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Truth Has An Elusive Meaning (but It Does Hold Meaning)-

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Posted by Harvey on April 27, 2001 22:16:59 UTC

Dick,

I'm not trying to block an established meaning of words (e.g., true), I'm only saying that some words are not fully reducible to an exact meaning and are used in multiple contexts and still are useful. For example, I think if I casually mentioned that "today I saw Dick have breakfast", then most would assume that I was corresponding an activity I saw you do with my statement recalling what I did. If I said "I think Dick had breakfast today because he always eats breakfast", then the typical idea in most people's heads would be that I wasn't corresponding my statement with anything I saw you do (or recall from memory), but they would say that I was cohering my knowledge of you with what I think you did this morning. If I said that "I think Dick had breakfast today" because I was on "The Wheel of Fortune" game show and that was the phrase that I needed to say in order to win money (i.e., the "Wheel" requires you to say the puzzle in order to win the money), then in that case people wouldn't consider it true that you had breakfast, but they would consider my response 'true' as to what needed to be said to win money.

So, each case the word truth can be used and each case shows a different aspect to the meaning of the word. I don't think that I am limited the meaning of the word, but instead I am trying to qualify the whole meaning of the word. I just won't let a partial meaning to be mistaken as the whole meaning of the phrase.

Warm regards, Harv

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