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The Source Of My Confusion

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Posted by Mike Levine on August 1, 2003 19:23:14 UTC

My problem is that I don't understand why you seem to think the concept of truth applies to anything other than language. It's so clear to me that statements are the only things that can be true, yet I'm unable to understand why you can't see that. I can only imagine we are talking about entirely different concepts.

I suspect part of the problem is that people tend to mix up 'true' with 'real'. I notice it's quite common for those two words to be interchangeable in almost any sentence, which is kind of strange for me as I always assumed they were not synonymous. I always took it that "true" applies to language and "real" applies to whatever it is the language is referring to. More often than not, when you refer to 'truth' in your posts it sounds to me like you're thinking about 'real' instead.

In my head, the conundrum between 'true' and 'real' is the very thing that made Wittgenstein say we shouldn't talk about things that cannot be talked about. For whereas 'true' can be formally defined in a language, 'real' cannot. Within the framework of language, 'real' is completely isomorphic with 'true'. It takes a conscious being to know the difference, and the difference cannot be expressed in symbols of any kind.

With the above, I confess my inability to explain that which cannot be explained. Either you know what I'm talking about or you don't. If you do, there's nothing I need to tell you. If you don't, there's nothing I can tell you. Either way, silence is the most sensible thing I can offer.

Regards, ML

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