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Tough Day?

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Posted by Harvey on April 25, 2003 17:00:04 UTC


You sound a little testy, I hope I didn't catch you on a bad day?

***" I think the concept of truth is important to humans. " What is that supposed to mean? Sure, truth may not be important to a horse, a virus, a stone, or a god. But you and I are human; we are not horses, viruses, stones, or gods. I don't care about what's important to those things, I only care about what's important to humans, for the very simple fact that what is not important to humans is not important to me!***

Let me rephrase. I think the concept of absolute truth is important to anyone. The open question is how do we treat statements that pretend to be fully undeniable in every possible situation imaginable? Do we treat fully undeniable statements as undeniable because they make our lives meaningful or do we treat them fully undeniable because they cannot be otherwise? I believe the former.

***And would you please stop calling it ipsi-duda? How old are you, four?***

I'll stop since it upsets you (are you four?). The purpose of doing that step is to remove the mystique that surrounds the common assumptions about truth talk. Sometimes when you label something by a different name, you must deal with the contents instead of being sidetracked by the label. You might recall sometime ago on Counterbalance how Dick protested about calling reality by the term 'R1'. The reason, it turned out, is that reality is a loaded word that has connotations for someone wanting to take unique advantages of those connotations in a subtle manner.

***" The question is does our concept of truth approach the truth that may or may not regulate the fundamental structures of the universe? " There is no truth that regulates the fundamental structures of the universe! Truth is a fundamental attribute of any sentence in English, as much as Wahrheit is a fundamental attribute of any sentence in German. There is no more to it and no less! Stars, planets, objects, atoms, those things don't speak any language!***

Let me rephrase. The question is does a concept of absolute truth approach any absolute truth of the universe that may regulate the fundamental structures of the universe. Truth is a fundamental attribute (or byproduct) of any sentence in English, but this reference to 'truth' may not equate to an absolute truth of the universe.

***Are you familiar with logical positivism or not?***

Yes, I am familiar with positivism. You don't strike me as a positivist unless your position has changed. Positivists generally have what is called a vericationist approach to truth. Something is only true if you can verify it (usually by science), and they had a complete distain for anything that science could not in principle verify. Vericationalism and some other aspects of positivism were largely shattered by the 1960's, and therefore it is not so popular. The movement has more or less migrated to a Logical Empiricism stance which allows for something more than mere verificational statements.


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