Truth is a complete fiction( So is reality).

  • #1
I think we can do without the whole notion of truth and reality.The traditional notion of truth is that a statement is true iff there some "correspondences" between the statement in question and reality. An attack on this conception of truth is a either/and attack on:
1) The notion of correspondences.
2) The notion of reality.

The notion of "correspondence" is philosophically vague. There is no possible explanation for it without add more fuzziness to this already confusing notion. This becomes the list of things that we know in our gut, but we don t know why. We know in our gut what A corresponds to B( where A is a statement, and B is reality) mean, but we don` t know why it is so. "correspondence" is just an undefined primitive. Why do we have this this undefined primitive? Because it is useful for our ancestors to think in this certain way.


The notion of reality is even more vague. My criticism of reality is similar to my criticism of metaphysics/ ontology in general. There is the platonist or rationalist conception that reality is more than the sum of all spatial-temporal itentities. The empiricalist conception that reality is only the sum of all spatial-temporal entities. The underlying assumption is that one of the above conception is the right one. These are all a priori, fancy speculation when we claim that reality has to be this way or that way( As if there is only two choice). Ultimately, no one knows what reality is suppose to be or else there would be some meta-criterion that would help us decide between the two conception. Let say the empiricalist conception is the right one. That reality is the sum of all spatial-temporal entities. It still does not mean we know what "all" these spatial-temporal entities "is". If we don t know what all these spatial-temporal entities "is", then there is really no way for us to know if our statement really corresponds to one of these entities. We encounter extra problem if reality is the union of more than one physical reality( Ex: disjointed space-time universes). How would we form a correspondence between our statement and a universe where gravity g is such that g=(1.234)Mm/r^2? The question of these other "universes" would be questionable, because we simply do not know.


My conclusion is that notions like truth and reality are really complete fictions. They are undefined primitive that we know in our gut, but don t know why. The best explanation i can come up with is that these undefined primitive is there because it is useful to think they are there for our ancient ancestors, and by extention us. They come out of use in our language, because it aid the survival of our ancestors.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,930
2,421
Did you have a question, or were you just musing?
 
  • #3
Did you have a question, or were you just musing?
You mean a science question? should it not be in a science forum?
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,930
2,421
You mean a science question? should it not be in a science forum?
Well, maybe or maybe not. But my point is, you've just expressed an opinion. You don't seem to have a question about it, or provided an opening for discussion. I guess the only thing to say is:

How nice for you.
 
  • #5
Well, maybe or maybe not. But my point is, you've just expressed an opinion. You don't seem to have a question about it, or provided an opening for discussion. I guess the only thing to say is:

How nice for you.
But i do have a opening...

Namely,truth is a complete fiction( So is reality).

It is kind of hard to miss. Don t you think? It is how philosophy is done for 2000+ years. It is how it ought to be done in a philosophy forum. It is how it is done in philosophical journals.



A good technical question in philosophy would be something like "What is the analytic/synthetic distinction?", but i under the impression that a philosophy forum ought to be about non-definitional questions in philosophy. You can do that by going to the philosophical dictionary. Maybe you can give me some examples of questions you have in mind?
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Evo
Mentor
23,153
2,796
You're braver than I am Dave. :smile:
 
  • #7
I am not sure what i did wrong here! I have a thesis, and i support my thesis using cold hard a priori reasoning. It is how philosophy is done in philosophy journals. It is how it is done for 2000+ years, and it is how it ought it be done in a philosophy forum.
 
  • #8
Evo
Mentor
23,153
2,796
You're fine, but how do you propose to defend your claim that there is no truth?

And why is "correspondence" vague?
 
  • #9
sketchtrack
I think that there is truth, and there is reality. Reality is the collection of all truth. As a human who is dependent on our senses, memory, and thought alone, we cannot ever perceive the whole truth, or all of reality.

We only observe a small portion of reality. It is also hard to prove that what we observe is the absolute truth. Realistically what we observe with our senses are really just effects of what is real. We see light, which is not the atom, but reflects off of it, we hear sounds which tell us how it is affecting the gasses around us. We never directly observe what it actually is.

Still I think there is truth to our observation. Memory on the other hand uses a less pure form of truth than observation.

When it comes to correspondence, I not sure I know exactly what you mean, could you be more specific. I would say correspondence is only helpful in teaching us how to stake our bets in what is real. Say you like milky way bars, every time you buy one and eat it, it taste good. So you believe it to be real that milky ways taste good to you.
 
  • #10
You're fine, but how do you propose to defend your claim that there is no truth?

And why is "correspondence" vague?
According the the traditional theory of truth, Something is truth if there is a appeal to correspondence and reality.

I show that correspondence is a undefined primitive, a priori intersubjective agreement between our ancestors becuase it is helps them survive for another day.

I show that reality is too "big" of a thing for anyone to answer. It is very how hard to correspond if you don t know what everything in reality "is".


For detail, you really have to read my original post.
 
Last edited:
  • #11
sketchtrack
The notion of "correspondence" is philosophically vague. There is no possible explanation for it without add more fuzziness to this already confusing notion. This becomes the list of things that we know in our gut, but we don t know why. We know in our gut what A corresponds to B( where A is a statement, and B is reality) mean, but we don` t know why it is so. "correspondence" is just an undefined primitive. Why do we have this this undefined primitive? Because it is useful for our ancestors to think in this certain way.
I think what your getting at is that everything is trial and error, and that we observe no cause and effect, nor can we gain truth through reason alone in assessing the questionable unknown, but only through statistical apparent evidence? This isn't true for me, but my fish might be leaning more towards that direction.
 
  • #12
I think what your getting at is that everything is trial and error, and that we observe no cause and effect, nor can we gain truth through reason alone in assessing the questionable unknown, but only through statistical apparent evidence? This isn't true for me, but my fish might be leaning more towards that direction.

No. I am saying we can do away with the whole notion of truth and reality. All of what is left is agreements between people.
 
  • #13
sketchtrack
i guess you are more talking about not physical truth maybe? Like is it a good idea to invade iran, where we have only our gut feelings because we don't know what the outcome will actually be overall?
 
  • #14
i guess you are more talking about not physical truth maybe? Like is it a good idea to invade iran, where we have only our gut feelings because we don't know what the outcome will actually be overall?
Philosophers have very simgular definition of truth. The claim "E=mc^2" is true if and only if it correspondence to reality. This is the traditional notion of truth. I am am againist it my saying it makes no sense. What we have are mere agreements, and conventions. I am sorry, but this is really of a technical nature. I am not sure if i can help you any more.
 
  • #15
another way of looking

What does "#$%^&*" mean? It does not mean anything. It is just a sequence of meaningless symbols on the computer screen. Am i referent to reality, or something objective? NO.


We take "#$%^&*" to mean something only by convention. We say a sequence of symbols arrenged in a certain way, and call this sequence true by appealing to something called "reality", but even "reality" is a arrengement of meaninglesss symbols, conventions, and defintions. What is this leave us. There is no reality or truth. There are only meaningless symbols on a piece of paper. The symbols has meaning be agreement between members of the same linquistic community. That is all.
 
  • #16
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132


What does "#$%^&*" mean?
You tell me.
It does not mean anything.
Is that a true statement?
It is just a sequence of meaningless symbols on the computer screen.
Is that a true statement?
Am i referent to reality, or something objective? NO.
Are you sure about that?
We take "#$%^&*" to mean something only by convention.
Is that a true statement?
We say a sequence of symbols arrenged in a certain way, and call this sequence true by appealing to something called "reality", but even "reality" is a arrengement of meaninglesss symbols, conventions, and defintions.
Is that a true statement?
 
  • #17


You tell me.

Is that a true statement?
Is that a true statement?

Are you sure about that?

Is that a true statement?

Is that a true statement?
Are you pretending to be a clown?
 
Last edited:
  • #18
Alfi
What does "#$%^&*" mean?
Two questions come to mind. What does that mean to you, and what do you think it means to me?

bang bang bang #$%^&* ouch!, means something to me. ( I hit my finger with a hammer )

bang bang bang #$%^&* ouch!, may or may not mean the same thing to you.

Communication defines words and meaning between individual personal realities.
 
  • #19
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132


Are you pretending to be a clown?
No, but you have proven yourself to be one.
You are dismissed.
 
  • #20
107
0
Isn't considering "there is no truth", as a truth a little inconsistent?
 
  • #21


No, but you have proven yourself to be one.
You are dismissed.

Ok. I am wrong. I obviously said something you didn t like( not sure what that is). In any case, i am sorry.
 
Last edited:
  • #22


I show that correspondence is a undefined primitive, a priori intersubjective agreement between our ancestors becuase it is helps them survive for another day.
How is test via trial an error to determine 'correspondences' merely an agreement between persons and not a measure of 'reality'?

What does "#$%^&*" mean? It does not mean anything. It is just a sequence of meaningless symbols on the computer screen. Am i referent to reality, or something objective? NO.


We take "#$%^&*" to mean something only by convention. We say a sequence of symbols arrenged in a certain way, and call this sequence true by appealing to something called "reality", but even "reality" is a arrengement of meaninglesss symbols, conventions, and defintions. What is this leave us. There is no reality or truth. There are only meaningless symbols on a piece of paper. The symbols has meaning be agreement between members of the same linquistic community. That is all.
This is in regards to languages, not 'truth' or 'reality'. You'll not likely find many people here who consider words to be direct 'correspondences' to 'reality'. But languages, especially math, can create intellectual models of 'reality' and those models, while not directly congruent with 'reality', can be highly predictive and descriptive of that 'reality'.
 
Last edited:
  • #23
Two questions come to mind. What does that mean to you, and what do you think it means to me?

bang bang bang #$%^&* ouch!, means something to me. ( I hit my finger with a hammer )

bang bang bang #$%^&* ouch!, may or may not mean the same thing to you.

Communication defines words and meaning between individual personal realities.

Not sure what you are talking about. Maybe it is funny( from your point of view). In any case, when i wrote that, i did not intent it to be funny. In fact, i spend many hours on it. I take it very seriously. If you have any honor at all, then place stop making fun( perhaps insult) of it.
 
Last edited:
  • #24
TheStatutoryApe,
How is test via trial an error to determine 'correspondences' merely an agreement between persons and not a measure of 'reality'?


This is going to be dense, but here it goes:

Normally, when people say "reality". They imagine it to be some non-human, mind-independent thing. It is this conception that i am againist.

There many theories on truth( in philosophy), and one of the most popular one is the correspondence theory of truth. Namely, A statement is truth if and only if the statement correspondences to reality. The definition invoke an appeal to "correspondence" and "reality"( the two notion i find problematic, see my first post). The "attack" on this standard conception of truth is supported by me poking holes on "correspondence" and "reality"( first post). I conclude that words like "reality" and "truth" have meaning in the sense that there is a share agreement of what we mean when we use "reality" and "truth". We know what a word mean if we know how it is defined, and used within the linquistic community. When i say "reality" is empty, it is similar to the claim "gold mountain exist" or "santa clause is real", but not exactly like it. If words like "reality" and "truth" is nothing more but a linquistic construct, then all there are are words, and definitions/ usages. The only thing we need are agreements between people. The whole of science, and religion would be no more but stories between different members of the same linquistic group. To summerize: 1) We can do away with "reality", "truth" and "correspondence". 2) All there is are agreements between how words( reality, truth, correspondence) are used.





"This is in regards to languages, not 'truth' or 'reality'. You'll not likely find many people here who consider words to be direct 'correspondences' to 'reality'. But languages, especially math, can create intellectual models of 'reality' and those models, while not directly congruent with 'reality', can be highly predictive and descriptive of that 'reality'. "

Not a problem. We can draw the same analogy between statements in language and equations in math. The equations in physics is formal. They have precise rules of deduction, and starting axioms. The interpretations/meaning of the equations does depend on agreements between members of the same linquistic community. We can do away with the whole notion of the equations corresponding to something called reality. Instead, we ought to say that such interpretation of the equations is good because it predicts results from experiments.
 
Last edited:
  • #25
Alfi
Normally, when people say "reality". They imagine it to be some non-human, mind-independent thing. It is this conception that i am againist.
Normally ? as in a centre point of a Bell curve, when people say "reality"?

"They imagine it to be...,.". Do They? I don't, and I'm normal, in my reality.

Good thing I'm not one of 'they' then. I'm just one of me. :)


Why, if I may ask, are you against the concept that reality will vanish if you are not in it.
Does reality require a mind or a human to be?
 

Related Threads on Truth is a complete fiction( So is reality).

  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
9K
Replies
16
Views
2K
Replies
22
Views
9K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
55
Views
8K
  • Last Post
5
Replies
113
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
7K
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
52
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Top