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Truth As 'intelligence'

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Posted by Harvey on November 4, 2004 15:44:05 UTC

Harvey: "I can't accept these concepts as epiphenomenal." Mario: Why not? It is a logical impossibility?

No, it's not a logical impossibility, but it presents overriding philosophical problems by trying to remove all of these concepts. For example, causation is especially difficult to remove. Did I not just type this, did you not just respond because I typed this? Events such as this have a causation that is related to mental intent between the two of us, and not because of some statistical ensemble behavior of some kind of theoretical indivisible matter having no logical or mathematical basis for its behavior. Do I know that for a fact, 'no', but if the issue is one of parsimony, I believe a God of truth is much more parsimonious.

I'd suggest that mathematical law is true by its very nature: it doesn't need a root. Show me a universe where 2 plus 2 does not equal 4, or where the square root of a negative number has a real value... To say that the axioms themselves are eternal and causeless seems to be just as plausible as to say that the axioms that run our universe have a cause, which in turn have their cause, ad infinitum.

Why is a causeless infinite chain that just 'exists' just as legitimate as a simple truth tree that 'starts off' with a question (namely, "what is truth?"). In the first case you have everything in the world that has no explanation (including every tidbit in our universe), and not to mention, you even have the appearance of cause which is just false and misleading (e.g., scientific causes, mental intention, etc).

In the second case you start off with the unexplained, that which cannot be explained, but fortunately it is a reality that needs explanation, hence the explanans that naturally exist. Those explanans can easily be construed as approximated attempts at 'truth' - axioms if you will.

Your argument that mathematical law is true by its very nature doesn't even follow modern mathematics. We don't say a theorem is proved by its very nature, we say it is proved by deduction from its axioms. All logic and mathematics is rooted to its axioms, so why would anything we say about a 'mathematical order' not be linked and dependent on those axioms as being 'true' (as is done in mathematics and logic)?

Well, I don't know what it means to say that truth "exists," I mean, if something exists it must be true, by definition. The idea of "truth," I think, requires a consciousness capable of discriminating fallacies.

Specifically, I mean there is a nature of truth that only a theory of truth can account for. That is, if all that exists is a question ("what is truth?"); meaning that it is at a 'primitive' causal stage of a base reality that requires something to be the case about it, then the question is a legitimate one.

"4) Truth is equivalent to 'intelligence'"

You've never been one to say nutty things, Harv, and I'm sorry if this statements sounds downright nutty to me. If you're claiming that it takes intelligence to create a concept such as "truth," I agree. But I don't see how that establishes the existence of anything. If you're arguing that it takes an intelligent source to create a universe in which things can be said to be "true" by intelligent beings, I guess I just don't see the connection."

No, I'm saying that the concept of truth is by very nature conscious and intelligent, in some respects. Let's take a very simple theory of truth and you can get the idea (it applies for all the known theories of truth). I can't use Russell's correspondence theory since he actually requires a belief to exist, and that's too easy for me (since only intelligent and conscious existence can have a belief). I'll use Austin's correspondence theory:

Paraphrasing: If any statement is supposedly true, then there must be a set of sentences composing the statement that refer to a state of affairs where the set of sentences are of the same types of the state of affairs (i.e., context), and if such a statement obtains, then the statement is true.

So, what you see from this particular correspondence theory is that Language, State of Affairs, and a Judgement is all integral to truth. Hence, if truth actually exists, here's an example of how intelligence and consciousness must co-exist in order to confirm that in fact a statement obtains.

An interesting aspect of this is that it requires for there to be worlds since in order for the question of "what is truth?" to be answered, there must be a state of affairs that statements (e.g., mathematical statements) are true. If this were a criminal court of law, you have given your suspect an intent to commit their creative acts.

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