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
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
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.
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 ....
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