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"Truth" involves judgment, a list of criteria in a hierarchy of importance.

And now we need to ask, where is each criterian in the hierarchy; does the range(s) of the criteria create a bounded answer-solution universe - roughly, A Set - giving the potential for the question to be 'answered' or do they create a unbound answer-solution universe -- in which case they cannot be answered except through an subjectively generated arbitrary halt; is environment in which these questions are posed dynamic - and if so under what terms, conditions, actions, powers, & blah, blah; is the environment static, always? (really? -- Thermodynamics doesn't affect it?); what is the Temporal or Time conditions, restraints, considerations, & blah, blah; if you're using Logic which Logic system are you using: Categorical, Modal, Predicate Calculus, Boolean, Propositional, epsilon calculus, mathematical, Fuzzy and why and how do you know you can answer using the axioms of the chosen Logic system; and so forth & so on and yadda-yadda-yadda.

Mix with cultural, class, economic, political, demographic, sociological, neurological, psychological, neuro-psychological, language, cognitive, emotional, philosophical, etc. etc. etc. bias, training, and knowledge.

What comes out are a Whole Bunch of Truths with varying Truth Value as the acceptance of a proposition is independent of the Truth Value.  

(and I'm being kicked off the computer.  More later, I hope.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:58:01 PM EST
Hey, I never claimed assembling large truths from small ones was easy.  I only claim that it leads to more reliable results.

Your list is an excellent start on the complexity involved.  Thank goodness for the power tools we now have to manage this complexity.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Sep 11th, 2007 at 03:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and just in time.  

You nearly sucked us into that misty, shadowy, shape-shifting universe of multi-valued, probabilistic, dynamically drifting, contingent realities which may or may not be simulated by mental models partly tested for internal consistency and external validity, where one makes a guess, and commits oneself to it, in the hope that by doing so, one will learn--whether painfully or otherwise--whether the guess was correct, at least that much, but more likely learns instead that one has just been lead deeper into shadow and swirling darkness with only one certainty:  The growing suspicion that one is not cut out for this business after all, and that in the hunt for Truth one has been outwitted, and Truth instead has hunted you.  

And having pounced will soon be eating you for lunch.

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Sep 11th, 2007 at 05:02:21 PM EST
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This is not to say all Truths are always relative. 'While standing on this planet, if I raise a pen to shoulder height and release it then it will drop' is True and it is always True.  'While standing on this planet, if I raise a pen to shoulder height and release it then it will rise to the ceiling' is False and is always False.  Unless, in both cases, someone is adding or subtracting normal affective forces.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Sep 11th, 2007 at 10:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it important to remember when virtuous philosophic doubt about the truthfulness or accuracy of a statement was justified.  Not so long ago, there was very little accurate info about the world.

I get the feeling that most of the heavy breathing about relativity, uncertainty, etc. is an archaic thinking not unlike a belief that all portraits must be painted in oils.

In the past 300 years, the amount of human knowledge that has achieved near-certain status has exploded.  Yet we still discuss the very concept of truth using 3000 year-old terminology.  We still teach Aristotelian logic, for goodness sakes.

The only interesting attribute about the truth is that it is true.  Now that there is so much of it, I believe it time to re-evaluate how we think about the subject.  And I certainly believe that the subject of truth is too important to be left to philosophers and theologians.


"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Wed Sep 12th, 2007 at 01:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny you should mention Aristotle.  In a longer version I went into detail about syllogistic logic as an old, fairly restricted, but still useful tool.

I get the feeling that most of the heavy breathing about relativity, uncertainty, etc. is an archaic thinking not unlike a belief that all portraits must be painted in oils.

The demand for certainty is the hallmark of an immature mind. it would be nice if everything could be put into little boxes labeled 'True' or 'False' but that's not the way it is.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 13th, 2007 at 12:23:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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