What is “truth”? - A true friend - A true likeness - The true meaning of democracy - True diamonds - Truth tables in math - I love you truly
Initial Considerations - Truth is a judgment we make about a proposition (Statement that is true/false): -The cat is on the mat - it is raining - Every event has a cause - So, someone says P is true, someone else disagrees We need a way to test/verify various knowledge claims
Possible essay topic: Discuss the characteristics and the merits of the three different truth tests and how they might intertwine in some way.
Correspondence- Empiricism (observation/experience)
Coherence- Rationalism (only reason/consistency)
Pragmatism- (true if it works in practice)
Correspondence Theory A statement is true if it corresponds to a fact. - “Grass is green” is true if and only if grass is green A statement is uttered about a state of affairs (a fact) and the words either match or fit or agree with the facts (the state of affairs) - “The cat is on the mat” is true if and only if there is a cat on the mat To apply correspondence, 2 things are involved: 1. subjective mental concept 2. real object to which the mental concept corresponds. Problems with Correspondence
1) Problems with facts - What is a “fact”? - What does it mean for a fact to exist? - Where do facts exist? 2) Correspondence is never perfect 3) Truth cannot be determines in isolation “There is a snake in my attic” - How would you determine if this is true? What problems arise? - Can we say this statement is true in insolation from other things we know?
Coherence Theory A proposition is true if it fits in with our overall set of beliefs - A criminal trial based on eyewitness accounts. (How would you determine the truth?) - Someone claims to see a shark in Lake Geneva. But sharks live in salt water. Lake Geneva is a freshwater lake. - Someone claims to have seen Tupac. But there is documentary evidence that he died in Las Vegas. Problems with Coherence 1) Not sufficient for truth It may be good for negative tests for truth, nit not positive tests it may be