ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 09:13 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
But the nature of truth isn't an empirical matter, it's a matter of definition.
Or a matter of practicality. I think the Pragmatic Theory of Truth would make truth an empirical matter. I can't back that up, though.
If "truth is any pronouncement by the oracle at Delphi" is a pronouncement of the oracle at Delphi, then it's true. But there is an infinite number of such definitions, and for any definition, we can only show the truth of that definition by using that same definition. So, no definition can be backed up in any way which would satisfactorily show it to be the truth about truth.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 09:36 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Truth is that which cannot but be.


Well that is certainly not true, since it is true, for example that Barack Obama is president of the United States, but if he had not been elected, then he would not have been the president of the United States. You are saying that all truths are necessary truths, and that is clearly false.


Hi Ken ! How are you ?
If a true is true then it is true and cannot but be true given it is already true...
Same is to say if Barack is the President then he is the president...Of course, someone else could have been the president if something else did happen.
But it did n´t did it ?


Of course, if it is true then it is true. That is just a trivial truism. Like, if it is a duck, it is a duck. What is news about that? But what is false is that if it is true then it had to be true. That is obviously false. It is true that Obama is president, but it is not true that he had to be president. It is true that Obama is president, and if it is true that Obama is president, then Obama is president, but just because Obama is president, that does not mean that he might not have been president. If his opponent, John McCain had been elected then he not only might not have been president, he would not have been president, and you would have said that if John McCain is president, then John McCain is president. which would have also been true, but noting to shout to the philosophical world either! You are committing the same modal fallacy that is a disease on this forum. It is trivially true that if Obama is president, then Obama is president; and it is obviously false that if Obama is president then Obama had to be president. So, you can choose between trivial truth and obvious falsity. Your choice.


Sometimes I have the impression that you don´t read what I write...
If True, Necessarily True given it is, factual, True...
It is what it is, is trivial, but you are the one who don´t seam to get it, otherwise I would n´t be debating it...
If it could have been otherwise it would n´t, by definition, be True...hence, once true necessarily true...of course before that becomes an actuality many things can be, but how does that has anything to do with true ?


But of course it is a trivial truth that if p is true, then p is true. That is simply a tautology. If something is a duck, then it is a duck. If something is a mouse, then it is a mouse. And, equally, if a proposition is true, then it is true. Big deal! But that is different from saying that if something is true, then it is necessarily true. For example, it Obama is president, then he isn't necessarily president. For he might not have been president. And if he might have not been president, then, even if he is president, he is not necessarily president. Surely you can see that. Don't you agree that Obama might not have been president? If you do, then you have to agree that even it it is true that he is president, he is not necessarily president. Again, you are confusing: (a) If Obama is president then Obama is president (which is true, but trivial) with, (b) If Obama is president, then he must be president which is not trivial, but is certainly false, since Obama is president, but he need not be the president. So, again, you have to choose between: true but trivial, and significant but false.


In what possible fruitful sense would I apply the Logic that if causes were different results also would be different...
No, No ! Please don´t tell me again, I save you from that burden...allow me.
For instance you would say something like:
To make a fire, wood may be a condition yet not a necessary condition since I can make a fire without wood can´t I ?
And my answer to you would be that such fire is different in nature although quite similar to any other fire...you see I don´t think to have enough proof on the ultimate nature on what is around me while you do...and that and that alone seams to be the problem...to me Identity (in the sense of identicalness) is mainly in concepts and they're degree of accuracy against other concepts on what we observe !



What in the world are you talking about? How does any of this to do with the issue, or with my post?


What exactly was it that you did n´t get ??? eeh ? I am criticizing the damn Modal Fallacy which is itself a big fallacy I tell you...How can you check that some FACT, (Truth) is n´t Necessary given you cannot compare it but through CONCEPTS and their limits on what we observe ??? At best you would n´t be able to tell...
For all that I know Necessity goes with the fact being a fact, and I would n´t dare to go any further...
Do me a favour and don´t mock me no more !
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:47 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Truth is that which cannot but be.


Well that is certainly not true, since it is true, for example that Barack Obama is president of the United States, but if he had not been elected, then he would not have been the president of the United States. You are saying that all truths are necessary truths, and that is clearly false.


Hi Ken ! How are you ?
If a true is true then it is true and cannot but be true given it is already true...
Same is to say if Barack is the President then he is the president...Of course, someone else could have been the president if something else did happen.
But it did n´t did it ?


Of course, if it is true then it is true. That is just a trivial truism. Like, if it is a duck, it is a duck. What is news about that? But what is false is that if it is true then it had to be true. That is obviously false. It is true that Obama is president, but it is not true that he had to be president. It is true that Obama is president, and if it is true that Obama is president, then Obama is president, but just because Obama is president, that does not mean that he might not have been president. If his opponent, John McCain had been elected then he not only might not have been president, he would not have been president, and you would have said that if John McCain is president, then John McCain is president. which would have also been true, but noting to shout to the philosophical world either! You are committing the same modal fallacy that is a disease on this forum. It is trivially true that if Obama is president, then Obama is president; and it is obviously false that if Obama is president then Obama had to be president. So, you can choose between trivial truth and obvious falsity. Your choice.


Sometimes I have the impression that you don´t read what I write...
If True, Necessarily True given it is, factual, True...
It is what it is, is trivial, but you are the one who don´t seam to get it, otherwise I would n´t be debating it...
If it could have been otherwise it would n´t, by definition, be True...hence, once true necessarily true...of course before that becomes an actuality many things can be, but how does that has anything to do with true ?


But of course it is a trivial truth that if p is true, then p is true. That is simply a tautology. If something is a duck, then it is a duck. If something is a mouse, then it is a mouse. And, equally, if a proposition is true, then it is true. Big deal! But that is different from saying that if something is true, then it is necessarily true. For example, it Obama is president, then he isn't necessarily president. For he might not have been president. And if he might have not been president, then, even if he is president, he is not necessarily president. Surely you can see that. Don't you agree that Obama might not have been president? If you do, then you have to agree that even it it is true that he is president, he is not necessarily president. Again, you are confusing: (a) If Obama is president then Obama is president (which is true, but trivial) with, (b) If Obama is president, then he must be president which is not trivial, but is certainly false, since Obama is president, but he need not be the president. So, again, you have to choose between: true but trivial, and significant but false.


In what possible fruitful sense would I apply the Logic that if causes were different results also would be different...
No, No ! Please don´t tell me again, I save you from that burden...allow me.
For instance you would say something like:
To make a fire, wood may be a condition yet not a necessary condition since I can make a fire without wood can´t I ?
And my answer to you would be that such fire is different in nature although quite similar to any other fire...you see I don´t think to have enough proof on the ultimate nature on what is around me while you do...and that and that alone seams to be the problem...to me Identity (in the sense of identicalness) is mainly in concepts and they're degree of accuracy against other concepts on what we observe !



What in the world are you talking about? How does any of this to do with the issue, or with my post?


What exactly was it that you did n´t get ??? eeh ? I am criticizing the damn Modal Fallacy which is itself a big fallacy I tell you...How can you check that some FACT, (Truth) is n´t Necessary given you cannot compare it but through CONCEPTS and their limits on what we observe ??? At best you would n´t be able to tell...
For all that I know Necessity goes with the fact being a fact, and I would n´t dare to go any further...
Do me a favour and don´t mock me no more !


But pointing out the fact that your post has nothing whatever to do with my post, and does not make sense to the bargain, is not mocking you. It is simply stating a fact. For example, that does "Necessity goes with the fact being a fact" even mean? And, isn't it clear that it was not necessary that Obama be president, since we know that he might not have been president if, for instance, he had died while campaigning. Or, if he had not won the Democrat nomination, but Hilary Clinton had done so? But it is not up to me to show that a particular truth is not a necessary truth. It is up to you to show that when all the evidence is that a particular truth is not a necessary truth, that it is nevertheless a necessary truth.

In any case, it is you who is missing the point. Since the issue is not whether all truths are necessary truths. The issue is whether it follows that because some statement is true, that it is a necessary truth. Whether or not all truths are necessary truths is one question. But whether it follows that because something is a truth it is a necessary truth is a different question. Therefore, even if you were correct about all truths being necessary truths (which you are not) you are not dealing with the issue of the op which is whether it follows that because something is a truth, that it is a necessary truth.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:58 am
@kennethamy,
I am enjoying by the nested responses spiralling towards an infinite regress.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:15 am
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Some theories are only theories, which is to say mere speculations supported by little or no evidence. But it is hardly true that all theories are unsupported by evidence. Germ theory has masses of evidence to support it, and so does the theory of Relativity, and atomic theory. So it is simply false that all theories are only theories.

The correspondence theory of truth is a theory that is supported by a good deal of evidence, and you yourself say, since it seems to explain pretty well how we talk and think about truth. And that fact gives it a good deal of support so that although it is a theory, it is not only a theory.


Many theories have had relatively good evidence and turned out to be just plain wrong. Perhaps I was too vague in saying that all theories are just theories, but they are. Some are more viable than others and some serve higher purposes than others, but they are all limited in that they are just possible explanations.

So, should we have a different name for theories that are supported by a good amount of evidence and theories that are not? It would seem so, because then theories wouldn't be both i) supported by evidence and ii) not supported by evidence.

Perhaps we should call i) bullshit and ii) theories. But then we have to ask at what point do we delineate when we have enough evidence for an explanation to be a theory and not bullshit.




Well, of course, some theories are well supported by evidence, and then turn out to be false. (And not only theories, but any statements we make). But who denies that? We are fallible, and science, being a human enterprise is a fallible enterprise. We do have a name for a theory that is well supported by evidence, like germ theory. We say it is not only a theory, but it is a fact. (I don't know what you mean by a theory that is both supported and not supported by evidence. Do you mean, perhaps, a theory that is only partly supported, but which also has some disconfirming evidence as well? I suppose there are some such, and, in that case, I suppose that we are in the position of not knowing whether or not that theory is true). I don't think there is some precise cut-off point when a theory is found acceptable by experts in the field. I imagine that it is a gradual thing. Topic of the the acceptability of theories is a major topic in the philosophy of science.

But I don't think I quite get your point. What is it that you are arguing?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:19 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

But the nature of truth isn't an empirical matter, it's a matter of definition.


The nature of truth is a conceptual question. But that does not make it a matter of definition if that means that it becomes an arbitrary matter of simply deciding what truth is, since the decision (if that is what it is) is certainly not arbitrary. Any decision would require reasons for its acceptance.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:23 am
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

ughaibu wrote:

But the nature of truth isn't an empirical matter, it's a matter of definition.


Or a matter of practicality. I think the Pragmatic Theory of Truth would make truth an empirical matter. I can't back that up, though.


It is not at all clear what the pragmatic theory of truth is. But I know of no view of it that makes it an empirical matter in any straightforward sense of "empirical". For that would mean that we could decide on empirical grounds whether the pragmatic theory of truth is true, and I don't see how that would be possible? But, as I said, until we get some clear meaning of the pragmatic theory of truth, we remain largely in the dark.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:26 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

de Silentio wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
But the nature of truth isn't an empirical matter, it's a matter of definition.
Or a matter of practicality. I think the Pragmatic Theory of Truth would make truth an empirical matter. I can't back that up, though.
If "truth is any pronouncement by the oracle at Delphi" is a pronouncement of the oracle at Delphi, then it's true. But there is an infinite number of such definitions, and for any definition, we can only show the truth of that definition by using that same definition. So, no definition can be backed up in any way which would satisfactorily show it to be the truth about truth.




Could you possibly put this is a way that is not so confusing? I must admit that I have very little idea of what you just said. I wonder whether others agree.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:37 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
If "truth is any pronouncement by the oracle at Delphi" is a pronouncement of the oracle at Delphi, then it's true. But there is an infinite number of such definitions, and for any definition, we can only show the truth of that definition by using that same definition. So, no definition can be backed up in any way which would satisfactorily show it to be the truth about truth.
Could you possibly put this is a way that is not so confusing?
I expect that depends on what the obstacle to your understanding is. By observation, your notion of understanding consists of mapping any given statement to one of a finite set of statements, by name philosophers, with which you're familiar, so, I suspect that what you mean by "confusing" is that it's unclear to you to which familiar statement you can equate mine. If so, as I haven't drawn my statement from any statement made by any name philosopher, I have no idea how to alleviate your confusion.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 06:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Well, of course, some theories are well supported by evidence, and then turn out to be false. (And not only theories, but any statements we make). But who denies that? We are fallible, and science, being a human enterprise is a fallible enterprise. We do have a name for a theory that is well supported by evidence, like germ theory. We say it is not only a theory, but it is a fact. (I don't know what you mean by a theory that is both supported and not supported by evidence. Do you mean, perhaps, a theory that is only partly supported, but which also has some disconfirming evidence as well? I suppose there are some such, and, in that case, I suppose that we are in the position of not knowing whether or not that theory is true). I don't think there is some precise cut-off point when a theory is found acceptable by experts in the field. I imagine that it is a gradual thing. Topic of the the acceptability of theories is a major topic in the philosophy of science.

But I don't think I quite get your point. What is it that you are arguing?


My point is that a theory is not a fact... It is a theory. To use your example of the theory of relativity (TOR), TOR is a possible explanation for our observations of nature. Before Einstein, there was another theory. Perhaps the TOR is wrong and makes a fatal error somwhere but still looks right (like some of Newton's theories).

Quote:
We say it is not only a theory, but it is a fact. (I don't know what you mean by a theory that is both supported and not supported by evidence. Do you mean, perhaps, a theory that is only partly supported, but which also has some disconfirming evidence as well?


What I mean is that you were using the word "theory" to mean two different things. In one sense you wanted to call a theory a fact and not a theory, which is nonsensical (you didn't use the word fact, but it seems by your last post that is what you meant) - this is (ii) in my delineation. In the other sense you wanted to call a theory just a theory - this would be (i) in my delineation.

A theory is a theory, that's a tautology. Are you going to tell me that that tautology is false? Let me change it now: A theory is just a theory. When I use the word "theory" in both the former and the latter sentances, I mean a possible explanation, throwing the word "just" in there doesn't seem to change the tautological nature of the proposition.

Furthermore, we were discussing theories of truth. Are you going to tell me you can sufficiently defend a theory of truth to call it a "fact" in the way you call Germ Theory a fact? Because, I would like to see you try.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:13 am
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Well, of course, some theories are well supported by evidence, and then turn out to be false. (And not only theories, but any statements we make). But who denies that? We are fallible, and science, being a human enterprise is a fallible enterprise. We do have a name for a theory that is well supported by evidence, like germ theory. We say it is not only a theory, but it is a fact. (I don't know what you mean by a theory that is both supported and not supported by evidence. Do you mean, perhaps, a theory that is only partly supported, but which also has some disconfirming evidence as well? I suppose there are some such, and, in that case, I suppose that we are in the position of not knowing whether or not that theory is true). I don't think there is some precise cut-off point when a theory is found acceptable by experts in the field. I imagine that it is a gradual thing. Topic of the the acceptability of theories is a major topic in the philosophy of science.

But I don't think I quite get your point. What is it that you are arguing?


My point is that a theory is not a fact... It is a theory. To use your example of the theory of relativity (TOR), TOR is a possible explanation for our observations of nature. Before Einstein, there was another theory. Perhaps the TOR is wrong and makes a fatal error somwhere but still looks right (like some of Newton's theories).

Quote:
We say it is not only a theory, but it is a fact. (I don't know what you mean by a theory that is both supported and not supported by evidence. Do you mean, perhaps, a theory that is only partly supported, but which also has some disconfirming evidence as well?


What I mean is that you were using the word "theory" to mean two different things. In one sense you wanted to call a theory a fact and not a theory, which is nonsensical (you didn't use the word fact, but it seems by your last post that is what you meant) - this is (ii) in my delineation. In the other sense you wanted to call a theory just a theory - this would be (i) in my delineation.

A theory is a theory, that's a tautology. Are you going to tell me that that tautology is false? Let me change it now: A theory is just a theory. When I use the word "theory" in both the former and the latter sentances, I mean a possible explanation, throwing the word "just" in there doesn't seem to change the tautological nature of the proposition.

Furthermore, we were discussing theories of truth. Are you going to tell me you can sufficiently defend a theory of truth to call it a "fact" in the way you call Germ Theory a fact? Because, I would like to see you try.


Well, of course, there is always a possible alternative explanation for any set of facts. That is why Quine writes that all theories are underdetermined by the evidence for them. But, that there is an alternative explanation does not mean that the explanation we have is not a better explanation, nor that the explanation we have is not true. It means only that we are not certain that the explanation we have is not true. But we need not be certain that our explanation is true for it to be true. Certainty implies truth, but truth does not imply certainty. And if our theory is true, then it is a fact. That is one of the meanings of "fact", namely "truth". So, just because we cannot be certain that a theory is true is not a good reason for not thinking it is a fact. To say that germ theory is a fact, is not to deny that it is also a theory. Theory and fact are not incompatible. They are complementary. And, of course, a theory is a theory. Who would deny that. But I thought the issue was not whether a theory is a theory (how could that be an issue anyway?) I thought the issue was whether a theory is only a theory (or merely a theory) where the "only" and the "merely" indicate that there is little or no evidence for the theory. And that, as both of us know, is simply not true. And, we know that in the case of many well-established theories (germ theory, Relativity theory, molecular theory, etc.) the evidence is overwhelming enough for us to say that they are facts. Which is, of course, not to say that we know them for certain, for we are not infallible, and the possibility of disconfirming evidence is there. But that is, after all, true not merely about theories, but about even the most basic things we know; for example that there is a cat on the mat in front of us. But the mere possibility that something might turn up that disconfirms our belief that there is a cat on the mat is no reason for us not to believe that we know that there is a cat on the mat, nor that it is not a fact that there is a cat on the mat. It is only a reason for thinking that we are not certain that there is a cat on the mat (or that there are germs). But certainty is not the goal of science, only knowledge and truth are. Science is not, after all, religion. Science is fallible because it is testable. Religion is not fallible just because it is not testable.

Theories of truth are, of course, not scientific theories. They are philosophical theories, and concern conceptual matters. Nevertheless, there are facts about how we think and talk about truth of which any theory of truth must take into account, and where there are rival theories of truth, we can try to determine which of the rival theories is the most plausible in the light of how we think and talk about truth. The intellectual approach is the same, although, of course, there are differences. Now, as I have said, I am not at all clear just what the pragmatic theory of truth is (and I don't think I am alone in this) but if it is epitomized by the slogan, "truth is what works" then I believe there are serious difficulties with that idea, one of which is that it leads to a vicious infinite regress.
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 08:37 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

To say that germ theory is a fact, is not to deny that it is also a theory. Theory and fact are not incompatible. They are complementary. And, of course, a theory is a theory.


Good reply. I've haven't had the chance to study the philosophy of science, so this whole "theory"/"fact" thing is quite new to me. More or less, I'm shooting from the hip.

I do, however, have a problem with calling a theory a fact. The problem lies in the fallability, as you mentioned. Perhaps I can't sufficiently define what a fact is, though.

Quote:
Now, as I have said, I am not at all clear just what the pragmatic theory of truth is (and I don't think I am alone in this) but if it is epitomized by the slogan, "truth is what works" then I believe there are serious difficulties with that idea, one of which is that it leads to a vicious infinite regress.


As I mentioned when I made the comment about the Pragmatic Theory of Truth, I cannot defend what I said. I'm unclear on the Pragmatic Theory of Truth also, but it is something like what you said. Here, this is copied from Wikipedia (I know.. shudder), but it hits home:

William James's version of pragmatic theory, while complex, is often summarized by his statement that "the 'true' is only the expedient in our way of thinking, just as the 'right' is only the expedient in our way of behaving."[27] By this, James meant that truth is a quality the value of which is confirmed by its effectiveness when applying concepts to actual practice (thus, "pragmatic").

Now, I have serious problems with the Pragmatic Theory of Truth just as you do. My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought. Did you think I was trying to defend this theory?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:09 am
@de Silentio,
Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Why is that a problem ? I suggest you are in denial of the concept of thought as a dynamic proces
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:16 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Why is that a problem ? I suggest you are in denial of the concept of thought as a dynamic proces


I don't think I'm in denial of anything. Please provide me with some evidence that supports your suggestion.

Let me rephrase what I said in my former post:

Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Should read: My biggest problem is that truth MERELY becomes conscequential to action or practical thought.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 09:17 am
@de Silentio,
Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Why is that a problem ? I suggest you are in denial of the concept of thought as a dynamic process which constructs relative permanencies. The abstract permanence of "the word" does not "describe" the dynamic world....in imposes order on the world in accordance with our evolutionary motivation" to control."
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:28 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Why is that a problem ? I suggest you are in denial of the concept of thought as a dynamic process which constructs relative permanencies. The abstract permanence of "the word" does not "describe" the dynamic world....in imposes order on the world in accordance with our evolutionary motivation" to control."


I didn't say that I have a problem with thought producing the world of my experience. I think that the transcendental idealism of both Kant and Husserl (though in different ways) hold a lot of weight with regard to explaining our experience of the world. However, even if I do dynamically "construct relative permanencies", that is not the way that I phenomenologically experience the world.

Either way, the fact that I think truth isn't merely consequential to action or practical thought does not exclude "thought as a dynamic process which constructs relative permanancies". Thus, I see no grounds for your suggestion. Perhaps I am missing something.

Quote:
The abstract permanence of "the word" does not "describe" the dynamic world....in imposes order on the world in accordance with our evolutionary motivation" to control."


Those are some lofty claims. Perhaps you can provide some evidence to back them up (especially the "evolutionary movtivation to control part", that's where you lost me).

Quote:
Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Why is that a problem ?


Because truth seems to be more than just the consequence of action or practical thought. Emotions (like love, hate, desire) and feelings (like pain, pleasure, nausea) seem to not be the product of practical thinking or practical action, but have a truth indicating feature to the individual experiencing them.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:30 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

fresco wrote:

Why is that a problem ? I suggest you are in denial of the concept of thought as a dynamic proces


I don't think I'm in denial of anything. Please provide me with some evidence that supports your suggestion.

Let me rephrase what I said in my former post:

Quote:
My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought.


Should read: My biggest problem is that truth MERELY becomes conscequential to action or practical thought.


Would you please explain the problem? I don't understand it?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:41 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

To say that germ theory is a fact, is not to deny that it is also a theory. Theory and fact are not incompatible. They are complementary. And, of course, a theory is a theory.


Good reply. I've haven't had the chance to study the philosophy of science, so this whole "theory"/"fact" thing is quite new to me. More or less, I'm shooting from the hip.

I do, however, have a problem with calling a theory a fact. The problem lies in the fallability, as you mentioned. Perhaps I can't sufficiently define what a fact is, though.

Quote:
Now, as I have said, I am not at all clear just what the pragmatic theory of truth is (and I don't think I am alone in this) but if it is epitomized by the slogan, "truth is what works" then I believe there are serious difficulties with that idea, one of which is that it leads to a vicious infinite regress.


As I mentioned when I made the comment about the Pragmatic Theory of Truth, I cannot defend what I said. I'm unclear on the Pragmatic Theory of Truth also, but it is something like what you said. Here, this is copied from Wikipedia (I know.. shudder), but it hits home:

William James's version of pragmatic theory, while complex, is often summarized by his statement that "the 'true' is only the expedient in our way of thinking, just as the 'right' is only the expedient in our way of behaving."[27] By this, James meant that truth is a quality the value of which is confirmed by its effectiveness when applying concepts to actual practice (thus, "pragmatic").

Now, I have serious problems with the Pragmatic Theory of Truth just as you do. My biggest problem is that truth becomes consequential to action or practical thought. Did you think I was trying to defend this theory?


The term "a fact" is often used as just a synonym of "a truth". Now, a proposition may be true but no one be certain that it is true (certain in the sense that it is impossible to be mistaken about it). A true proposition's truth is unaffected by whether anyone knows it is is true, or is even certain that it is true. So, even if I am fallible, so that I am not certain that something is a fact (a truth) why should that affect whether that something is a fact (a truth)? Of course, when I claim that some proposition is a fact (or a truth) I suggest (by making that claim) that I am very confident that the proposition is true. But that has noting to do with whether I am am certain that the propositions is true. It has to do only with my claiming it is true.

However expedient it is to think that I will win the chess game, it need not be true that I will win the game. What James wrote is rubbish on its face.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:50 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:


Should read: My biggest problem is that truth MERELY becomes conscequential to action or practical thought.


Would you please explain the problem? I don't understand it?
[/quote]

Please clarify what you don't understand in the problem so I can try to effectively answer you.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:56 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
Pontius Pilate allegedly didn't know. Do you ?
Well yes, yes I do...it is a condition whereby there exists a consistency.

In fact there is even truth in the purely random, because by the very nature of its pure randomness it has consistency.
0 Replies
 
 

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