The True Definition of Truth.

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richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 08:43 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77644 wrote:
Spoken like someone who learns all his science from popular science books, and sound bites from scientists, mostly taken out of context.


I turn to books written by physicists such as Penrose, Wheeler or Bohm, who I find interesting and creative, or biologists like Sheldrake, or mechanical engineers like Itzhak Bentov. I find Jung refreshing and quantum physics exciting. I enjoy creative and new thoughts. Do you have any?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 09:12 am
@richrf,
richrf;77648 wrote:
I turn to books written by physicists such as Penrose, Wheeler or Bohm, who I find interesting and creative, or biologists like Sheldrake, or mechanical engineers like Itzhak Bentov. I find Jung refreshing and quantum physics exciting. I enjoy creative and new thoughts. Do you have any?

Rich


Yes, but they are writing for people like you, who don't know much about science and its methods. It is all, "Gee Whiz!" writing. So you read about "Gee Whiz!" half-understood business about QM. And you still think that there is no truth, and that no one knows the truth because when some people think they know the truth (but don't) they abuse the notion of truth. And you just love sound bites. The "Gee Whizzier, the better". It's so exciting!
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 09:19 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77654 wrote:
Yes, but they are writing for people like you, who don't know much about science and its methods. It is all, "Gee Whiz!" writing. So you read about "Gee Whiz!" half-understood business about QM. And you still think that there is no truth, and that no one knows the truth because when some people think they know the truth (but don't) they abuse the notion of truth. And you just love sound bites. The "Gee Whizzier, the better". It's so exciting!


Yes. Thank you. Maybe your reviews and critiques of Hawking's and Penrose books and Wheelers autobiography should be in the book reviews section?

But do you have one creative thought?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 09:31 am
@richrf,
richrf;77656 wrote:
Yes. Thank you. Maybe your reviews and critiques of Hawking's and Penrose books and Wheelers autobiography should be in the book reviews section?

But do you have one creative thought?

Rich


Creative thoughts are not much good unless they are true. But you don't care much for truth. But, no doubt, all these books are entertaining, and you may even learn some science from them. But, it is the experiments and equations that count.
 
pagan
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 09:50 am
@kennethamy,
with all due respect kennethamy, while i agree that studying a subject deeply gives potentially extra subtlety of insight, philosophy would be a hopelessly fractional enterprise if we could only philosophise with the limitation of those subjects we have studied deeply.

e.g. is richard dawkins by the same arguement unqualified to talk about religion and astrology ? Are we thus able to dismiss his writings out of hand purely on that basis?

and besides

Quote:
It is all, "Gee Whiz!" writing. So you read about "Gee Whiz!" half-understood business about QM.
isnt that an insult to such great physicists and the like for writing such books?

Philosophy is surely of value for considering such a wide range of cross disciplines. It may be imperfect as such, but without worth and insight?

The principles of the scientific method and the quality of mathematical language is surely open to those below master physics level?
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:26 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77657 wrote:
Creative thoughts are not much good unless they are true. But you don't care much for truth. But, no doubt, all these books are entertaining, and you may even learn some science from them. But, it is the experiments and equations that count.


Great. Then do you have one creative true thought?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:32 am
@pagan,
pagan;77661 wrote:
with all due respect kennethamy, while i agree that studying a subject deeply gives potentially extra subtlety of insight, philosophy would be a hopelessly fractional enterprise if we could only philosophise with the limitation of those subjects we have studied deeply.

e.g. is richard dawkins by the same arguement unqualified to talk about religion and astrology ? Are we thus able to dismiss his writings out of hand purely on that basis?

and besides

isnt that an insult to such great physicists and the like for writing such books?

Philosophy is surely of value for considering such a wide range of cross disciplines. It may be imperfect as such, but without worth and insight?

The principles of the scientific method and the quality of mathematical language is surely open to those below master physics level?


If that is not a rhetorical question, the answer is probably no. Most popular science give the illusion of understanding understanding. And it concentrates on the "Gee Whiz" aspect. One of the few books that really gave some understanding of what was going on was Einstein's little book on Special Relativity. Most of the rest has been potted science for the masses. Its all thrills, and no real ride. In particular the bumper sticker quotes that people seem to think is a substitute for understanding.
 
pagan
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:38 am
@kennethamy,
so do you believe philosophy to be hopelessly divided by specialist understanding? Is dawkins qualified to speak outside of biology, as an atheist, about religion and astrology?
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:42 am
@pagan,
pagan;77661 wrote:


isnt that an insult to such great physicists and the like for writing such books?


Yes, I agree.

When I wanted to better understand Wheeler's Gedanken Delayed-Choice Experiment, I went right to the source, who did a fantastic job of explaining the thought experiment (recently verified in the labs), by using a baseball diamond analogy. These physicists are not only great thinkers, but great explainers, in common ordinary language, because that is all you need if you really understand what you are talking about.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:44 am
@richrf,
richrf;77663 wrote:
Great. Then do you have one creative true thought?

Rich


Hey, what is all this "true" business all about?
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 11:00 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77669 wrote:
Hey, what is all this "true" business all about?


Is that your creative thought? That you know truth?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 11:06 am
@richrf,
richrf;77672 wrote:
Is that your creative thought? That you know truth?

Rich


No. I was just wondering how you could possibly say that I had a true creative thought when you don't think there is any truth. It was just a little puzzling.
I don't know whether it is creative (you seem to know that sort of stuff), but I do know a number of true things, yes. For instance, I know the Sun will rise tomorrow morning, and set tomorrow evening.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 11:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77673 wrote:
No. I was just wondering how you could possibly say that I had a true creative thought when you don't think there is any truth. It was just a little puzzling.
I don't know whether it is creative (you seem to know that sort of stuff), but I do know a number of true things, yes. For instance, I know the Sun will rise tomorrow morning, and set tomorrow evening.


Thanks for the information about the Sun. Appreciate it.

I thought that you said you only have true creative thoughts. Do you have any kind of creative thought of any type? Thanks.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 11:26 am
@richrf,
richrf;77674 wrote:
Thanks for the information about the Sun. Appreciate it.

I thought that you said you only have true creative thoughts. Do you have any kind of creative thought of any type? Thanks.

Rich

As I said, I'll let you decide that. I'll take over the truth bit. I'll be the expert on truth. You on creativity. Division of labor. Only, of course, you'll need to show me why it is true that what you believe is creative, is creative. So far, it has been only sound bites, and bumper stickers.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 01:35 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77679 wrote:
As I said, I'll let you decide that. I'll take over the truth bit. I'll be the expert on truth. You on creativity. Division of labor. Only, of course, you'll need to show me why it is true that what you believe is creative, is creative. So far, it has been only sound bites, and bumper stickers.


OK. Nothing creative. You just go around telling everyone what is true or not true. Nice job. I don't need any of it, thank you.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 03:49 pm
@richrf,
richrf;77720 wrote:
OK. Nothing creative. You just go around telling everyone what is true or not true. Nice job. I don't need any of it, thank you.

Rich


Good. And now I'll do my job. When you stated, "You just go around telling everyone what is true or not true.", what you stated was not true, or was false. See, division of labor. You say false things, and I say uncreative things, but true things. Are the thing you say creative (but, of course, false?).
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 07:23 pm
@DasTrnegras,
Quote:
yes i have noticed a very strong bias amongst english speaking philosophy forums towards analytical philosophy, which i think at times is philosophy seduced by science. Postmodernism, which historically seems to have been developed predominantly in continental europe, is often rejected out of hand and with ridicule by many english speaking philosophers.


I agree with your assessment of analytical philosophy (even though I think it is very important to understand it.) I did my degree in the late 70's before postmodernism really took over in the philosophy departments; while I can see how the 'deconstructionist' method is very useful in some respects, it ultimately leaves you with nowhere to stand, because if you deconstruct everything, then where are you? (Answer - in a French philosophy department:-)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 06:31 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;77804 wrote:
I agree with your assessment of analytical philosophy (even though I think it is very important to understand it.) I did my degree in the late 70's before postmodernism really took over in the philosophy departments; while I can see how the 'deconstructionist' method is very useful in some respects, it ultimately leaves you with nowhere to stand, because if you deconstruct everything, then where are you? (Answer - in a French philosophy department:-)


There are worse things than being, "seduced by science", although analytic philosophers mostly think that philosophical analysis is a priori (conceptual analysis) so being "seduced by science" is not even true. But even Carnap is much better than Derrida. The rejection of Postmodernism is not, "out of hand". It is the result of trying to understand gibberish. In France, apres Descartes, la deluge!
 
pagan
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:29 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
while I can see how the 'deconstructionist' method is very useful in some respects, it ultimately leaves you with nowhere to stand, because if you deconstruct everything, then where are you? (Answer - in a French philosophy department:-)
Where are we? ...... well thats a good philosophical question Smile

For me post modernism has got a lot of over the top theories in it and some outrageous claims, but then so has analytical philosophy! What i think is a very challenging fundamental aspect it posits is the central role and nature of language. Language is the medium of science, philosophy, literature, politics, history and so on. As such it is an intrinsic part of understanding and narrative.... and deconstruction shows how narratives consistently have 'blind spots' and inherrent contradictions within them. Suggesting that language is not able to give complete descriptions of complex ideas. But that doesnt imply that all theories or posited truths are useless...... just incomplete. Only if we believe that truth is a potentially finite flawless grand narrative would we feel that any inevitability of deconstruction leaves us nowhere to stand.

With regard to this thread, the original claim
Quote:

How do we determine something is true? It is observed that for a person to determine a statement to be "true", they compare said statement with what is observed. Yes, that is correct. We can observe that truth is a comparison of a statement with an observation.
we notice the explicit observation that truth is a statement. A language statement.

Thus what this definition implies is that such an understanding of truth is at least relative to the quality of the observations and the quality of the language used in the truth statement. That deconstruction goes further and shows a further relativism with regard to narrative structure is not a catastrophe. It simply in effect brings the relativity of truth also with regard to the community/observer that chooses what are the best types of observations and language to make truth statements.

We could go running into the hills at this point and just give up, but steady on. Smile Whats wrong with understanding being a collection of multi narratives? ....... because many philosophers find that idea abhorrent! But where is the surprise in that? A truth is relative to the quality of the observations, the language used and the narrative constructed from such truths. Therein is choice and rejection, and some reject multi narratives as being fundamental consequences of trying to find 'the truth'.

However as i mentioned earlier in the thread ....
Quote:

Of course many search for an ultimate universal language capable of expressing unambigously any truth. I seriously doubt if such a language could ever exist ..... but if it did, its universality would express communality to the highest level.
It seems to me that that is what science and analytical philosophy is trying to do. Fair enough. Post modernism hasn't proved that impossible, but it does offer a test on any claims. Isn't that useful even to science and philosophy?

What many scientists are trying to do is create a finite text, that can be read universally and contains a complete and unambiguous description of the fundamental laws of the universe, from which all other truths will follow. BUT science can just as easily be continued and practiced effectively without believing in that particular goal ...... or so claim some philosophers, post modern and otherwise Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:39 am
@pagan,
pagan;77905 wrote:
Where are we? ...... well thats a good philosophical question Smile

For me post modernism has got a lot of over the top theories in it and some outrageous claims, but then so has analytical philosophy!


Analytic philosophy has outrageous claims like? Name two; no, name one.

"Where are we?" the way you ask it, out of any context, commits the fallacy of asking about nothing in particular. So, you are bound to get an answer about nothing in particular. Sometimes, this passes as philosophy.
 
 

 
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