance:
In Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century: Volume 2: The Age of Meaning, Scott Soames wrote:

In the philosophy of language, Naming and Necessity is among the most important works ever, ranking with the classical work of Frege in the late nineteenth century, and of Russell, Tarski and Wittgenstein in the first half of the twentieth century . . . Naming and Necessity played a large role in the implicit, but widespread, rejection of the view—so popular among ordinary language philosophers—that philosophy is nothing more than the analysis of language

Reflections on point
Number one: Names are abstracts determined only as two or more parties might agree upon a mutual definition. So "a name" has no inherent affiliation with the reality it hopes to reference.

Number two: Names can be even more abstract as they can refer to a collection of data points that might or might not be related to one another.

Number three: A child may know a man as father and a wife know the same man as David, both are true in the sense of posteriori (experientially). "Identity", the truth of something, is merely as that object relates to itself.

In number three here, he seems to be separating the name, which is merely a distinction, from the essential essence which is where the "truth" would lie.

On a side note, names as they relate to people, do so by contrast, in calling me Brent, you are likewise asserting I am not Colin, or Brain or whoever. The name of God as YHWH, or I am that I am, is not a name as we have but is a picture or description of essence. So "water" might be a name of agreement, H2O a name as a describing essence, but "Identity", that which is the "truth" of a thing, lies only within itself, which is where I would come back to stating that "truth" lies in the essential reality itself.

Just some thoughts
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 15th, 2018, 3:06 pm 

Brent696 » July 16th, 2018, 2:34 am wrote:This first part down to "reflections" is taken from Wiki but formatted a bit.

In 'Lecture III', Kripke discusses natural kinds, develops the distinction between epistemic and metaphysical necessity



That's exactly where I think Braininvat (with all due respect) is going wrong when he says water might have turned out to be H3O (or whatever): failing to distinguish between metaphysical necessity and epistemic necessity.

Is it possible we might have mistakenly thought water is not H20? Of course.

Is it possible (assuming the scientists got it right) that water is not H20? Of course not. How can a thing not be itself?
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Brent696 on July 16th, 2018, 12:17 am 

>>>>>>>How can a thing not be itself?<<<<<<<

When it sits upon the lap of the ventriloquist......

Well, Colin, any hope I had of this place being superior to BUE, are being sorely tried. But to be fair, I am a bit difficult to get by common standards, as I have spent far more time outside the box. eh, forums are forums I guess. You can check out my "sound from silence" post over in anything philosophical, not the responses but the post itself, it is a bit of philosophical poetry.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby BadgerJelly on July 16th, 2018, 1:38 am 

Just like flourine water doesn’t exist (well, I am exaggerating) either way don’t go drinking too much pure water if you wish to remain healthy.

“Water,” like a great many words, serves its main purpose as a none techical term to communicate a common physical need. Whether it runs under some metaphorical bridge or off a ducks back, the meaning suits the circumstance of the conversation. Idiotic conflation to merely disagree for the sake of disagreeing should be easily avoided if people wish to be more concise with their line of questioning and explication.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby Reg_Prescott on July 16th, 2018, 6:50 am 

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:Reg, I remember Kripke and his arguing that the sentence is analytic and necessary truth.


Hey again, BiV. He certainly considers the statement ("water is H2O" and similar examples of scientific reduction like heat being molecular motion) to be a necessary truth, assuming that it is a truth in the first place (i.e., the scientists haven't got this wrong). I don't recall offhand -- assuming he even articulated it -- his position on whether the statement is analytic or synthetic.

It seems obscure to me, though, to suggest, as you do, that the statement is analytic. After all, this is surely not the kind of statement whose truth can be known simply by thinking about it, like the standard "vixens are female foxes" cases where a competence in the English language alone is sufficient to see the truth. If "water is H2O" and similar statements, were analytic, science exams would never be easier! No homework would be required, at least with regard to the kind of reductive identity statements we've been examining here.

Discovering that water is H20 requires empirical investigation; discovering that vixens are female foxes does not. Maybe I'm confused...

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:I think he's cheating a little with his semantics. Water, as the word is used generally (performative) only means "the basic potable liquid around here.

Again, this doesn't seem right to me. That which is water is surely not limited to a particular vicinity -- "around here" -- of the universe.

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:That's why Zork can say, "where I come from, water is NH3" and we understand what he means.

We can understand what he means, namely, what he calls "water" is NH3. His word "water" has a different referent from ours. Science tells us that water is H20, and NH3 -- what Zork calls "water" -- is not water. If by chance there is a word in Swahili pronounced "water" but which refers to the element mercury, for instance, surely we don't want to say that what they call "water" is water.

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:If water ONLY meant H2O then all those folks in the pre-1700s would have been going about spewing nonsense syllables.

I don't see this at all. They were simply unaware of the underlying chemical structure of water. Surely we can talk meaningfully about a disease such as Ebola, say, even before its underlying viral or bacterial (or whatever) basis has been identified by science.

Braininvat » July 16th, 2018, 1:52 am wrote:I can not only imagine worlds where water is not H2O, I can find them.


Well, again I have to differ. Kripke argues compellingly, in my opinion anyway, that if a person thinks she can imagine a world where water is not H2O -- and prior to a little reflection, it does seem that we can do this -- that person is simply confused.

Take one of Putnam's "Twin Earth" type examples. Imagine a world where there is a substance superficially indistinguishable from (our) water: it falls from the sky, fills lakes and rivers, quenches thirst, etc, etc. To continue the thought experiment, let's send a team of scientists there. Imagine their delight on arrival at dicovering the abundance of (what they initially take to be) water. They might send a message back to NASA saying, "There's lots of water here. Yippee!"

But closer scientific examination reveals that what they took to be water actually has the chemical structure NH3, or whatever. What do your intuitions tell you would be the upshot:

1. They'd say "What we thought was water here turns out not to be", or

2. They'd say "We've learned that water comes in two varieties: H2O and NH3"

My own intuition is -- overwhelmingly -- that they would take the first path. How about you?

Now, if you agree, then when you thought you were imagining a world where water is not H20, you actually weren't. What you were imagining is a world where there exists a substance superficially indistinguishable from water, yet is not water.

Next, if conceivabilty is a reliable guide to possibility, then Kripke is right and there is no possible world in which water is not H2O. In other words the statement "water is H20" is indeed a necessary truth.

A couple of final remarks, BiV:

(i) None of this is of any great importance to me. I just find it of intrinsic interest, mentally stimulating, and I enjoy our exchanges.

(ii) It might be of importance to you, though, being the advocate of scientific realism that you are. If you want to argue, as I think you do, that scientific theories progressively approach truth, you'd better have a theory of language that ensures fixity of reference through theory change. And that's what Kripke and Putnam provide. In other words, you would like to argue, I think, that even though Dalton, Bohr, Rutherford and all the rest (just to choose one example) may have attributed different properties to atoms, nonetheless they were all talking about the same thing. The referent of the term "atom" has remained stable.

Watch out or you'll have hounds like Kuhn and Feyerabend barking at your door. :-)
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Re: What is truth?

Postby TheVat on July 16th, 2018, 9:34 am 

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.

Our 17th century man speaks and says water. He refers to quenching stuff that's wet and falls from the sky. He does not refer to hydrogen atoms or oxygen atoms. That's not the bundle of properties he means. He could be in a supercomputer that has virtually recreated the 17th century, but lacks any details about atoms in its virtually coded physics. Water is just code, ones and zeros, that tells the Earl of Oxford his thirst will go away. He is not referring to that code, either.

No one says, please pass me that aggregation of quarks and electrons which are nothing but interacting fields which are apparently made out of force, whatever that is. Our world is one of holisms, which tend to have bundles of sensation that are far removed from a reductionist account of reality.
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Re: What is truth?

Postby TheVat on July 16th, 2018, 9:45 am 

Release the hounds!

I've always wanted to say that. Cheers.
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