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What is Truth?

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Posted Feb 25, '08 at 3:04pm

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,346 posts

Knight

The meaning of the word truth extends from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular. The term has no single definition about which the majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree. Various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute.

Here is a summary list of a few theories of truth:

Correspondence - claim that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. This type of theory attempts to posit a relationship between thoughts or statements on the one hand, and things or objects on the other.
Coherence - In general, truth requires a proper fit of elements within a whole system. Very often, though, coherence is taken to imply something more than simple logical consistency; often there is a demand that the propositions in a coherent system lend mutual inferential support to each other.
Constructive - truth is constructed by social processes, is historically and culturally specific, and that it is in part shaped through the power struggles within a community. Constructivism views all of our knowledge as "constructed," because it does not reflect any external "transcendent" realities (as a pure correspondence theory might hold).
Minimalism - A number of philosophers reject the thesis that the concept or term truth refers to a real property of sentences or propositions. These philosophers are responding, in part, to the common use of truth predicates (e.g., that some particular thing "...is true") which was particularly prevalent in philosophical discourse on truth in the first half of the 20th century. From this point of view, to assert the proposition â'2 + 2 = 4' is trueâ is logically equivalent to asserting the proposition â2 + 2 = 4â, and the phrase âis trueâ is completely dispensable in this and every other context.

These are just a few theories, but what is truth to you? Let's dig...

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 3:05pm

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,346 posts

Knight

Those strange symbols appear when I do quotation marks...so please ignore that.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:17pm

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,838 posts

Jeez, I was going to wait for someone else to jump in and put in their two cents...so I could take the money and put in four cents, making my opinion even better.

Truth can be whatever one believes to be true. It may very from person to person. In a way, truth can be opinions when it comes to many topics.

When it comes to, for example, math it is not a matter of truth. Those are facts. Same with most if not all science and math items. No one in their right mind argues about whether or not it is true that the Earth is round or the shy is up. Not in these days atleast. Why? Because we are edjukated.

Now, when it comes to more personal matters truth can change. If someone really wanted to they could convince them that something happened/did not happen. Then the end result is, to them, the truth.

That is all I have to say now. And leave my two cents alone. I earned it. Semi-legally.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:19pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,066 posts

Moderator

Lovely topic! I am a minimalist, but most people don't find that very fun to talk about. Within these categories lies a fundamental question of when information becomes truth. It seems like any statement we can make, whether mathematically or empirically true can be cast into doubt. I would argue that no true statements exist, except in a relativistic sense. 2+2=4 is only true because of our definitions of 2 and 4. This statement could also be considered a tautology, like "A bachelor is an unmarried man." Tautaulogous statements might be true, but they tell us nothing about the world. In short, truth (as consequently knowledge) cannot really be attained.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:22pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,066 posts

Moderator

Devoidless,
I must have been posting while you were. As far as what you call facts, would you not consider those true statements?
And if truth is subjective, then can we really say that is "truth?"
I think if we wanted to establish a real premise here, you would have to have either a reductively cogent explanation of truth (eg. a statement capable of having a truth value, and that statement is unquestionable) or reject the idea of truth altogether.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:27pm

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,838 posts

As far as the facts go, I just think it is easier to call them facts to avoid any potential arguments about the truthiness of them.

If you put it that way, I reject the notion of truth. It seems...almost too emotional of an idea. If that makes sense. I would rather have a fact when it comes to something important than what is considered the truth. Facts, in my mind, are solid and can not be disputed because they have evidence backing them up. Truths are more like someone giving their word and the words of others.

And you took my two cents! Communist pig. And I say that with as much care and light heartedness as possible.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:31pm

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,346 posts

Knight

Moe, as I would probably say I am a minimalist too, specifically I've been trying to understand the deflationist's theories on the matter.

Recently I was reading on a guy who believed truth was in the pitch. I need to go back and read that.

I made this topic, because I, myself, have no opinion on the matter yet.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:35pm

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,346 posts

Knight

JUST 2 PAIR OF JEANS!?! You would be a horrible leader! I am very upset.

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:35pm

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,346 posts

Knight

Moe, what about brute facts?

 

Posted Feb 25, '08 at 4:35pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,066 posts

Moderator

Fortunately, in my Communist regime, 2 cents is actually worth about 2 Million Scruples, which is enough to buy a car, a soda, and 2 pairs of jeans.
It seems like, though, there is just a semantic difference between what you call a fact and what others might call a truth. The "emotional-ness" does make sense, because it is a human concept that we somehow defined and yet still struggle with.
But what things besides tautologous statements would you consider to be facts?