What is Truth and what does it mean to Exist?

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Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 01:32 am
Let us reflect on What is the nature and meaning of "truth"?

Let us analyze this concept and sort it into its major varieties. Certain "schools" have arisen claiming that their theory of truth best accounts for the data, e.g., the Coherence Theory of Truth, the Correspondence Theory, etc. My thesis is that they all take their place somewhere on a spectrum, for truth is a matter of degree.

[The inventor-discoverer of formal value-theory, Dr. Robert Hartman, derived four - to start with - dimensions of value: Transposed Value, Systemic Value, Extrinsic Value and Intrinsic Value, each one worth more than the earlier one. Each dimension has a measure assigned to it, with which it correlates. I won't give the proofs here but you can find most of the details at this link: The Measurement of Value

By means of the Dimensions of Value, deduced from his Axiom of Value, we are able to define degrees of truth.]

"Truth" may itself be defined as "valuable knowledge."
The least valuable would be Falsity or Incoherence obtained by the application of Transposed Value.

The next most valuable would be Systemic-truth, obtained by the application of Systemic-value to the category "truth." This is mere formal truth.

The next degree would result from the application of Extrinsic-value to the subject (or E-value, to abbreviate it.) Let us call this kind of truth: "objective truth."

The fourth standard dimension in Formal Axiology is Intrinsic Value (or I-value.) When this is applied to the category in question we get Intrinsic-truth, or what may be named "compenetration." Let's explain this terminology.

Mere formal truth, or "validity," is a low degree of truth - in fact many students of philosophy are reluctant to consider validity as a species of truth at all - depending as it does upon the internal consistency alone of a group of propositions or sentences; and incoherence provides invalid arguments. S-truth (the Systemic dimension) correlates closely with the Coherence Theory of Truth.

Extrinsic-truth is objectivity. E-truth correlates with the well-known Correspondence Theory of Truth. To illustrate, if I go to the window, and I see rain outside, I can truthfully say: "It's raining," since I got a sense impression, in this case, sight or vision, and whatever proposition one of my five senses matches, it becomes "true." A bit of knowledge in this case is valuable (true), if it corresponds with a definite state of affairs, publicly observable.

This is characteristic of objectivity. [The Extrinsic Values are the objective, functional, empirical modes, as Hartman explained.]

Finally, we come to what one might speak of as "compenetration" to use a term from Bergson, which would resonate with Bradley, Kierkegaard, and perhaps Hegel, among others. Kierkegaard, for instance, speaks of "subjective Truth," and Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth." To illustrate subjective truth: If you swear you saw a spider crawl along a wooden table in front of you, and no one else wants to believe it, you will say "That's the truth!" And if they won't accept it, that's their problem.

The term Truth here belongs in the Intrinsic domain more plausibly than in any other. When a person I-Values a bit of knowledge, say a proposition, he is willing to affirm that this proposition is true if anything is true. He identifies with it, and makes it a part of his life. Having analyzed truth "axiometrically," one may portray this analysis on a graph as follows. "Truth" is the concept being analyzed and defined here, employing the three basic dimensions of value in Formal Axiology:

SYSTEMIC VALUE: validity (coherence)

EXTRINSIC VALUE:
objectivity (correspondence)

INTRINSIC VALUE::
compenetration (The Truth)

Hence truth is revealed as a matter of degree, ranging all the way from formal truth -- which is valuable for its structural arrangement alone - to existential truth, whose sole value lies in its decisive edification for the subject: the individual subject, together with all of his feelings, pathos, inner experiences is true in this mode. What one knows in this mode belongs to him, and no power can take it from him. As Kierkegaard said, "for only truth which edifies is truth for you."


To further inquire, as some have, whether higher (or Absolute) Truth exists, it is necessary to define our terms within the discipline of Ontology, which deals with modes of Being. [I will discuss this further in the Metaphysics Forum.]

"Being" I'll define as: possession of substance.

There are four modes, which result from the application of the Dimensions of Value. They are

(from Transposed [or fractional] value): Ephemerality is defined as Transposed being;

(from S-value): Essence is defined as Systemic-being;

(from E-value): Existence is defined as Extrinsic-being; and

and I-value gives us the concept: Reality, which is defined as Intrinsic-being.

These designate varying degrees of substance from lowest to highest.

To analyze the mode of subsistence of each of these, we see that Ephemeralities desist;
Essences consist (in human minds);
Existents exist; and
Realities persist (abide).


"Absolute Truth" would more than exist -- it would persist existentially in the human heart. It is subjective truth. For example, if one says: "I am the Truth," as Jesus is reputed to have said, that is an Absolute for Christian believers. It for them an Intrinsic Truth.


Whoever says "I am Truth" identifies deeply with Truth, and feels at one with it. He will come to you as Truth.

{ God may be defined as energy plus information plus Intrinsic Value composed (upgraded, enhanced) by Intrinsic Value, recursively, ad infinitum. } God (as I've defined it) can come to you as Truth.


God (the meaning of the universe; the Force), I believe, can do that. God can also come to you as Health, as Prosperity, as Beauty, and of course as Goodness - for God IS GoodnessWhen I speak of God "coming to you," that is poetry.
What's wrong with that? We personify ships and cars, saying "She's a beauty!" and no harm is done.



I hope these remarks help to clarify the subjects of "truth" and of "existence" . Let me hear from you as to whether this post makes any sense, whether it is understandable. It helps to have a prior acquaintance with formal axiology.

{Please confine your comments to constructive ones only. Also I don't want this to become a theological discussion. This Epistemology Forum is not the place for it.}
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 08:34 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;66491 wrote:
Let us reflect on What is the nature and meaning of "truth"?



According to Aristotle, to say what is true is to say that what is, is; or to say what is not, is not.

That sounds right to me. In fact, right on the money. Doesn't it to you?

As for what it means to say of something that it exists, that is a little more complicated, but not much more so.

To say that X exists is to say that those properties that X is supposed to have, are the properties of something, namely, X. And, to say that X does not exist, is to say that those properties that X is supposed to have are not had by anything.

Hope this helps. It should.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 03:43 pm
@kennethamy,
Greetings, Ken

It's nice to hear from you. I usually lean something when you write.

However, I must say that I don't find it too helpful what someone says: "what is, is." It somehow doesn't seem to shed much light on whatever the topic was being discussed at the time. That's just my opinion. And I may be wrong.

If a patient, for example, goes to a doctor to get rid of an annoying symptom, and all the doctor tells him is: "What is, is." do you think the patient will feel any more comfortable? [This happened to me once. Soon thereafter I changed doctors. Now, fortunately, I don't need any at all for I feel pretty darn helathy.]

I would, though, supplement my analysis of truth in the original post by giving some attention to The Pragmatic Theory of Truth.

It contends that something is true if it serves to enhance human life.

This Pragmatic school of thought was founded by the American philosophers Josiah Royce, William James. amd John Dewey.

As to where I would place Pragmatic Truth on the values spectrum, it belongs between Extrinsic Value and Intrinsic Value. Value, by definition, is a function of meaning.
E-Values have a countable meaning. I-Values have an uncountable meaning. They must be experienced as gestalts, as wholes. The valuer - because he is so involved with what he is valuing, and so strongly identifies with it - forms a continuum with what is being valued ..they become a diversity within a unity. We can't tell where the valuer leaves off and where what he is valuing begins in the case of Intrinsic Value.
That is how R. S. Hartman (and I) define Intrinsic value.

For further details see Chapters Two and Three, pp. 8-16 in my manual entitled ETHICS: A College Course. Here is a link to it:
http://tinyurl.com/2mj5b3


A popularized, easier to read, and briefer,version is found here:
http://tinyurl.com/24swmd
See Types of Value on p. 3.




---------- Post added at 04:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

In case anyone is wondering about it, the term "compenetration" came from the writings of Henri Bergson.

See his THE CREATIVE MIND (NY: Philosophical Library, 1946). Also see
Henri Bergson, THE TWO SOURCES OF MORALITY AND RELIGION (New York: Holt, 1935).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 05:58 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;66595 wrote:
Greetings, Ken

It's nice to hear from you. I usually lean something when you write.

However, I must say that I don't find it too helpful what someone says: "what is, is." It somehow doesn't seem to shed much light on whatever the topic was being discussed at the time. That's just my opinion. And I may be wrong.

If a patient, for example, goes to a doctor to get rid of an annoying symptom, and all the doctor tells him is: "What is, is." do you think the patient will feel any more comfortable? [This happened to me once. Soon thereafter I changed doctors. Now, fortunately, I don't need any at all for I feel pretty darn helathy.]

I would, though, supplement my analysis of truth in the original post by giving some attention to The Pragmatic Theory of Truth.

It contends that something is true if it serves to enhance human life.

This Pragmatic school of thought was founded by the American philosophers Josiah Royce, William James. amd John Dewey.

As to where I would place Pragmatic Truth on the values spectrum, it belongs between Extrinsic Value and Intrinsic Value. Value, by definition, is a function of meaning.
E-Values have a countable meaning. I-Values have an uncountable meaning. They must be experienced as gestalts, as wholes. The valuer - because he is so involved with what he is valuing, and so strongly identifies with it - forms a continuum with what is being valued ..they become a diversity within a unity. We can't tell where the valuer leaves off and where what he is valuing begins in the case of Intrinsic Value.
That is how R. S. Hartman (and I) define Intrinsic value.

For further details see Chapters Two and Three, pp. 8-16 in my manual entitled ETHICS: A College Course. Here is a link to it:
http://tinyurl.com/2mj5b3


A popularized, easier to read, and briefer,version is found here:
http://tinyurl.com/24swmd
See Types of Value on p. 3.




---------- Post added at 04:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

In case anyone is wondering about it, the term "compenetration" came from the writings of Henri Bergson.

See his THE CREATIVE MIND (NY: Philosophical Library, 1946). Also see
Henri Bergson, THE TWO SOURCES OF MORALITY AND RELIGION (New York: Holt, 1935).


I don't think you would be going to the doctor to ask him to define the notion of truth, but (perhaps) to tell you the truth about why you feel ill. And, suppose he answered the question of why you feel ill by telling you that you had intestinal bowel syndrome, then, of course, he would be telling you the truth about why you felt ill, so he would be telling you that what is, namely that you had IBS, is. He would, in other words, be telling you what is true; that what is (you have IBS) is. So, it looks to me as if Aristotle's definition of true is correct. After all, there is a big difference between the question, "what is the truth about why am ill", which is the question you are asking the doctor, and the question, "what is truth" which is the question Aristotle was asking. I think you are mixing up the two questions.

Aristotle's definition is really what was later called the "correspondence theory" of truth. It seem to me to be much closer to what is meant by "truth" than the pragmatic theory is. I never heard that the pragmatic theory said that truth is what "enhances human life" (whatever that might mean). But, suppose I were to say that it was true that there was a piece of lint on my carpet. Would that mean that there being a piece of lint on the carpet "serves to enhance human life"? I find that somewhat implausible.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 01:51 am
@kennethamy,
Ken,

I detect a presumption as to why I went to the doctor; and also a scintilla of confusion as to the kind of truth to which the pragmatist refers.

I brought up the symptom - say it was about a dry throat - because I wanted the doctor to give me an idea about how to prevent it from happening. I may have told him of a bad habit - say it was breathing via an open mouth while sleeping. It would have been sensible for him to inquire further -- e.g., as to whether the patient's nostrils were stuffed; and probing deeper, as to whether hay fever ran in his family, and did the symptom occur at the start of the ragweed season, etc.? I - as the patient in such a case - would have wanted him to give suggestions as to how to clear up those blocked nasal passages. Instead he declared: "It is what it is." And he let it go at that. It didn't solve the problem, nor alleviate the presenting symptom.

Do you think he might have been an Aristotelian teaching me metaphysics?

You write: "suppose I were to say that it was true that there was a piece of lint on my carpet. Would that mean that there being a piece of lint on the carpet "serves to enhance human life"? I find that somewhat implausible."
You are speaking of another sort of "truth" here.

The Pragmatic Theory is emphasizing that real truth to them is valuable-for-advancing-human-flourishing truth. They are speaking of what Dewey later called 'the reconstruction of experience.' He wrote a whole book about it. It refers to an activity more than to a proposition. If you say: " I'm going to work for social access to low-cost availability of clean energy for homes" or "I'm going to do what I can to teach families to limit the number of children to one or two so that resources are sustainable," the pragmatist might utter: That's good and true! What's true - in this sense - is what works -- works to improve individual and social life.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 12:40 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;66638 wrote:
Ken,

I detect a presumption as to why I went to the doctor; and also a scintilla of confusion as to the kind of truth to which the pragmatist refers.

I brought up the symptom - say it was about a dry throat - because I wanted the doctor to give me an idea about how to prevent it from happening. I may have told him of a bad habit - say it was breathing via an open mouth while sleeping. It would have been sensible for him to inquire further -- e.g., as to whether the patient's nostrils were stuffed; and probing deeper, as to whether hay fever ran in his family, and did the symptom occur at the start of the ragweed season, etc.? I - as the patient in such a case - would have wanted him to give suggestions as to how to clear up those blocked nasal passages. Instead he declared: "It is what it is." And he let it go at that. It didn't solve the problem, nor alleviate the presenting symptom.

Do you think he might have been an Aristotelian teaching me metaphysics?

You write: "suppose I were to say that it was true that there was a piece of lint on my carpet. Would that mean that there being a piece of lint on the carpet "serves to enhance human life"? I find that somewhat implausible."
You are speaking of another sort of "truth" here.

The Pragmatic Theory is emphasizing that real truth to them is valuable-for-advancing-human-flourishing truth. They are speaking of what Dewey later called 'the reconstruction of experience.' He wrote a whole book about it. It refers to an activity more than to a proposition. If you say: " I'm going to work for social access to low-cost availability of clean energy for homes" or "I'm going to do what I can to teach families to limit the number of children to one or two so that resources are sustainable," the pragmatist might utter: That's good and true! What's true - in this sense - is what works -- works to improve individual and social life.



I never said the doctor quoted Aristotle. Why should he have? You did not ask him the question, "what is truth"? You asked him, "why does my throat hurt?" And when he told you it hurt because of dryness due to allergy, he said what is, and what he said is, indeed was (the case), and so, what he told you was true. He told you that your dryness was caused by allergy, it was caused by allergy, and, therefore, he told you what was true. Of course, he did not tell you what truth was, since you did not ask him that question, and you did not go to him to find out the answer to that question. The question, "what is true about the cause of my throat hurting?" (or, in plain English, "why does my throat hurt?") is clearly a different question from the question, "What is truth". And you asked the doctor the first question, not the second. And Aristotle answered the second, but not, of course, the first.

I don't know what kind of "truth" you believe I am speaking of when I say that it is true that there is a piece of lint on the carpet, but it seems to me to be the very same kind of truth the doctor told you when you asked him why your throat hurt, and the same kind of truth that the astronomer tells you when he tells you that Mars is the fourth planet, or a Pragmatist thinks he is telling you when he tells you that "truth serves to enhance human life". Namely, that what is, is. They are telling you that what is being said corresponds to what is the case. And that is, of course, what is truth. And, if what is being said, does not correspond to what is the case, then what is being said is, false (or not true). (So, Aristotle also tells us that to say that something is, when it is not, is to say what is false). And that seems to be true as well.

It might be that truths always "serve to enhance life" (whatever that might mean) but I rather doubt it. It is true that there is a bit of lint on the carpet, but I don't see that the fact "serves to enhance life" in any sense of that phrase that I can even think of. Nor that Mars is the fourth planet does much life enhancing either.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 02:49 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;66769 wrote:
I never said the doctor quoted Aristotle. Why should he have? You did not ask him the question, "what is truth"? You asked him, "why does my throat hurt?" And when he told you it hurt because of dryness due to allergy, he said what is, and what he said is, indeed was (the case), and so, what he told you was true. He told you that your dryness was caused by allergy, it was caused by allergy, and, therefore, he told you what was true. Of course, he did not tell you what truth was, since you did not ask him that question, and you did not go to him to find out the answer to that question. The question, "what is true about the cause of my throat hurting?" (or, in plain English, "why does my throat hurt?") is clearly a different question from the question, "What is truth". And you asked the doctor the first question, not the second. And Aristotle answered the second, but not, of course, the first.

I don't know what kind of "truth" you believe I am speaking of when I say that it is true that there is a piece of lint on the carpet, but it seems to me to be the very same kind of truth the doctor told you when you asked him why your throat hurt, and the same kind of truth that the astronomer tells you when he tells you that Mars is the fourth planet, or a Pragmatist thinks he is telling you when he tells you that "truth serves to enhance human life". Namely, that what is, is. They are telling you that what is being said corresponds to what is the case. And that is, of course, what is truth. And, if what is being said, does not correspond to what is the case, then what is being said is, false (or not true). (So, Aristotle also tells us that to say that something is, when it is not, is to say what is false). And that seems to be true as well.

It might be that truths always "serve to enhance life" (whatever that might mean) but I rather doubt it. It is true that there is a bit of lint on the carpet, but I don't see that the fact "serves to enhance life" in any sense of that phrase that I can even think of. Nor that Mars is the fourth planet does much life enhancing either.


No, no. I did not ask my (former) doctor why my throat hurt. [That wa a careless reading of what I wrote earlier.]
I told him that the dehydration might be due to my mouth opening when I was not conscious of it, and I wanted him to tell me how to avoid that happening! What he said was a grossly-inadequate response to my plea. [I'm happy to report that I'm no longer a mouth breather! -- no thanks to that fellow. He on a later occasion violated his Hippocratic Oath, and directly inflicted pain, causing a thrombosis of a vein, after I asked him not to, so I dropped him as my physician right after that. I don't believe in lawsuity.]

When I brought up the Pragmatic Theory I was not discussing your carpet lint example. They are using the notion "truth" in a different way. That's why I did not equate it with The Correspondence Theory. The Pragmatic Theory is richer in meaning than the theories lower on the spectrum. It is another (maybe not entirely-distinct) kind of truth. Let us cease conflating the two, okay? They are as different as an x-ray is from infre-red light.... yet both are on the same spectrum.

You seem to have a thing about Aristotle, and that's fine. Recall, though, how reliable his Physics is, such as when he tells us how many teeth a horse has in its mouth, and other purported facts. To tell someone that 'what is, is" may not be satisfying, and may not add much information to a discussion, for it sounds tautological - even if you might argue that it is not. I know you are dealing with philosophers here and not laymen (?) but I personally believe that the analysis of the concept "truth" offered in the first post of this thread is more useful, and thus may credibly described as superior to other analyses I have seen. ...but that's just me....

If what Aristotle said explains it better for you, then good luck to you. I have no quarrel with that.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 07:33 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;66783 wrote:
No, no. I did not ask my (former) doctor why my throat hurt. [That wa a careless reading of what I wrote earlier.]
I told him that the dehydration might be due to my mouth opening when I was not conscious of it, and I wanted him to tell me how to avoid that happening! What he said was a grossly-inadequate response to my plea. [I'm happy to report that I'm no longer a mouth breather! -- no thanks to that fellow. He on a later occasion violated his Hippocratic Oath, and directly inflicted pain, causing a thrombosis of a vein, after I asked him not to, so I dropped him as my physician right after that. I don't believe in lawsuity.]

When I brought up the Pragmatic Theory I was not discussing your carpet lint example. They are using the notion "truth" in a different way. That's why I did not equate it with The Correspondence Theory. The Pragmatic Theory is richer in meaning than the theories lower on the spectrum. It is another (maybe not entirely-distinct) kind of truth. Let us cease conflating the two, okay? They are as different as an x-ray is from infre-red light.... yet both are on the same spectrum.

You seem to have a thing about Aristotle, and that's fine. Recall, though, how reliable his Physics is, such as when he tells us how many teeth a horse has in its mouth, and other purported facts. To tell someone that 'what is, is" may not be satisfying, and may not add much information to a discussion, for it sounds tautological - even if you might argue that it is not. I know you are dealing with philosophers here and not laymen (?) but I personally believe that the analysis of the concept "truth" offered in the first post of this thread is more useful, and thus may credibly described as superior to other analyses I have seen. ...but that's just me....

If what Aristotle said explains it better for you, then good luck to you. I have no quarrel with that.



It is all very well to say that the pragmatic theory is "richer in meaning", although I really have no idea what that means. But it does not seem to me that "richer in meaning" is a criterion of any sort for whether a theory is correct or not. I don't know whether the Copernican theory of the solar system is "richer in meaning" than is the Ptolemeic, but that is not the sort of thing I would look to in order to decide which is correct. The criterion I would use is which of the theories is correct when subject to test. A theory may be ever so "rich in meaning" whatever that means, but that does not seem to me much of a criterion (if a criterion at all) of when the theory should be accepted as correct. (Of course, how we tell whether one theory is "richer in meaning than another" is still another issue to which I doubt there is an answer).

I wonder why you think that what "true" means in the case of one thing differs from that it means in the case of other things. And how do you tell whether "true" in one case means something different from what it means in another case? In any case, "useful" certainly is not the same as "true", and if one theory is more useful than another, the most probable explanation of that is that is that the theory is true. So, utility is an excellent indication of truth, rather than the other way round.

Finally, I think that Aristotle was a great philosopher (but that is not news). However, I am not using Aristotle as any kind of authority. I just think that his view of truth is the correct one. I don't think it is tautologous, which you, yourself have proved. For if it were tautologous it would be self-evidently true, and you would have accepted it. But you, apparently do not accept it. Indeed you think another theory is better.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 02:45 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;66816 wrote:
It is all very well to say that the pragmatic theory is "richer in meaning", although I really have no idea what that means. But it does not seem to me that "richer in meaning" is a criterion of any sort for whether a theory is correct or not. I don't know whether the Copernican theory of the solar system is "richer in meaning" than is the Ptolemeic, but that is not the sort of thing I would look to in order to decide which is correct. The criterion I would use is which of the theories is correct when subject to test. A theory may be ever so "rich in meaning" whatever that means, but that does not seem to me much of a criterion (if a criterion at all) of when the theory should be accepted as correct. (Of course, how we tell whether one theory is "richer in meaning than another" is still another issue to which I doubt there is an answer).

I wonder why you think that what "true" means in the case of one thing differs from that it means in the case of other things. And how do you tell whether "true" in one case means something different from what it means in another case? In any case, "useful" certainly is not the same as "true", and if one theory is more useful than another, the most probable explanation of that is that is that the theory is true. So, utility is an excellent indication of truth, rather than the other way round.

Finally, I think that Aristotle was a great philosopher (but that is not news). However, I am not using Aristotle as any kind of authority. I just think that his view of truth is the correct one. I don't think it is tautologous, which you, yourself have proved. For if it were tautologous it would be self-evidently true, and you would have accepted it. But you, apparently do not accept it. Indeed you think another theory is better.


Look, if The Philosopher's theory works for you -- hold on to it, and keep it! Both a pragmatist and an existentialist may agree. This truth is true for you. That alone makes it true ... in their sense of the term.

"Richer in meaning" is the definition of "better." Compare two wristwatches, for example. All else being equal, if one of them has a calendar, and it lights up for reading the time in the dark; ar and the other one doesn't have these features - then the one with the extra features is better. They sell for the same price, have the same wrist-strap, both are digital, etc., etc.

We agree that, as you said, "f one theory is more useful than another, the most probable explanation of that is that is that the theory is true. So, utility is an excellent indication of truth..." By that statement we see that you have "bought into" the pragmatic conception of truth. What is true is what works. Works to do what? Works to make this a better world - at least for the human species (since that is our bias.)

Their truth-theory, as I understand and interpret it, is action (and activist) oriented. It wants to avoid trivial activity; trivial concern; and attention given to matters of small importance. And it takes 'importance' to be that which makes for a better, more-educated, higher-standard-of-life world for people.

That's why I placed it closer to existentialist truth on the hierarchy of truth, than I did to mere coherence-of-an-academic-argument.

I agree with you that if your perception of lint on a carpet corresponds with what other observers would also perceive, then it is true - in that sense. The pragmatist would say, maybe: The truth is the carpet needs cleaning. Why don't we get started on that project! {Your Mom, or your girlfriend, might say to you: "If you love me, and want me to feel better, you'll use the vacuum on that carpet, and I will soon do something for you."} Doesn't that have some truth value?!

For What is Truth? It is valuable knowledge.

And what is Knowledge? It is an awareness of things and events in relation to one another.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 04:53 pm
@deepthot,
Excellent, wonderful, tautologistically conceptual but how about a pragmatic view.

The Manhatten Project built the bomb to end the war, all bombs since were designed to prevent war, out gun the opponent so to speak.

Truth: Bigger bombs prevent wars.

Fact: More wars from the bombs than the wars it stopped.

Does the fact that there have been wars because of the bombs make the truth that building them to prevent wars false and hence the truth not what it is and what if the unspoken truth was that they were built to win wars, making the truth a lie and this truth then false as no wars were won, in fact none of them are even over, do you even have a truth that exists.

Exist: A human life can exist without living as a human life as existence is based upon belief, even when spoken as thus, " I exist, therefore I am." I know this is truth and I "ain't" even read the book.

Truth Deepthot, did you seek another doctor or did your doctor send you packing so to seek another.
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 06:57 pm
@deepthot,
That was some harsh piece of criticism from urangutan.
First of all from my point of view i was totally on your side.
I find the thoeries of truth that you brought up way more sophisticated than what kennethamy had to say about "what is, is".
And when kennethamy sais
kennethamy;66816 wrote:

Finally, I think that Aristotle was a great philosopher (but that is not news). However, I am not using Aristotle as any kind of authority.

he is contradicting himself, because actually that's precisely what he does: Using Aristotle as an authority (saying that's not news).
Rhetorical stuff, forget it.
I find it too bad that your initial ideas haven't really been picked up, because it was some really good ideas to start an interesting discussion.
However at this point you made a statement that is doomed to be target of a bombardment:
deepthot;66909 wrote:

We agree that, as you said, "f one theory is more useful than another, the most probable explanation of that is that is that the theory is true. So, utility is an excellent indication of truth..." By that statement we see that you have "bought into" the pragmatic conception of truth. What is true is what works. Works to do what? Works to make this a better world - at least for the human species (since that is our bias.)

What you say is that a defintion of truth has to fit a certain purpose.
It's clear that this could be any kind of purpose. Such a definition of truth is open to any possible kind of corruption.
It can be used for any kind of ideology. It could as well have served the Nazis.
The initial ideas were very interesting, and i totally support your idea of developing a more differentiated definition of truth. However you may have to make one step backwards at this point.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:11 am
@deepthot,


---------- Post added at 03:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11 AM ----------

Exebeche;66964 wrote:
.I find it too bad that your initial ideas haven't really been picked up, because it was some really good ideas to start an interesting discussion.
...
What you say is that a defintion of truth has to fit a certain purpose.
It's clear that this could be any kind of purpose. Such a definition of truth is open to any possible kind of corruption. ...

The initial ideas were very interesting, and i totally support your idea of developing a more differentiated definition of truth.



You write: "What you say is that a defintion of truth has to fit a certain purpose."

I don't believe I said exactly that, but I see how such an inference could be drawn. Yes, I have, inadvertently, been distorting the pragmatist's views, and have been unfair to their positions. I apologize for that. I was greatly over-simplifying and mis-remembering..


I think it would be helpful if students rs here would read or re-read John Dewey's book RECONSTRUCTION IN PHILOSOPHY.
http:/[URL="http:///books.google.com/books?id=ZUg8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA1&"]/[/URL]Reconstruction in philosophy - Google Book Search


Here is a quote directly from William James: "."

And Dewey believed that we are approaching truth when we make an indeterminate situation more determinate - thus solving a problem.

For details see Sections 3 at this llink:Pragmatism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
It is directly about the Pragmatist Theory of Truth.
See also: http:/[URL="http:///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dewey#Publication"]/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dewey#Publication[/URL]

---------- Post added at 03:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11 AM ----------

urangutan;66946 wrote:
Excellent, wonderful,.....

Truth Deepthot, did you seek another doctor or did your doctor send you packing so to seek another.


I sought another doctor - but I sure haven't consulted him much. Now that a year has elapsed, I will likely go in for a panel of blood tests. But what does this have to do with the topic? It was all meant just as an illustration.

The truth is that arms manufacturers are strongly tempted to provoke conflict on both sides of any dispute that's going on. I wouldn't be surprised if they have agents carrying out this plan in order to get more business for their munitions sales.

There are plenty of wars going on but not as much as there were in the first 9 years of the twentieth century, according to United Nations statistics.

In truth, war ought to be defined (and widely-understood) as: organized mass-murder in the name of a good cause. Some noble cause is invariably used as a cover for the insane violence that is a war. As Elie Wiesel recently told the world at a ceremony in Germany, war is absurd.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 08:22 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;67023 wrote:


---------- Post added at 03:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11 AM ----------




You write: "What you say is that a defintion of truth has to fit a certain purpose."

I don't believe I said exactly that, but I see how such an inference could be drawn. Yes, I have, inadvertently, been distorting the pragmatist's views, and have been unfair to their positions. I apologize for that. I was greatly over-simplifying and mis-remembering..


I think it would be helpful if students rs here would read or re-read John Dewey's book RECONSTRUCTION IN PHILOSOPHY.
http:/[URL="http:///books.google.com/books?id=ZUg8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA1&"]/[/URL]Reconstruction in philosophy - Google Book Search


Here is a quote directly from William James: "."

And Dewey believed that we are approaching truth when we make an indeterminate situation more determinate - thus solving a problem.

For details see Sections 3 at this llink:Pragmatism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
It is directly about the Pragmatist Theory of Truth.
See also: http:/[URL="http:///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dewey#Publication"]/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dewey#Publication[/URL]

---------- Post added at 03:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11 AM ----------



I sought another doctor - but I sure haven't consulted him much. Now that a year has elapsed, I will likely go in for a panel of blood tests. But what does this have to do with the topic? It was all meant just as an illustration.

The truth is that arms manufacturers are strongly tempted to provoke conflict on both sides of any dispute that's going on. I wouldn't be surprised if they have agents carrying out this plan in order to get more business for their munitions sales.

There are plenty of wars going on but not as much as there were in the first 9 years of the twentieth century, according to United Nations statistics.

In truth, war ought to be defined (and widely-understood) as: organized mass-murder in the name of a good cause. Some noble cause is invariably used as a cover for the insane violence that is a war. As Elie Wiesel recently told the world at a ceremony in Germany, war is absurd.


The point is that truth is a property of sentences (or beliefs) and the sentence or the belief has that property when the sentence or belief corresponds to (or describes) some state of the world, and fails to have the property when it does not correspond to any state of the world.

Whether that sentence (belief) is useful, or has some other property, and whether that property is a consequence of that sentence or belief being true, or is not such a consequence, is a different matter and should not be confused with whether the sentence or belief in question is true or not.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:54 pm
@kennethamy,
Truth is a concept that is used to place one person higher in a hierarchy than someone else. It is a great way to market one's person and gain economic advantage.

Most group leaders, of all sorts, claim to have the truth. People pay to learn the truth. Of course, everyone who claims to know the Truth will disagree with everyone else who claims to know the Truth. This is called market competition. Sometimes it leads to wars.

Of course, everyone sees things from their own very narrow position in space and time, so it will always be different from someone else's point of view. Take for example, all the disagreements one encounters on a philosophy forum.

None of the above is the Truth. It is merely my perspective. Smile

Rich
 
deepthot
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 02:26 am
@richrf,
richrf;67271 wrote:
Truth is a concept that is used to place one person higher in a hierarchy than someone else. It is a great way to market one's person and gain economic advantage.

Most group leaders, of all sorts, claim to have the truth. People pay to learn the truth. Of course, everyone who claims to know the Truth will disagree with everyone else who claims to know the Truth. This is called market competition. Sometimes it leads to wars.

Of course, everyone sees things from their own very narrow position in space and time, so it will always be different from someone else's point of view. Take for example, all the disagreements one encounters on a philosophy forum.

None of the above is the Truth. It is merely my perspective. Smile

Rich

Yes, as Husserl's Phenomenology points out, Truth is perspective.

However some perspectives are better (for us as persons) than others!

Husserl argued that the best perspective is what he called "Intentionality."

A student of his, Robert S. Hartman, in constructing his own uniqe philosophy, called it Intrinsic valuation. You can study both and make up your own mind. I believe Hartman explains things more clearly.
See his papers: Research Topics
Click on items 6, 7, and 3 on this list of reports you will find on the page at that link. You are in for a treat. This analysis has both depth and clarity at the same time! Items (6) and (7) are the transcripts of talks he gave.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:02 am
@Exebeche,
Exebeche;66964 wrote:
That was some harsh piece of criticism from urangutan.
First of all from my point of view i was totally on your side.
I find the thoeries of truth that you brought up way more sophisticated than what kennethamy had to say about "what is, is".
And when kennethamy sais

he is contradicting himself, because actually that's precisely what he does: Using Aristotle as an authority (saying that's not news).
Rhetorical stuff, forget it.
I find it too bad that your initial ideas haven't really been picked up, because it was some really good ideas to start an interesting discussion.
However at this point you made a statement that is doomed to be target of a bombardment:

What you say is that a defintion of truth has to fit a certain purpose.
It's clear that this could be any kind of purpose. Such a definition of truth is open to any possible kind of corruption.
It can be used for any kind of ideology. It could as well have served the Nazis.
The initial ideas were very interesting, and i totally support your idea of developing a more differentiated definition of truth. However you may have to make one step backwards at this point.



Why can't I say that Aristotle was a great philosopher, but not use him as an authority? I did not say that Aristotle's theory of truth was true because it is Aristotle's theory, and Aristotle is a great philosopher, did I? If I had done that, then I would have been using Aristotle as an authority. But, I did not do that.

That theory X is more "sophisticated" (however you are able to tell that, which is another issue) than theory Y, does not seem to me any reason to think that theory X is a better theory, or a more correct theory, than is theory Y. Why should the more "sophisticated" theory be a better theory? You don't say why you think that. Have you a good reason for thinking that?

It may be that a true theory has all those other wonderful properties that we are told it has. But, why would having those wonderful properties be why the theory is true? It is wonderful, no doubt, when a true theory also turns out to be useful, or life enriching, or whatever. But why should those properties have anything to do with whether the theory is true? Getting away from discussion of theories to something not so sophisticated, I know, but perhaps simple enough to see what is going on, as I pointed out, my belief that there is a piece of lint on the carpet may not be useful, or life enriching, but it does have the virtue of being true. And isn't that what we are talking about?
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:43 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;67292 wrote:
Yes, as Husserl's Phenomenology points out, Truth is perspective.

However some perspectives are better (for us as persons) than others!

Husserl argued that the best perspective is what he called "Intentionality."



I am not surprised that Husserl argued that his perspective is better than others and is closer to the Truth. For it, it got some followers, wrote lots of unreadable books, got a nice cushy job in a university (people pay good money for any theory that puts them at the top of the hierarchy), and lived a very comfortable life.

However, there are lots of people who disagree with Husserl, because they want to be at the top of the hierarchy. They want to have the Truth.

As for me. I have no desire to fight for King of the Hill. Anyone can have all the Truths they want. It is exhausting to stay at the top. I comfortable watching the wars rage, over who has the Truth.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:52 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67337 wrote:
I am not surprised that Husserl argued that his perspective is better than others and is closer to the Truth. For it, it got some followers, wrote lots of unreadable books, got a nice cushy job in a university (people pay good money for any theory that puts them at the top of the hierarchy), and lived a very comfortable life.

However, there are lots of people who disagree with Husserl, because they want to be at the top of the hierarchy. They want to have the Truth.

As for me. I have no desire to fight for King of the Hill. Anyone can have all the Truths they want. It is exhausting to stay at the top. I comfortable watching the wars rage, over who has the Truth.

Rich


What wars are those? In any case, Einstein deserved whatever cushy job he has, since he seems to have found the truth about many things. And he turned out to be King of the physics hill. And Salk who discovered how to wipe out polio turned out the be a King of the medical hill. So, there have been, as we all know, a number of deservedly Kings of the hill. Is that not true?
 
deepthot
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:02 pm
@deepthot,
As you may be aware, I subscribe to The Correspondence Theory, and give it its due. It has a fine place on the spectrum -- just as visible light has on the electromagnetic spectrum.

I was merely pointing out that other philosophers, James, Kierkegaard, Satre, etc. have other theories of truth ...and some even speak of ultimate, or absolute, truth. I was finding a place for them.

You well know that some claim that numbers (and all of Math) is just a human invention; and some, in contrast, consider them as having a sort of Platonic Ideal status: we borrowed them from a realm beyond. There is sort of an analogy here, when people say: Let there be Truth.

When we seek truth as philosophers (or as persons), are we seeking to draw upon some universal pool of prior knowledge and wisdom, or are we having an original conception of it -- when an idea pops into our heads?

The truth is I don't know for sure.

Just as I said in The Epistemology Forum that my classification of the terms: "essence", "existence" and "reality" works for me, I'll say the same here about the spectrum of truth theories. They aren't all with reference to propositions. Some things can be "true to life" - in more senses than one. I find the axiometric analysis helpful, and once you start using it, I believe you will too. That is a confirmable prediction. {It is capable of being disverified, and thus meets Popper's criterion for scientific truthfulness..} Note that in the Oxford English Dictionary under the rubric "truth" there are a multiplicity of usages.




 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:15 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;67532 wrote:
As you may be aware, I subscribe to The Correspondence Theory, and give it its due. It has a fine place on the spectrum -- just as visible light has on the electromagnetic spectrum.

I was merely pointing out that other philosophers, James, Kierkegaard, Satre, etc. have other theories of truth ...and some even speak of ultimate, or absolute, truth. I was finding a place for them.

You well know that some claim that numbers (and all of Math) is just a human invention; and some, in contrast, consider them as having a sort of Platonic Ideal status: we borrowed them from a realm beyond. There is sort of an analogy here, when people say: Let there be Truth.

When we seek truth as philosophers (or as persons), are we seeking to draw upon some universal pool of prior knowledge and wisdom, or are we having an original conception of it -- when an idea pops into our heads?

The truth is I don't know for sure.

I still say my classification of the terms: "essence", "existence" and "reality" works for me. I find the axiometric analysis helpful, and once you start using it, I believe you will too. That is a confirmable prediction. {It is capable of being disverified, and thus meets Popper's criterion for scientific truthfulness..}




Well, so is the game of chess a human invention (what other kind is there?) and it is still true that when I played chess last night, my king was checkmated. So being an invention is not incompatible with truth. It may indeed be that there are other theories of truth. But the question is what is the best theory, or even, the true theory. There were lots of theories of disease, too. But it turns out the germ theory is the true theory, and I would be opposed to making room for the theory of the humors, or the theory of the miasma, or even the theory that evil spirits cause disease. Wouldn't you? Or would you be tolerant of clearly false theories? It is, of course, true (as I have pointed out) that some truths are more useful than others. But usefulness is not what makes true theories true, and to think so is to be confused.
 
 

 
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