defining truth

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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 07:31 pm
Does truth only take place in what is the case, or does it also take place in what can be the case? Does understanding what can be the case lead to a refined definition of truth?

If knowledge doesn't imply truth then where is truth? Or does it just not exist?

Is truth a noun or a verb? Can it be made into both? If so, which one is it that philosophers want?
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 07:43 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I think before searching for any truth or solving any case you have to know what is leading to the conclusion is true and the answer will be un-doubtfull. Ofcourse that would imply that what you know and do would be absolute truth but in actions you are able to say for truth this is what i did.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 08:18 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Truth is an infinite so it cannot be defined, but fortunately, we all only need enough of it to get by, and usually that much can be found...
 
sword
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 08:19 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Truth is what makes you see reality such as it is. Since man is a finite and fallible being we have to look for a spritual source, that is, Jesus the Christ.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 09:13 pm
@sword,
sword;139196 wrote:
Truth is what makes you see reality such as it is. Since man is a finite and fallible being we have to look for a spritual source, that is, Jesus the Christ.

Really??? Because I think truth is one of those things we impose upon reality which distorts it and keeps us from seeing it as it is...Kind of like the way the Church once held onto the Ptolemaic universe against the Copernican, and since it owned truth, it could not see truth..
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 09:29 pm
@Holiday20310401,
i think your both right in different respects but i feel before we can see anything god expects a certain level of compatability in our thoughts and actions. our truth would be if we keep up to the standard contested through our own thoughts.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 09:51 pm
@Fido,
There seems to be this perspective that truth is this infallible, unreachable, asymptotic -or whatever you want to call it- thing, but perhaps this is the wrong way to approach the word. We look for a word's definition partially in its usefulness, and to call truth a thing one automatically conceives it as some sort of a fixed a priori-esque thing.

However, the moment we use the word it loses that value. For example, in court one says "do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", 'truth' is used to signify a will for a lack of deception.

Is it enough to define a word as the quality of not being another word? For example, is it enough to define truth as that which is without deception? Or for another, is it enough to define freedom as that which is without constraint?
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 10:07 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;139207 wrote:
There seems to be this perspective that truth is this infallible, unreachable, asymptotic -or whatever you want to call it- thing, but perhaps this is the wrong way to approach the word. We look for a word's definition partially in its usefulness, and to call truth a thing one automatically conceives it as some sort of a fixed a priori-esque thing.

However, the moment we use the word it loses that value. For example, in court one says "do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", 'truth' is used to signify a will for a lack of deception.

Is it enough to define a word as the quality of not being another word? For example, is it enough to define truth as that which is without deception? Or for another, is it enough to define freedom as that which is without constraint?
I think the thing is: all definitions of truth are essentially saying it's the opposite of untruth.

I've been thinking about the usefulness thing, though. One thought I'm reading about is this:

Folks who insist on defining truth as associated in some way with what is the case usually end up ignoring the bulk of human experience and the content of science, and offer a sort of robotic image of humans.

The other sorts who launch off into intense seas of experience to see what sense they can make of it are prone to offering some nice system with dubious foundations. So they both have something to offer us. Unfortunately they don't communicate very well. Socrates, it was suggested, was an example of both. (from Walter Kaufman's viewpoint)
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 10:09 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I think for the most part we search for truth's that work, or atleast that mostly make sense and help our current mental health. either way were expecting a gain of somekind from the sought after thought.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 10:11 pm
@sammy phil,
sammy;139212 wrote:
I think for the most part we search for truth's that work, or atleast that mostly make sense and help our current mental health. either way were expecting a gain of somekind from the sought after thought.

Yes, without being able to say "for all practical purposes this is true" we'd be crippled.
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 10:13 pm
@Holiday20310401,
anyone got a crutch i can use? hehe
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 11:54 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Aristotle said that a statement is true if it says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not (Metaphysics Γ, iv. 1011).

Sounds right to me.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 06:29 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;139214 wrote:
Yes, without being able to say "for all practical purposes this is true" we'd be crippled.

Without being able to deny truth in safety we are not free... Look at the facts, which I have not even an imaginary handle on, of how many people have died for religious truth, or scientific truth, or political truth, or economic truth, or social truth; and you can see that truth is not the friend of humanity, but its enemy...Better a useful lie that keeps humanity safe than any number of truths that leave humanity is a mass grave...Better for everyone to have enough than for a few to light up the night in Auto de Fe's...The truth will be truth no matter what people think, but the truth is also a simple form of relationship, that like all relationships should keep all parties to it alive... As soon as the truth starts killing people, call it what you will, it is horrible...

---------- Post added 03-13-2010 at 07:35 AM ----------

kennethamy;139223 wrote:
Aristotle said that a statement is true if it says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not (Metaphysics Γ, iv. 1011).

Sounds right to me.

You have got to move beyond such a simple conception of the thing, because the thing, truth, is not a thing at all, but a moral object, a spiritual conception that is meaning only, without being...Since not one of us can know truth, or define truth, since truth is an infinite; so we should not try in more than a cursury fashion to say what it is... This is more true than that, given that truth as an absolute can only be approached and never touched- is good enough.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 07:27 am
@Fido,
Fido;139272 wrote:


---------- Post added 03-13-2010 at 07:35 AM ----------


You have got to move beyond such a simple conception of the thing, because the thing, truth, is not a thing at all, but a moral object, a spiritual conception that is meaning only, without being...Since not one of us can know truth, or define truth, since truth is an infinite; so we should not try in more than a cursury fashion to say what it is... This is more true than that, given that truth as an absolute can only be approached and never touched- is good enough.


Yes, that's the trouble with Aristotle. He is so simple-minded. I think, though, I'll stick with Aristotle until I come across something better.
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 07:49 am
@Holiday20310401,
i think if you need truth to exist you should focus on reality. if truth makes you squirm you should focus on your fealings. something unknown or not created yet isnt true.

---------- Post added 03-13-2010 at 07:05 AM ----------

i like what we concluded on last night in chat wich was basicly what you feel is true you believe, and these beleifs are the core of our thought and defended in this manner. wich i think is why its important to remember even if what you believe isnt true you are alive and still have time to change conclusion. provided beleifs had a truth to prove.
 
Doubt doubt
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 08:39 am
@Holiday20310401,
Truth is definitely not infinite or undefinable. Truth is a concept and as with all concepts was conceived(invented) in a mind. also as with all concepts or at least all that i can think of as well as abstractions it can not be given a nifty one line definition. To me it seams that in every situation that can contain a truth the means for coming to it is different. Mathematical truths would be easy to point out. as well as subjective statements. If im hungry and i say im hungry i am speaking the truth. for the most part i would define truth as something fitting into a definitive criteria explaining actuality consistently.

Im going to sleep but this is the right track i believe. this is interesting so ill work it out and come back. but for the most part would just add to what i said already. concepts are associations of other defined terms. i will try but i assume you would have trouble defining any concept to satisfy everyone. It almost seams like truth could be a concept encompassing other concepts where concepts usually encompass words/terms
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 08:44 am
@Doubt doubt,
Doubt doubt;139302 wrote:


Im going to sleep



Very good idea. I hope you feel better in the morning.
 
sammy phil
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 09:02 am
@Holiday20310401,
good points doubt doubt, i think we may even seek truth so that we dont feal overwhelmed with reality. possibilities are endless the truth you believe helps keep us together while we go through them.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 09:06 am
@sammy phil,
sammy;139312 wrote:
good points doubt doubt, i think we may even seek truth so that we dont feal overwhelmed with reality. possibilities are endless the truth you believe helps keep us together while we go through them.


Had we been in danger of coming apart? I didn't know.
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 09:17 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;139186 wrote:
Does truth only take place in what is the case, or does it also take place in what can be the case? Does understanding what can be the case lead to a refined definition of truth?

If knowledge doesn't imply truth then where is truth? Or does it just not exist?

Is truth a noun or a verb? Can it be made into both? If so, which one is it that philosophers want?


There are two ways a proposition can be true, by corresponding with the current state of affairs or by virtue of the definitions of the words.

1. The cat is on the mat.

2. All bachelors are single men.

Take a look at (1). It may be true or false, depending on whether or not the cat is actually on the mat. To know whether or not (1) is true, we have to consult reality. Now look at (2). There's no need to consult reality. We know it's true because that's what the definition of a bachelor is.

Both (1) and (2) are true so truth can't simply be a correspondence with the current state of affairs because the truth of (2) doesn't depend on the current state of affairs. If we can figure out what they have in common then we'll understand what truth is. It seems to me that truth is a certain kind of relationship.
 
 

 
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