Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Philosophers are interested in a constellation of issues involving the concept of truth. A preliminary issue, although somewhat subsidiary, is to decide what sorts of things can be true. Is truth a property of sentences (which are linguistic entities in some language or other), or is truth a property of propositions (nonlinguistic, abstract and timeless entities)? The principal issue is: What is truth? It is the problem of being clear about what you are saying when you say some claim or other is true. The most important theories of truth are the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory, the Deflationary Theory, the Coherence Theory, and the Pragmatic Theory. They are explained and compared here. Whichever theory of truth is advanced to settle the principal issue, there are a number of additional issues to be addressed:
1 Can claims about the future be true now?
2 Can there be some algorithm for finding truth - some recipe or procedure for deciding, for any claim in the system of, say, arithmetic, whether the claim is true?
3 Can the predicate "is true" be completely defined in other terms so that it can be eliminated, without loss of meaning, from any context in which it occurs?
4 To what extent do theories of truth avoid paradox?
5 Is the goal of scientific research to achieve truth?
- posted by -g @ 7:41 PM | | 0 rocks in pond
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