What is truth?

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creativesoul
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Re: What is truth?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:57 am

Greta wrote:
creativesoul wrote:Greta seems to be using the term "truth" as reality, they way things are, states of affairs, etc. While this makes perfect sense in many conversations, it is found to be sorely lacking when it comes to talking about what sorts of things can be true and what makes them so.
One hopes that when talking of what kinds of things can be true and what makes them so, that those discussions are grounded on prosaic facts of today's reality...


Hmmm. I'm left wondering if I understand what sense of "fact" you're using here. Seeing how the statement above necessarily presupposes there being more than one, I suspect that what you're calling "facts" are what I call "states of affairs".


...Otherwise we might find ourselves declaring this, that or the other to be "just an illusion". Or we fight figure that the likelihood of us actually being brains in vats or just simulations run by advanced future beings is greater than us simply existing as is.
Interesting topics in their own rights...

In my experience, declaring this that or the other "just an illusion" is philosophically dead in the water, and...

Brain in a vat hypotheticals are nothing more than what can happen when one fails to properly take account of the necessary and sufficient conditions for thought/belief about the world and/or ourselves. A brain is necessary but insufficient.

gurugeorge
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Re: What is truth?

Post by gurugeorge » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:50 am

raw_thought wrote:The common sense understanding of truth is the correspondence theory of truth. From now on referred to as CTT.
If the CTT is true,what does it refer to? Another CTT? Depending on your perspective that is a tautology or an infinite regress. So what is truth?
PS;The CTT is the theory that a proposition is true if it corresponds to a fact.
Well, using "fact" is ok, but it makes more sense to think of it as correspondence to a mind-independent reality. (Ofc this doesn't mean reality never touches mind in some sense - if it didn't, it couldn't be noticed - just that it's metaphysically independent of the consciousness that perceives it, of thoughts, wishes, hopes, etc.)

Fact, given, datum are pretty much the same thing, but when you're talking about correspondence, you're talking about reality not as it relates to the mind (in terms of being given, found, etc.), but wrt the way it's fundamentally, metaphysically independent of the mind (which is what makes it possible for it to be given, found, etc.). Idealists could talk about facts, data, and the given too, but they can't talk about correspondence.

Btw, there's been a whole lot of confusion in the way that people have opposed "correspondence" with "coherence", they're actually just aspects of the same thing. A fact that corresponds to reality also fits in logically with the rest of reality.

Re. infinite regress, there's no such problem, because all you're doing is seeing whether a thing is behaving the way the application of the concepts to it (in the particular way the proposition mixes them) predicts it would behave; if it does, then the application of the concepts in that way in the proposition are true, trustworthy.

The etymology is interesting here because it loosely shows the logic of development of the concept to some extent. First of all there's trustworthiness of the behaviour of stuff (which is what concept-formation picks up on), then there's trustworthiness of the behaviour of talking about stuff (which is what propositional language picks up on, by combining concepts). The etymology of "belief" is also connected with trust.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:30 pm

gurugeorge wrote:Btw, there's been a whole lot of confusion in the way that people have opposed "correspondence" with "coherence", they're actually just aspects of the same thing. A fact that corresponds to reality also fits in logically with the rest of reality.
Coherence is often taken to be coherence with the set of beliefs that one is assigning "T" to.

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Greta
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Greta » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:20 pm

creativesoul wrote:In my experience, declaring this that or the other "just an illusion" is philosophically dead in the water, and...

Brain in a vat hypotheticals are nothing more than what can happen when one fails to properly take account of the necessary and sufficient conditions for thought/belief about the world and/or ourselves. A brain is necessary but insufficient.
The above is a commonsense approach, neither over-excited by the idea of being let off the hook by a reality that's really just pretending [sic], nor convinced by blind reductionism.

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Merlinow
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Merlinow » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:06 am

It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these. 'Subjective truths' exist only inside our skins so they cannot be proven to others. These private and personal truths can be experienced with an extremely high degree of inner certainty, however, precisely because they are known only to ourselves—intimately, uniquely and directly. They may explain certain realities or capture critical personal realizations and deeply moving experiences more powerfully than any outer explanations possibly can. They may remain as vividly experienced 'inner knowings' that animate us or ignite our vision and imagination, remaining free of the need for outward expression or any impassioned drive to prove them to anyone else.

Others may resonate to our internal truths as strikingly similar to their internal experiential knowing and agree that what we claim to be true rings true for them as well. Or, of course, they may disagree with profound certainty in conformance with the different 'truths' existing inside their own skins. This may not decrease the conviction we have in our own inner truth one whit, as the other person's uniquely personal views do not account for our own differing experiences and personal convictions.

'Objective truths' pointing to some 'reality' or territory outside our skins, possibly can be verified, proven, demonstrated or least clearly presented to others.

'Objective truths' are couched in words (and perhaps other symbols) as a necessity of expression, in order to share them with others 'outside our skin'. These spoken or written formulations are never the reality, facts or territory itself. The words point to the territory, serving as verbal maps. The degree to which they accurately correspond to the structure of the actual terrain indicates how true they are. Our word-maps are never the terrain itself; our statements can never be identical to what we're using our words to point to or describe. And since the dynamic territory (which is not words) remains in a process of continual change, our 'finished' statements of truth tend to become less accurate or less true over time.

Whatever we 'say' the truth is, 'the truth itself' is not the words we use to describe it. That same 'truth' can be 'accurately' described in many different ways and in many different languages. So anything we claim as true, in words, can only be true to some degree of probability. At best what we say can be considered as very highly probable. It remains what we say about reality rather than reality itself. We make maps of reality, including verbal maps, in order to construct our individual worldviews. Our uniquely individual worldviews become their own truth, which again emphasizes the extreme importance of consistently distinguishing between inside and outside our skins.

While most of us can quickly and easily agree on simple objective facts like 'the bathroom door is now closed' or 'Jack is wearing black shoes this morning', certain other types of 'objective reality' may require some training and experience to even perceive 'accurately'.

Scientific 'truth' is also fleeting yet there does seem to be a 'spirit of truth' that either resonates deeply and soundly within us more or less, or feels 'off'. Many 'truths' have nothing to do with 'logic'. So 'truth' has a general direction we can pursue step by step, yet there are definitely contradictory truths that can be 'true at the same time' even though they contradict each other.

The existence of lies, deceptions, frauds, half-truths, misinformation, disinformation and distorting propaganda remain far easier to recognize and reach broad agreement about, once they have been exposed, explained and documented. Is this last statement actually true? No, not really. It sounds true, yet some people have almost no ability to see past their own biases to recognize anything outside their own skins. They cling to their existing views at any cost. They are trapped in their fixed and unchanging 'habits of thought'.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:53 am

Merlinow wrote:It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these. 'Subjective truths' exist only inside our skins so they cannot be proven to others. These private and personal truths can be experienced with an extremely high degree of inner certainty, however, precisely because they are known only to ourselves—intimately, uniquely and directly. They may explain certain realities or capture critical personal realizations and deeply moving experiences more powerfully than any outer explanations possibly can. They may remain as vividly experienced 'inner knowings' that animate us or ignite our vision and imagination, remaining free of the need for outward expression or any impassioned drive to prove them to anyone else.

Others may resonate to our internal truths as strikingly similar to their internal experiential knowing and agree that what we claim to be true rings true for them as well. Or, of course, they may disagree with profound certainty in conformance with the different 'truths' existing inside their own skins. This may not decrease the conviction we have in our own inner truth one whit, as the other person's uniquely personal views do not account for our own differing experiences and personal convictions.

'Objective truths' pointing to some 'reality' or territory outside our skins, possibly can be verified, proven, demonstrated or least clearly presented to others.

'Objective truths' are couched in words (and perhaps other symbols) as a necessity of expression, in order to share them with others 'outside our skin'. These spoken or written formulations are never the reality, facts or territory itself. The words point to the territory, serving as verbal maps. The degree to which they accurately correspond to the structure of the actual terrain indicates how true they are. Our word-maps are never the terrain itself; our statements can never be identical to what we're using our words to point to or describe. And since the dynamic territory (which is not words) remains in a process of continual change, our 'finished' statements of truth tend to become less accurate or less true over time.

Whatever we 'say' the truth is, 'the truth itself' is not the words we use to describe it. That same 'truth' can be 'accurately' described in many different ways and in many different languages. So anything we claim as true, in words, can only be true to some degree of probability. At best what we say can be considered as very highly probable. It remains what we say about reality rather than reality itself. We make maps of reality, including verbal maps, in order to construct our individual worldviews. Our uniquely individual worldviews become their own truth, which again emphasizes the extreme importance of consistently distinguishing between inside and outside our skins.

While most of us can quickly and easily agree on simple objective facts like 'the bathroom door is now closed' or 'Jack is wearing black shoes this morning', certain other types of 'objective reality' may require some training and experience to even perceive 'accurately'.

Scientific 'truth' is also fleeting yet there does seem to be a 'spirit of truth' that either resonates deeply and soundly within us more or less, or feels 'off'. Many 'truths' have nothing to do with 'logic'. So 'truth' has a general direction we can pursue step by step, yet there are definitely contradictory truths that can be 'true at the same time' even though they contradict each other.

The existence of lies, deceptions, frauds, half-truths, misinformation, disinformation and distorting propaganda remain far easier to recognize and reach broad agreement about, once they have been exposed, explained and documented. Is this last statement actually true? No, not really. It sounds true, yet some people have almost no ability to see past their own biases to recognize anything outside their own skins. They cling to their existing views at any cost. They are trapped in their fixed and unchanging 'habits of thought'.
Do you have a point to make?

creativesoul
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Re: What is truth?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:32 am

Merlinow wrote:It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these. 'Subjective truths' exist only inside our skins so they cannot be proven to others. These private and personal truths can be experienced with an extremely high degree of inner certainty, however, precisely because they are known only to ourselves—intimately, uniquely and directly. They may explain certain realities or capture critical personal realizations and deeply moving experiences more powerfully than any outer explanations possibly can. They may remain as vividly experienced 'inner knowings' that animate us or ignite our vision and imagination, remaining free of the need for outward expression or any impassioned drive to prove them to anyone else.
What do these inner truths consist in/of if not language? Language is social. Social is outside our skin. Right?

:?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:50 pm

Merlinow wrote:It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these.
You're confusing what a proposition is about, the "topic," basically, or the extension of the terms involved, with what truth is ontologically. Truth, ontologically, is not identical to what propositions are about.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:51 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Merlinow wrote:It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these. 'Subjective truths' exist only inside our skins so they cannot be proven to others. These private and personal truths can be experienced with an extremely high degree of inner certainty, however, precisely because they are known only to ourselves—intimately, uniquely and directly. They may explain certain realities or capture critical personal realizations and deeply moving experiences more powerfully than any outer explanations possibly can. They may remain as vividly experienced 'inner knowings' that animate us or ignite our vision and imagination, remaining free of the need for outward expression or any impassioned drive to prove them to anyone else.
What do these inner truths consist in/of if not language? Language is social. Social is outside our skin. Right?

:?
Meaning is an important part of language and not at all outside of our skin.

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henry quirk
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as I said way back when...

Post by henry quirk » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:12 pm

...truth = true = fact = that which 'is', independent of what you (or I) think (or feel) about it.

Another definition is pickin' at nits.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: as I said way back when...

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:24 pm

henry quirk wrote:...truth = true = fact = that which 'is', independent of what you (or I) think (or feel) about it.

Another definition is pickin' at nits.
Yeah - for the simple minded.
The trouble starts before you even utter your first word. No statement is the same as what is the case. No word used in any statement is unambiguous, and contains connotations to add to your denotations. Any any statements is by its nature selective.
I imagine that most of this is going over your head.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:43 pm

"simple minded"

Absolutely guilty.


Must awfully terrible for an enlightened creature such as yourself.

The day-to-day a simple primitive like myself just gets through without much of a problem must be agonizing for you.

The constant second and third and fourth guessing of yourself and every-one and -thing around you...the incessant dissecting of all that 'is' to determine whether what 'is' actually 'is'...quite a cross to bear.

Better you than me.

thedoc
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Re: What is truth?

Post by thedoc » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:20 pm

All that guessing and dissecting must be very wearing on the spirit, it would make someone grumpy at times.

creativesoul
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Re: What is truth?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:00 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
Merlinow wrote:It's important to distinguish between inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') truths and not to confuse these. 'Subjective truths' exist only inside our skins so they cannot be proven to others. These private and personal truths can be experienced with an extremely high degree of inner certainty, however, precisely because they are known only to ourselves—intimately, uniquely and directly. They may explain certain realities or capture critical personal realizations and deeply moving experiences more powerfully than any outer explanations possibly can. They may remain as vividly experienced 'inner knowings' that animate us or ignite our vision and imagination, remaining free of the need for outward expression or any impassioned drive to prove them to anyone else.
What do these inner truths consist in/of if not language? Language is social. Social is outside our skin. Right?

:?
Meaning is an important part of language and not at all outside of our skin.
That's what you claim. You also claim that there is no such a thing as shared meaning. Here's a riddle for you...

A book can be read on several different occasions by thousands of different people, and those people will answer many many questions about the book in the same way. How can that be the case if what you say is true?

:?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:15 am

creativesoul wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
What do these inner truths consist in/of if not language? Language is social. Social is outside our skin. Right?

:?
Meaning is an important part of language and not at all outside of our skin.
That's what you claim. You also claim that there is no such a thing as shared meaning. Here's a riddle for you...

A book can be read on several different occasions by thousands of different people, and those people will answer many many questions about the book in the same way. How can that be the case if what you say is true?

:?
That does not mean that truth is extra-somatic. It simply means people can agree about the content of a book. I think it is not unreasonable to call that shared meaning, as long as you do not assert that the meaning is somehow contained in the pages, for without the reader the book is meaningless; without the 'shared' language the book is gibberish; and without people, people that define what a book, is the book is not even a book, but a collection of atoms.
The other thing you might like to consider in this scenario, is why is it that you can so easily devise questions where people shall vehemently disagree about the same book, and that those sorts of questions go to the heart of the the most important issues. It is also true to say that the questions upon which everyone can agree upon are more likely to be the least important.
Where did Alyosha visit? What is the name of the person he visited? No one is going to disagree.
However questions like did he resolve his problem with Dimitri; or why was Dimitri so evasive are more likely to engender diverse and searching questions about the nature of the story and the intentions of the characters and the author.

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