Truth and such.

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Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 02:13 pm
My philosophy of Existentialism professor is a 100% die-hard post-modern Nietszchiean (is that a good categorical description?). He brought up the whole, "there is no truth" and it's being logically consistent, and he explained why. I'm going to lay it out, and then just ask for comments.

He said that yes, logically it breaks down. You can say "There is no truth" and then say "that's a self refuting statement" and such. But he said that's one category, one thing, but there's a whole other category or thing- the two don't relate. He said in the other, you look at the set of true things, and it's empty.

So basically, he's saying that logical and "the set of things" are totally different (or are/can be in different categories or realms or something). one doesn't have to do with the other. Hence if that set of true things is empty, then there is no truth. Comments, please. And I'm sure you're wondering how the terms are defined and such, but since I don't have them defined yet, I'm just going with what he stated- remember, he's post-modern and Nietzchiean
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 03:01 pm
@beforHim,
beforHim;91962 wrote:
My philosophy of Existentialism professor is a 100% die-hard post-modern Nietszchiean (is that a good categorical description?). He brought up the whole, "there is no truth" and it's being logically consistent, and he explained why. I'm going to lay it out, and then just ask for comments.

He said that yes, logically it breaks down. You can say "There is no truth" and then say "that's a self refuting statement" and such. But he said that's one category, one thing, but there's a whole other category or thing- the two don't relate. He said in the other, you look at the set of true things, and it's empty.

So basically, he's saying that logical and "the set of things" are totally different (or are/can be in different categories or realms or something). one doesn't have to do with the other. Hence if that set of true things is empty, then there is no truth. Comments, please. And I'm sure you're wondering how the terms are defined and such, but since I don't have them defined yet, I'm just going with what he stated- remember, he's post-modern and Nietzchiean


"There is no truth" is not self-refuting. But for someone to believe there is no truth makes me wonder whether the person who states that believes what he says. For how can someone believe there is no truth, when to believe there is no truth is to believe it is true that there is no truth? I find that puzzling. Don't you. Well, maybe your Existentialism professor was just kidding around. (I don't want to suggest he doesn't know what he is saying). Being post-modern and Nietzchiean may excuse a lot of things, and it probably does, but it does not (IMO) excuse someone from talking rubbish.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 03:17 pm
@kennethamy,
Just because something is true doesn't make it a truth.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 03:27 pm
@beforHim,
I don't understand you Holiday could you explain a little bit better please?
Thanks.
 
beforHim
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 04:05 pm
@beforHim,
Good point, Kennthamy.

Agree with Caroline- but I'm wondering if you could both explain. Kennethamy- could you give your explanation of why it's not a self-refuting statement?
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 09:14 pm
@beforHim,
beforHim;91962 wrote:
My philosophy of Existentialism professor is a 100% die-hard post-modern Nietszchiean (is that a good categorical description?). He brought up the whole, "there is no truth" and it's being logically consistent, and he explained why. I'm going to lay it out, and then just ask for comments.

He said that yes, logically it breaks down. You can say "There is no truth" and then say "that's a self refuting statement" and such. But he said that's one category, one thing, but there's a whole other category or thing- the two don't relate. He said in the other, you look at the set of true things, and it's empty.

So basically, he's saying that logical and "the set of things" are totally different (or are/can be in different categories or realms or something). one doesn't have to do with the other. Hence if that set of true things is empty, then there is no truth. Comments, please. And I'm sure you're wondering how the terms are defined and such, but since I don't have them defined yet, I'm just going with what he stated- remember, he's post-modern and Nietzchiean


I think the problem here is suggesting that there is something called truth to talk about to begin with, and then it becomes a contortion to say there is no truth.

Best, not to say anything about truth. Some people believe there is such a thing and others do not. I don't. But I don't deny that there are some people who do. If you want to feel there is an absolute truth about no truth - well, I couldn't sleep at night with that notion.

It reminds me of those who believe desire is the root of sadness and then start desiring to remove desires. It is untenable. Best not to worry about desiring or no desiring and go about life as best you can without too much angst.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 09:54 pm
@beforHim,
I believe there is absolute truth. I also believe it's irrelevant because we'll never know. So the next step is to figure out what is true enough for us to believe. It's Descartes made practical.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 10:59 pm
@beforHim,
Deconstructive postmoderns view all truth as relative contingent truth as they do all forms of values and aesthetics.
The traditional notions of truth as coherence or correspondence can still be used but only in a practical not a metaphysical sense.
I am more of a platonic type idealist and see truth as revealing itself through process. We can not possess perfect or complete truth but we may more closely approximate it through time.
Thus though truth is unattainable to man, the metaphysical concept of truth and possession of truth as a good remains.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 10:18 am
@prothero,
Pieces of knowledge, reason, or wisdom are not truths, they are certainties. However, in order to have wisdom, we have to first assume knowledges and reasonings to be true. All the while, we have no truths, only relative truths, which is sort of taking away from the definition of truth. Unless you want to have some sort of transitory truth and agree with Keats in his Ode to a Grecian urn where truth is beauty and that's all ye need to know. I'm for that!
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 10:48 am
@beforHim,
Holiday, that's taking away a lot of colloquial use of the word 'truth'. It's fine, but the word truth is used a lot of different ways in our language, not solely restricted to absolute truth.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 12:07 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;92239 wrote:
Pieces of knowledge, reason, or wisdom are not truths, they are certainties. However, in order to have wisdom, we have to first assume knowledges and reasonings to be true. All the while, we have no truths, only relative truths, which is sort of taking away from the definition of truth. Unless you want to have some sort of transitory truth and agree with Keats in his Ode to a Grecian urn where truth is beauty and that's all ye need to know. I'm for that!


Why can't what is certain be true. In fact, how can I be certain of something without at least thinking it is true? What is the difference between "knowledges" (whatever that may be, it isn't English) and pieces of knowledge? I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Is that a "knowledge".

If we have relative truths (whatever those are) then we surely do have truths. Only relative truths. Is the truth that Quito is the capital of Ecuador a relative truth? Why? Or, why not? You seem to have your very own special language, and you should not expect others to understand it unless you explain it.

By the way, it is "Ode on a Grecian Urn", not, "to a Grecian Urn". Keats was not addressing the urn. He was writing about it.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 06:39 pm
@beforHim,
The earth is more round, than it is square or flat. True?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 08:36 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;92260 wrote:
I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Is that a "knowledge".
It's knowledge of a human convention, which is different than knowledge of the physical world, like knowing that marble is made out of metamorphosed limestone. That my name is Paul is a different sort of truth than that I am a Homo sapiens.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 06:34 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;92299 wrote:
It's knowledge of a human convention, which is different than knowledge of the physical world, like knowing that marble is made out of metamorphosed limestone. That my name is Paul is a different sort of truth than that I am a Homo sapiens.


But it is true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and I know it. I agree it is a truth that is the result of a convention. So is the truth that I have checkmated my opponent. But, what is supposed to follow from that? The way origins of a truth are one thing, but whether they are true is another thing. Besides, I know many non-conventional truths, such as that water is H20. So, I really fail to see your point.
 
beforHim
 
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 12:40 pm
@beforHim,
Ssoooo...what about my original question. What might my proff could've meant? I might ask him, but I don't want him exasperated with me for bugging him (but, if course, that's one of the reasons he's here, right?).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 02:58 pm
@beforHim,
beforHim;92473 wrote:
Ssoooo...what about my original question. What might my proff could've meant? I might ask him, but I don't want him exasperated with me for bugging him (but, if course, that's one of the reasons he's here, right?).


No idea. Maybe he meant nothing clear. People do not always mean things when they talk.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 11:38 am
@kennethamy,
Its true that we all need geography lessons. Why does everyone use Quito and Equador? Why not Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 03:01 pm
@beforHim,
It might be better to ask the professor to explain his argument to you, and if you ask him, I am sure he will take the time to run through it again.
The logical problem of saying "There are no absolute truths" has been approached from many directions, and not just in Nietzsche studies, so there are many different attempts to solving the problem.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 05:39 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;92819 wrote:
It might be better to ask the professor to explain his argument to you, and if you ask him, I am sure he will take the time to run through it again.
The logical problem of saying "There are no absolute truths" has been approached from many directions, and not just in Nietzsche studies, so there are many different attempts to solving the problem.


There is no logical or any other problem in saying there are no absolute truths. I am happy to say it (oops, write it) since I believe it is true that there are no absolute truths. What is the problem? I did not say that it is absolutely true there are no absolute truths.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 05:48 pm
@beforHim,
Quote:
There is no logical or any other problem in saying there are no absolute truths. I am happy to say it (oops, write it) since I believe it is true that there are no absolute truths. What is the problem? I did not say that it is absolutely true there are no absolute truths.


How is being absolutely true different from being true? What's the difference between an absolute truth and a truth?
 
 

 
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