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Can anyone refute this definition of 'truth'?

 
 
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 03:11 pm
It's not my own, I think I read it on here actually. It is:
'Truth is what works.'
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Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 5,811 • Replies: 83
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 03:54 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Yes, the pragmatic conception of truth. It certainly is one of a number of possible conceptions and a very useful one. Wink
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Joe Nation
 
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 04:00 pm
I can't refute except by adding to it.
Truth is what works every single time.

Joe(there's plenty of things that work onced in awhile and then never)Nation
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 04:18 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Since "refutation" implies a concept of truth and falsity as axiomatic rather than pragmatic, your question implies a paradox.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzynRPP9XkY
The Pentacle Queen
 
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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2011 03:51 am
@fresco,
Excellent, thanks.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2011 10:52 pm
@fresco,
I agree but if an architect's calculation results in the collapse of a bridge, is that not both a failure in praxis and a refutation of some working hypothesis--a failure in both prediction and control?
north
 
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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2011 10:56 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

I agree but if an architect's calculation results in the collapse of a bridge, is that not both a failure in praxis and a refutation of some working hypothesis--a failure in both prediction and control?


a practicle truth
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 01:37 am
@JLNobody,
The problem with designing bridges is balancing the expected tolerance conditions with respect to the available budget, rather than a failure of theory or practice. No bridge is likely to withstand improbable stresses.
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Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 06:21 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
I'd like to give an alternate definition if I may. I like the definition of 'Maktub' in Paulo Coelho's book The Alchemist. It means 'it is written' in arabic to english translation (although the translation is apparently not comprehensive). Althought it talks about ones own path in the book, I like to see it as 'everything just is'.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 02:58 pm
@Procrustes,
I'm not sure what you mean by "everthing just is" but it seems consistent with my attitude that Reality is what it is regardless of my notions about what it is. That's a kind of faith; no matter if I'm right or wrong, Reallity remains what it is, safe from my errors and those of others.
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 05:58 pm
How about; truth is the will of the strongest, most persuasive or the one most in fulfillment of the ideals we hold in regard.

"Truth is what works" serves a lot of practical purposes, but if we don't know what works, that can lead us to believe that the truth is impossible. A language game, certainly, but people seem to enjoy those.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 06:09 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
"The truth is obscure,
Too profound and too pure.
To live it you have to explode."

"Don't ask me nuthin' about nuthin' Babe,
I might just tell you the truth."

Bob Dylan.
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 08:48 pm
@JLNobody,
That sounds like my attitude too JL, although sometimes I feel 'notionless' when confronted with the Truth or Reality. It's like some kind of awe inspired reverence to them.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:05 pm
@Procrustes,
Nice. Notionless is a state of bliss, a meditative state.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:08 pm
@Cyracuz,
Isn't that similar to Foucalt's notion that truth is what the powerful are able to impose on the weak. I'm thinking of the Church's power during the middle ages (although that is only the most obvious example--the pattern is probably general and the reason I dislike the mass media owned by people like Rupert Murdock).
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:15 pm
@Cyracuz,
If it is about language then truth is relative to language and meaning. I can have a definition that blue means red and that would be true of my definiton, but it would be false for someone who agrees with the definition that blue means green.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 12:31 am
@Procrustes,
Tht's 'true'. Smile But now you're talking semantics, not epistemology.
JHuber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 02:44 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
To define truth in terms of work limits truth to the definition of work. I believe work is too limited for a definition of truth. For example, if one doesn't tell the truth, a lie, a lie is something that sometimes works.

When we speak of truth, truth is a synonym for right. Right can be defined as if a subject is within an extrinsic subject. Often the extrinsic subject is the field beyond language. Using this we can differentiate right with truth. We then can think of truth as if a subject is within the field beyond language.
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 05:40 am
@Lustig Andrei,
How we justify things depends on the structure of semantics at times. If articulating 'truth' is to lay claim that something is indeed justified, then language does lend a hand to disseminating that knowledge. It is merely an aspect of truth.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 08:17 am
@JLNobody,
Quote:
Isn't that similar to Foucalt's notion that truth is what the powerful are able to impose on the weak.


Perhaps. The stronger force dictates truth, whether it is the rich vs the poor or the articulate vs the inarticulate. Gravity sets a limit to how tall trees can grow. I think it boils down to pretty much "what works" but also perhaps "the outcome". It also reflects that "truth" is subject to change.
For some reason that got me thinking about the Bob Dylan song, The times they are a changin'. Also Churchill's words; "history is written by the victors".
 

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