Truth

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Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 11:22 am
IMO,

Truth is that which can be shown to be the case.

Both empirical truth and logical truth apply.

Factual truth is decided by scientific methods.

Analytic truths are decided by logical methods.

Truth is relative to the system that decides it.

There is no absolute truth because there is no system of decision that is absolute.

No system of decision contains all truths.

To know is to show.

Truth exists iff there are minds.

There are no 'eternal' truths.

What we show when we prove a proposition is its truth.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 11:41 am
@Owen phil,
Owen;112673 wrote:
IMO,

Truth is that which can be shown to be the case.

Both empirical truth and logical truth apply.

Factual truth is decided by scientific methods.

Analytic truths are decided by logical methods.

Truth is relative to the system that decides it.

There is no absolute truth because there is no system of decision that is absolute.

No system of decision contains all truths.

To know is to show.

Truth exists iff there are minds.

There are no 'eternal' truths.

What we show when we prove a proposition is its truth.


Aren't there, and haven't there, been truths that no one can show are true? The number of grains of sand on Wakiki Beach is either odd or is even, but I have no idea how to show which is true. Have you?

I know I was born. But I don't know how to show it. Maybe by pointing to myself?

The truth that there is a Moon existed long before there ever were minds, since the Moon existed long before minds existed.

It is an eternal truth that it snowed in New York City on December 19, 2009, at 12 noon. It was true a billion years ago, and will be true a billion years from now.

I don't know what some of the other things you say mean. Like, both empirical truth and logical truth apply.
 
Owen phil
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 12:20 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;112684 wrote:
Aren't there, and haven't there, been truths that no one can show are true? The number of grains of sand on Wakiki Beach is either odd or is even, but I have no idea how to show which is true. Have you?

I know I was born. But I don't know how to show it. Maybe by pointing to myself?

The truth that there is a Moon existed long before there ever were minds, since the Moon existed long before minds existed.

It is an eternal truth that it snowed in New York City on December 19, 2009, at 12 noon. It was true a billion years ago, and will be true a billion years from now.

I don't know what some of the other things you say mean. Like, both empirical truth and logical truth apply.


Ken,
"Aren't there, and haven't there, been truths that no one can show are true? The number of grains of sand on Wakiki Beach is either odd or is even, but I have no idea how to show which is true. Have you?"

Yes, there are truths that cannot be shown because we don't have a method of decision for them.

Ken,
"The truth that there is a Moon existed long before there ever were minds, since the Moon existed long before minds existed."

It is assumed now, that the moon existed before mind.

When there are no minds, how is truth decided and by whom?

Ken
"It is an eternal truth that it snowed in New York City on December 19, 2009, at 12 noon. It was true a billion years ago, and will be true a billion years from now."

Wrong. It could not have been true at any time before December 19, 2009, at 12 noon.

Future tense statements do not have truth or falsity until they become part of the present. They cannot be decided.

Presumeably there were no minds present a billion years ago, if so how could your claim be decided??

Ken,
"I don't know what some of the other things you say mean. Like, both empirical truth and logical truth apply."

Truth is that which can be shown to be the case.
Both empirical truth and logical truth apply.

Empirical truth is decided by scientific methods.
Logical truth is decided by abstract (mental) methods.
In both cases truth is that which can be shown to be the case.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 01:04 pm
@Owen phil,
Owen;112698 wrote:
Ken,
"Aren't there, and haven't there, been truths that no one can show are true? The number of grains of sand on Wakiki Beach is either odd or is even, but I have no idea how to show which is true. Have you?"

Yes, there are truths that cannot be shown because we don't have a method of decision for them.

Ken,
"The truth that there is a Moon existed long before there ever were minds, since the Moon existed long before minds existed."

It is assumed now, that the moon existed before mind.

When there are no minds, how is truth decided and by whom?

Ken
"It is an eternal truth that it snowed in New York City on December 19, 2009, at 12 noon. It was true a billion years ago, and will be true a billion years from now."

Wrong. It could not have been true at any time before December 19, 2009, at 12 noon.

Future tense statements do not have truth or falsity until they become part of the present. They cannot be decided.

Presumeably there were no minds present a billion years ago, if so how could your claim be decided??

Ken,
"I don't know what some of the other things you say mean. Like, both empirical truth and logical truth apply."

Truth is that which can be shown to be the case.
Both empirical truth and logical truth apply.

Empirical truth is decided by scientific methods.
Logical truth is decided by abstract (mental) methods.
In both cases truth is that which can be shown to be the case.


There is a method for decision for the grains of sand. Count them, one by one. But in any case, you said that truth is what can be shown to be the case. And since we cannot show either there are an odd number of grains of sand, or an even number of grains of sand, but one is true, it is not true that truth is what can be shown to be the case.

Wrong. It could not have been true at any time before December 19, 2009, at 12 noon.

Of course the statement was true before it was they case. Are you saying that future contingent statments are not true?


Presumeably there were no minds present a billion years ago, if so how could your claim be decided??

It could not have been decided then, for the reason you gave. But what has that to do with whether or not it was true then? It could not be decided in the Middle Ages that germs caused disease. But it was true that germs caused disease. Deciding that something is true has nothing to do with whether it is true.

Empirical and logical truth apply to what?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 01:05 pm
@Owen phil,
Owen wrote:
There is no absolute truth because there is no system of decision that is absolute.


I think a common misconception, one which I see not only on this forum but in my daily life, is that, because there's no absolute truth (whatever that even means, I am still not clear on), there is no truth. And this is obviously false. And, of course, when you ask the person basic questions that are truth-related, such as, "Do you think it's true that you're sitting on a chair?", they usually get up from their armchairs, so to say, and agree. I think we've used this quote by Wittgenstein quite a few times on this forum, "(philosophy) consists in assembling reminders for a particular purpose".

Also, I see people mistaking truth with certainty, insofar as they believe that because people are not infallible (cannot be mistaken about something), that they cannot know truth. But this, also, is false.

Quote:
Truth exists iff there are minds.


I'm curious about this, though. Our ability to know the truth is clearly dependent on our minds, but how is it that truth exists iff there are minds? For doesn't truth exist no matter if any minds are present, or exist at all? Things are, no matter if I observe them, you observe them, if they're ever observed, or if they're even capable of being observed. Isn't this true?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 04:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;112706 wrote:
Things are, no matter if I observe them, you observe them, if they're ever observed, or if they're even capable of being observed. Isn't this true?


I think this hinges on the problem of being. What is it to be? Is consciousness an essential element of being? Are both consciousness and its object the co-creators of being? Or is "being" a hopelessly vague word, just like "existence"?

---------- Post added 12-19-2009 at 05:51 PM ----------

Owen;112673 wrote:
IMO,
Truth is that which can be shown to be the case.


I enjoyed your post. I do see a difficulty thought. What sort of statement is the sentence above? How can this verification principle itself be verified? I think this statement could be elaborated on. I offer you this from Wiki- what do you think?

It is frequently argued that the verification principle is self-refuting, in that its axioms are neither empirically verifiable nor tautologous.
Verificationism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---------- Post added 12-19-2009 at 05:54 PM ----------

Owen;112698 wrote:

When there are no minds, how is truth decided and by whom?
.

I agree. I also think that truth is a property of sentences.

---------- Post added 12-19-2009 at 05:55 PM ----------

kennethamy;112705 wrote:
There is a method for decision for the grains of sand. Count them, one by one. But in any case, you said that truth is what can be shown to be the case. And since we cannot show either there are an odd number of grains of sand, or an even number of grains of sand, but one is true, it is not true that truth is what can be shown to be the case.

This is a good point. There are things we assume that can be verified that are not worth the effort.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 05:00 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;112760 wrote:
I think this hinges on the problem of being. What is to be? Is consciousness an essential element of being? Are both consciousness and its object the co-creators of being?


It doesn't seem to me that consciousness is an essential element of being, but may be an essential element of experiencing being. The sun has been around way before anything consciously observed it, and will be around way after anything consciously observes it. And the sun does exist - it has being, does it not? So, how could consciousness be an essential element of being, if something can clearly be without consciousness?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 05:24 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;112765 wrote:
So, how could consciousness be an essential element of being, if something can clearly be without consciousness?


For me it's just a matter of agreeing on how we want to use terms. Still, how is it that something can clearly be without consciousness? If you mean we can infer it and that this inference is justified by our experience, I agree. But "clearly" is a strong word for an inference. No human has ever known being except thru consciousness (I'll venture that.) Even our inference of mind-independent being is the conscious being of a present moment. (And look at this word presence...Husserl and Derrida and Heidegger go on and on about it. What is presence?)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 05:45 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;112778 wrote:
For me it's just a matter of agreeing on how we want to use terms. Still, how is it that something can clearly be without consciousness? If you mean we can infer it and that this inference is justified by our experience, I agree. But "clearly" is a strong word for an inference. No human has ever known being except thru consciousness (I'll venture that.) Even our inference of mind-independent being is the conscious being of a present moment. (And look at this word presence...Husserl and Derrida and Heidegger go on and on about it. What is presence?)


Suppose we agree to use terms so that Abraham Lincoln assassinated John Wilkes Booth. Would that make it true that Lincoln assassinated Booth? The following story is told of Lincoln who asked his son, Tad, if a dog's tail is called a leg, how many legs does a dog have. Tad replied, five. Lincoln retorted, "Wrong. Calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg".

Even our inference of mind-independent being is the conscious being of a present moment.

As far as I am able understand that sentence, it is clearly false. My inference that there is a chair in the next room is not of a conscious being. It is of a chair.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 05:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;112789 wrote:
My inference that there is a chair in the next room is not of a conscious being. It is of a chair.


The key phrase here is "my inference." Your are the consciousness of an inference of that chair in the other room. That chair can be described as an object of consciousness. There are times when such distinctions are unnecessary, of course.

---------- Post added 12-19-2009 at 06:59 PM ----------

kennethamy;112789 wrote:
Lincoln retorted, "Wrong. Calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg".



Calling it a "leg" in the first place is what makes it a "leg." In China in something else. Of course I understand your point, but names are based on consensus.

---------- Post added 12-19-2009 at 07:04 PM ----------

Zetherin;112765 wrote:
It doesn't seem to me that consciousness is an essential element of being, but may be an essential element of experiencing being. The sun has been around way before anything consciously observed it, and will be around way after anything consciously observes it. And the sun does exist - it has being, does it not? So, how could consciousness be an essential element of being, if something can clearly be without consciousness?


It just sounds like we have different uses of the word being. Perhaps you take the correspondence theory of truth as axiomatic. Perhaps "being" for you is congruent with Kant's noumena. If you want to define being as mind-independent stuff, I have no objection to that. It's a reasonable position. It's just that some of the philosophers I like use it in the other way. Like Heidegger. Why is there something rather than nothing? If we had no consciousness, nothing would exist. And where was being before our birth. Presumably it was here, waiting for us. It just seems to me that consciousness is the ground of all experience, and that the inference of mind-independent stuff (being in your sense) is a useful sort of experience, one that deserved and achieved codification as the correspondence theory of truth or objectivity.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 06:59 pm
@Owen phil,
Reconstructo wrote:
Calling it a "leg" in the first place is what makes it a "leg." In China in something else. Of course I understand your point, but names are based on consensus.


Lincoln was trying to teach his son that simply changing the name of something, does not make it something else. This is why calling a dog's tail a leg, does not make it a leg. A dog would not now have five legs, simply because we decide to call its tail a leg. And I think you agree with this. This is because tails are different than legs. I could call your chair a car, but you know that that would not make it a car.

And I do not know why you think it would be different in China. In China, they would still be two different things. A leg would not be a tail there, or anywhere else in the world, no matter what the translation of "leg" or "tail" was.

Consensus isn't usually just some arbitrary process. There are usually reasons for why we have consensus for things. Wouldn't you agree that one of the reasons we call chairs chairs and not cars, is because chairs are different than cars? Do you think that because there is consensus for names of referents, that that in some way discredits the consensus, or makes the things we refer to not the things we refer to?

Next you say:

Quote:
If we had no consciousness, nothing would exist.


but then you say:

Quote:
Presumably it (existence) was here, waiting for us.


These two statements, in your context, seem contradictory to me. Are they to you, or am I misunderstanding?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 07:07 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;112823 wrote:
Lincoln was trying to teach his son that simply changing the name of something, does not make it something else. This is why calling a dog's tail a leg, does not make it a leg. A dog would not now have five legs, simply because we decide to call its tail a leg. And I think you agree with this. This is because tails are different than legs. I could call your chair a car, but you know that that would not make it a car.

And I do not know why you think it would be different in China. In China, they would still be two different things. A leg would not be a tail there, or anywhere else in the world, no matter what the translation of "leg" or "tail" was.

Consensus isn't usually just some arbitrary process. There are usually reasons for why we have consensus for things. Wouldn't you agree that one of the reasons we call chairs chairs and not cars, is because chairs are different than cars? Do you think that because there is consensus for names of referents, that that in some way discredits the consensus, or makes the things we refer to not the things we refer to?

Next you say:



but then you say:



These two statements, in your context, seem contradictory to me. Are they to you, or am I misunderstanding?


As far as "presumably," I was trying to politely see it from what I thought was your angle, that consciousness and being are separate. The position I favor is that raw consciousness is divided into subject and object by the mind (William Jame's nondualism).

Sure a dog has those little things it walks with no matter what we call them. But "leg" is a word, a name. So I think you misunderstood what I meant there. If we all called those little dog-appendages "tails," then they would be tails. Names are based on consensus. I suspect you will agree to this. And sure, consensus has its reasons. Absolutely. I would never suggest otherwise. I think there's a natural selection of memes. I think words tend to have sounds that go well with their meanings. That humans will choose the word they find most satisfying on an emotional and physical level even. Also, I have no grudge against consensus. It's necessary. To begrudge the necessary is the opposite of my policy. At the same, a writer who is not creative is not worth reading. As I fancy myself a writer, I highly value and defend the idiosyncratic. But there can be no figure without ground. We must assimilate the ground before we can judge figure is worth inventing, I think.

I don't see any deep disagreement here. Perhaps only on the definition of being, but I don't claim to own the word. It just has certain associations for me with certain treasured German philosophers. The dictionary is a bit ambiguous on the question as usage is generally ambiguous.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 07:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;112825 wrote:
As far as "presumably," I was trying to politely see it from what I thought was your angle, that consciousness and being are separate. The position I favor is that raw consciousness is divided into subject and object by the mind (William Jame's nondualism).

Sure a dog has those little things it walks with no matter what we call them. But "leg" is a word, a name. So I think you misunderstood what I meant there. If we all called those little dog-appendages "tails," then they would be tails. Names are based on consensus. I suspect you will agree to this. And sure, consensus has its reasons. Absolutely. I would never suggest otherwise. I think there's a natural selection of memes. I think words tend to have sounds that go well with their meanings. That humans will choose the word they find most satisfying on an emotional and physical level even. Also, I have no grudge against consensus. It's necessary. To begrudge the necessary is the opposite of my policy. At the same, a writer who is not creative is not worth reading. As I fancy myself a writer, I highly value and defend the idiosyncratic. But there can be no figure without ground. We must assimilate the ground before we can judge figure is worth inventing, I think.

I don't see any deep disagreement here. Perhaps only on the definition of being, but I don't claim to own the word. It just has certain associations for me with certain treasured German philosophers. The dictionary is a bit ambiguous on the question as usage is generally ambiguous.


"Leg" is certainly a word. But a tail isn't a word. It is an appendage to an animal. So, it cannot follow that if you call an an animal's appendage "a tail" that it becomes a tail. For instance, it would not wag. And tails wag. Leg are something you can walk on. But tails are not something you can walk on. So, even if you call a tail a leg, it isn't a leg. That seems to me clear. The view that if you call a tail a leg, it is a leg, is linguistic Idealism. Just another name for word magic. Words cannot change things.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 08:56 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;112829 wrote:
But a tail isn't a word.


"Tail" is a word. Yes, the word "tail" refers to what we call a tail. But "tail" is a word. With or without the quotation marks.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 09:08 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;112842 wrote:
"Tail" is a word. Yes, the word "tail" refers to what we call a tail. But "tail" is a word. With or without the quotation marks.


That is false. The word, "tail" is a word. But tails are not words. Tails are things that wag. "Tail" has five letters. But a tail does not have five letters. A tail has a tip, and it wags. "Tail" is the name of the a word. But a tail is an appendage of an animal. That is something you have to get straight. Talking about words, and talking about things, are very different enterprises. And confusing the word with what it names is linguist Idealism. Philosophers of language distinguish between using a word, and mentioning the word. When I say that Rover is wagging his tail, I am using the word, "tail" to talk about Rover's tail. But when I say that "tail" has four letters, I am mentioning the word, "tail", not using it to talk about tails. The distinction between "use" and "mention" is a basic one.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 10:08 pm
@Owen phil,
This is silly, man. Does anyone see a dog around? How are we talking about a dog that isn't here? With words like "tail."
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 05:24 am
@Owen phil,
Now, I am Lincoln. Henceforth I shall squeek the Trooth of the mutter. A dog's tale is never tolled as it wags its freeze.
 
Owen phil
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 06:43 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;112705 wrote:
There is a method for decision for the grains of sand. Count them, one by one. But in any case, you said that truth is what can be shown to be the case. And since we cannot show either there are an odd number of grains of sand, or an even number of grains of sand, but one is true, it is not true that truth is what can be shown to be the case.

Wrong. It could not have been true at any time before December 19, 2009, at 12 noon.

Of course the statement was true before it was they case. Are you saying that future contingent statments are not true?


Presumeably there were no minds present a billion years ago, if so how could your claim be decided??

It could not have been decided then, for the reason you gave. But what has that to do with whether or not it was true then? It could not be decided in the Middle Ages that germs caused disease. But it was true that germs caused disease. Deciding that something is true has nothing to do with whether it is true.

Empirical and logical truth apply to what?


Counting the number of grains of sand would provide a method of showing that the number of grains of san is even or odd, is true or false, if it could be done.

Future tense statements cannot be shown to be the case or not until the time referred to arrives. Future tense statements are not decidable propositions at all.

Truth, language and logic/mathematics etc., are constructions of mind not of the world.

Certainly, the world (states of affairs) remain when there are no minds but there is no possible means of expressing truth or falsity without mind.

How could it be known that 1+1=2, without mind??

There cannot be 'eternal truths'.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 06:48 am
@Owen phil,
Not only is tell a word, the word's a tale, and this tale has a tail that's another tell's tongue-tie. "The truth's a dog that must to kennel." Kling Ear

---------- Post added 12-20-2009 at 07:49 AM ----------

Owen;113001 wrote:

Truth, language and logic/mathematics etc., are constructions of mind not of the world.


and BINGO was his name-oh. Yeah, truth is a stuff in man's mouth(text) and no where else. Unless "truth" is a symbol for something trans-trope, sans-nope, a magic rope.
 
Owen phil
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:14 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;112706 wrote:


I'm curious about this, though. Our ability to know the truth is clearly dependent on our minds, but how is it that truth exists iff there are minds? For doesn't truth exist no matter if any minds are present, or exist at all? Things are, no matter if I observe them, you observe them, if they're ever observed, or if they're even capable of being observed. Isn't this true?


The various theories of truth are mental constructions.

The situations that we would describe as true or false, do exist without mind but, we cannot express them because there is no 'we'.

If we know, we can show.

Perceptability is not a requirement for existence.

That the moon existed before mind, is a belief not knowledge.

The moon is spherical implies the moon exists, iff, there are minds present to interpret and understand the statement.
Otherwise 'The moon is spherical implies the moon exists' is mere scribbles.
 
 

 
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