So richrf, would you see the 'sheldrake' (or buddhist?) ever changing truth has having any narrative? What about at least the narrative of continuity through time and space?
I do notice there is this apprehension, it seems to me, that there might actually be any kind of bottom-line or absolute truth or reality or even that truth might be a real (as distinct from theoretical) concern.The feeling seems to be that this inevitably results in some kind of absolutism. Hence the wildcard argument of 'well, there are many perspectives'. It obviates the need to actually declare any particular philosophy or attitude. You can easily slip from one perspective to another, none of which signifies any real commitment but within each of which there is bound to be yet another clever perspective or way of deconstructing the argument de jour. This is very much the post-modernist tactic, as far as I understand it.
I studied under David Stove. He was a great guy.
Interesting quote from the Bernstein book I mentioned previously (actually it opens the text): "...Aristotle was profoundly right in holding that ethics is concerned with how to live and with human happiness, and also profoundly right in holding that this sort of knowledge ("practical knowledge") is different from theoretical knowledge. A view of knowledge that acknowledges that the sphere of knowledge is wider than the sphere of "science" seems to be a cultural necessity if we are to arrive at a sane and human view of ourselves or of science." (Hilary Putnam, Meaning and the Moral Sciences, quoted in Beyond Objectivism and Relativism, Richard J. Bernstein).
As regards David Stove, I am unaware of how he died. He was certainly sceptical of idealism, but he also took a pretty dim view of positivism and Hume's scepticism from what I recall.
Saddened to hear that. My most vivid recollection of his teaching about Hume was him quoting the closing words of Hume's essay about 'committing [sophistry] to the flames' and pointing out that the same criticism could be applied to the work in which the statement appears! It was the idea of a 'uroboric statement' - a statement which consumes itself. 'The last bite is always the hardest!'. Direct quote, that.
Actually I was very well treated at the University of Sydney, considering how naively idealist I actually was. David Stove seemed to recognise that in my case, this was genuine personal search for truth. I think he regarded that as something different to professional sophistry and was not at all hostile towards it. I don't know if he 'liked' positivism so much as thought it was really the only kind of approach that was defensible in the modern world. I really believe idealism is genuine, but it requires a personal commitment to the philosophy, a way of living from it and practising it, otherwise it does indeed become empty words.
Thanks. The discussion has become pointless. I am willing to attempt to communicate something about philosophical idealism, but only if I think there is some actual interest in what it might be, and I detect none here.
Ergo I believe there is 'somewhere to go' and I do believe there is an over-arching narritive, but not in a literalist sense, i.e. that one particular cultural form is its custodian of it.
i agree with this, and for me the multi narrative approach embodies the tolerance of others and recognising that one particular cultural form is not custodian of 'an over-arching' narrative. But this discussion is about defining truth. Truth for me is not the be all and end all with regard to living our lives with integrity and 'getting somewhere'. For sure it is important and sometimes critically so with regard to decisions we make, but as i am sure you appreciate sometimes we live by our principles and ethical codes in the absense of clear cut observations. In that sense the way we live our lives is a greater narrative than just the narratives of truth.
eg. loyalty and love. These are important to the way we live our lives and at times challenge us as to whether we stick to being truthful and honest, in the sense that this pragmatic discussion of truth is being considered. Sometimes the 'truth' of the situation is not only irrelevant in that sense, but maybe even something to be avoided.
Of course for some this is an anathema since the ideal is to live truthfully at all times wherever possible. Honesty becomes a necessary part of a grand narrative. Thus to turn a blind eye would always be ethically wrong.
But honesty is not the same as truth. A dishonest person can consciously be so in the face of recognising a truth.
You mean I should believe Earth is flat so I can be tolerant of those who believe Earth is flat? How about people who believe that Earth is round? How am I going to be tolerant of their beliefs if I am also tolerant of the Flatearther's beliefs? You are getting me confused.
After all, a scientist may have a number of interesting insights about relativity theory, but if he is going to call it "relativity theory" it ought to be what Einstein understood as relativity theory, and not something the scientist invented, and calls, relativity theory. Don't you agree?
You can tolerate a person's belief without sharing it. In some cases it is laudable to tolerate a belief you do not share; in other cases it is not. For example, if a child of four believes that their dead pet has been carried up to heaven by angels, it seems pointless to disillusion them. Likewise if a dying relative asks you to pray for their soul but you do not believe in God. On the other hand, if someone refuses life-saving treatment because they think that prayer alone will cure them, it would certainly be wrong to tolerate their belief without seeking to change it. And if they refuse life-saving treatment to their child, you should not tolerate their belief at all.
As far as Flatearthers are concerned - well, it depends what you mean by intolerance. If you just mean robust disagreement, that's fine.
I am a a pluralist in that I believe there are a number of different, valid ways to understand or approach truth, be they philosophical, scientific, spiritual, or whatever. Often these will be in conflict, but this doesn't mean that we can't learn something from all of them. In fact, I think this is a large part of the type of understanding that is called 'dialectical'.
On the other hand, just there are a number of different ways to truth, there are also infinite varieties of nonsense, falsehood, mistaken beliefs, confusion, arrogance, ignorance, and so on. I share a disdain for flat-earthers, conspiracy theorists, dogmatic secularists, and religious fundamentalists, and above all those who think they understand something but don't (and I pray not to be one of them!) - but generally I try and avoid getting drawn into arguments with them. The ideal is to be 'polite but firm'.
With some trepidation, I beg to differ. There are factual propositions of various kinds which may be true or false.