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  #1  
Old Feb 21, '09, 7:53 am
Tradycja Tradycja is offline
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Default Philosophical definition of Truth

The traditional Aristotelian/Scholastic definition of truth is as follows:

Truth- the known conformity of what is in the mind and what is outside the mind (logical); the agreement of a being with the intellect (ontological)

One of my friends says that is wrong, the definition of truth is simpler....Truth=Reality.


Any comments?
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  #2  
Old Feb 21, '09, 8:08 am
duckbill duckbill is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradycja View Post
The traditional Aristotelian/Scholastic definition of truth is as follows:

Truth- the known conformity of what is in the mind and what is outside the mind (logical); the agreement of a being with the intellect (ontological)

One of my friends says that is wrong, the definition of truth is simpler....Truth=Reality.


Any comments?
If reality(truth) exist and I conform my thinking ( mind) to this reality how is that my thinking is truth? I mean truth exist outside of my mind (as well as in it) but any action on my part (conforming ) has no influence on its (truth) existence or not. It just is
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  #3  
Old Feb 22, '09, 4:52 pm
survive survive is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Truth is what continues existing without anyone's knowing or thinking it. Fantasy is what exists only in the mind of the fantasist and therefore vanishes when the thought ends.
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This is strngrnrth reregistered.
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  #4  
Old Feb 23, '09, 2:57 am
ready ready is online now
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Truth is a person: Jesus Christ. Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be able to help you further your understanding of what truth is. The chapter on the eighth commandment is excellent.
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  #5  
Old Feb 23, '09, 7:46 am
Tradycja Tradycja is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

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Originally Posted by ready View Post
Truth is a person: Jesus Christ. Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be able to help you further your understanding of what truth is. The chapter on the eighth commandment is excellent.
Yes, you are right. However, I am talking about the philosophical definition of truth. I am not talking about revealed truths, but philosophy, meaning relying only on human reason.
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  #6  
Old Feb 23, '09, 7:47 am
Leela Leela is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradycja View Post
The traditional Aristotelian/Scholastic definition of truth is as follows:

Truth- the known conformity of what is in the mind and what is outside the mind (logical); the agreement of a being with the intellect (ontological)
I think truth is generally understood to be "agreement with reality" in some sense. It is when you try to get more specific about what sort of "agreement" we are looking for where philosophers will disagree.

One theory of truth is the correspondence theory which says that a statement is true if it correctly corresponds with reality. For example, to say that "the cat is on the mat" corresponds with reality if there is a cat, there is a mat, and the cat is on the mat. Where such a theory run into trouble is with such statements as "it is a pretty cat" or "it is a good cat." Values make would no sense if we expected such statements to correspond with some aspect of reality. What does "pretty or "good" correspond to? Also, statements like, "there exist uncountable infinities" and "there is no such thing as a crocophant" are problematic.

As a pragmatist, I think the solution of this problem of coming up with a theory of truth is to give up on this project. Truth is truth. It is the property that all true statements have in common. There is nothing very philophically interesting to say about truth other than that it is a central notion that must be presupposed before you can even have a language.

Because no theory of truth will ever help us come up with new true statements, it is pointless to pursue a theory of truth. It is just philosophical wheel spinning, idle talk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradycja View Post
One of my friends says that is wrong, the definition of truth is simpler....Truth=Reality.
This sounds a little too simple. Clearly these are not synonyms, but I suspect that he means "agreement with reality," which, as I said, can only lead philosophers to argue about what sort of agreement we are looking for.

Best,
Leela
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  #7  
Old Feb 23, '09, 7:49 am
Tradycja Tradycja is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
Truth is what continues existing without anyone's knowing or thinking it. Fantasy is what exists only in the mind of the fantasist and therefore vanishes when the thought ends.
So Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, and Aquinas were wrong?

Can you please elaborate.

Don't get me wrong, what you are saying makes sense, but I am wondering why these great philosophers said that the conformity of the mind must be present and known in addition to what is in reality.
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  #8  
Old Feb 23, '09, 9:38 am
ready ready is online now
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

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Originally Posted by Tradycja View Post
Yes, you are right. However, I am talking about the philosophical definition of truth. I am not talking about revealed truths, but philosophy, meaning relying only on human reason.
I see.
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  #9  
Old Feb 23, '09, 11:57 am
JDaniel JDaniel is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradycja View Post
The traditional Aristotelian/Scholastic definition of truth is as follows:

Truth- the known conformity of what is in the mind and what is outside the mind (logical); the agreement of a being with the intellect (ontological)

One of my friends says that is wrong, the definition of truth is simpler....Truth=Reality.


Any comments?
Truth cannot mean the same thing as Reality. For a thing to be true, or the truth, it must go through a process of evaluation. That process cannot be performed on a level lower than human. Lower animals can know that a thing is (Reality), and avoid, or step around it, or chase it, or eat it, but, cannot evaluate it for any sort of validness (Truth).

Your friend's definition is way too simplistic. Think of a mirage. As a phenomenon describable and evaluated by science, it does conform to a "mirage", and is, therefore, true as mirage. But, as a phenomenon evaluated and described as "water", it is not true. In this case, it is real yet not true. Truth does not mean Reality.


jd
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  #10  
Old Feb 23, '09, 3:06 pm
Michael David Michael David is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

This from Wikipedia:

"Meanings for the word truth extend from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular.[1] The term has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree, and various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims, both today and throughout history."

It would appear that in many ways something can be "True"... but, how is "Truth" related to what is "True"?
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  #11  
Old Feb 23, '09, 3:13 pm
Leela Leela is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

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Originally Posted by Michael David View Post
It would appear that in many ways something can be "True"... but, how is "Truth" related to what is "True"?
For pragmatists like myself, "truth" is the property that all true sentences have in common. I can't make sense of talk about "truth" outside of the things we are saying are true. Such a position is in contrast to a Platonic ideal of Truth as an essence with the idea that if we meditate on Truth we somehow become better able to say true things. I can't see how.
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  #12  
Old Feb 23, '09, 4:14 pm
Michael David Michael David is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela View Post
For pragmatists like myself, "truth" is the property that all true sentences have in common. I can't make sense of talk about "truth" outside of the things we are saying are true. Such a position is in contrast to a Platonic ideal of Truth as an essence with the idea that if we meditate on Truth we somehow become better able to say true things. I can't see how.
Huh? You mean that in one respect: one needs "truth" to be able to speak of "true" things; and in another respect: the summation of "true" things leads to "truth".

So it can go both ways: from 'specific' to 'general' and visa-versa. And then, is it 'true' on the whole scale? And if so, can we call it 'truth'?

I must be close to a pragmatist in my thinking,.. with a touch of other aspects, only to make me think about things like this.

Pondering this......
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  #13  
Old Feb 24, '09, 5:55 am
Michael David Michael David is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Good Morning!

Some thoughts after having slept on the idea of truth:

As a witness one swears to tell the truth, even, the 'whole' truth; this seems to refer to the actual or real of what one knows, has seen, was part of, had done to them, or done to others, as a type of 'history'... that which cannot be changed as it is the past; this does take in also the subjective aspects of the witness, as well as the objective who, what, where, when, how; all this leads to the court truth of an event or action for the purposes of applying the law and sighting legalities.

This applies to the actual or what is real... what cannot be altered, will not change and will always be such.

Also, Christ said He was the Truth; that the Advocate (Holy Spirit) would lead the Apostles to 'all Truth'; and was the 'Spirit of Truth'; this seems to be related to the 'who' truth is and proceeding to the 'what' truth is for those inspired by the Holy Spirit; so as, Christ was actual and real (even as I am, and you are), as the Spirit is, as The Father is... implying that all are actual and real and cannot be changed (like history again, only in the here and now).

This takes in yesterday, today and tomorrow when adding the religious tones to it.

Fact is, I can see the sun on the horizon... how it got there where it wasn't before I cannot attest (science does, but personally, I can not say as an eye-witness without quoting another who has witnessed); fact also is, smelling the egg's and bacon frying, I'm getting hungry... to me, right now, this is the truth; and I can predict that in a half-hour, I'll be full and not hungry anymore; where does this leave truth? It seems to leave it in the here and now, and what is actual and real at this moment to whoever is experiencing it... so as, my truth, may not be your truth at the same slice in time, but both things would be the truth for either of us, even if we disagree.

Now, what would be the truth for both (all) of us yesterday, today and tomorrow? We were born, we age, we eat and sleep... we are human beings! This is the truth! We have the faculties of those attributed to being human... body, mind and spirit... all interacting at any given time. Life is Fluid! We have to take a snap-shot to stop the action in order to solidify this movement. Then, what is truth, the snap-shot or the fluid movement?

So here, truth is in the constant change (or movement or motion) although things are still the same... we still are what we are; we are still real and actual, we have not changed on this level, only on the surface waves.

As such truth, tends to be that which is, and cannot be anything other.

One seems to have to boil it down to the level where that is while still looking at the entirety; and on some levels are change, always, and on other levels, there is no change, always.

OK, we are human beings, this is the truth!
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  #14  
Old Feb 24, '09, 6:44 am
Leela Leela is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael David View Post
Huh? You mean that in one respect: one needs "truth" to be able to speak of "true" things; and in another respect: the summation of "true" things leads to "truth".

So it can go both ways: from 'specific' to 'general' and visa-versa. And then, is it 'true' on the whole scale? And if so, can we call it 'truth'?

I must be close to a pragmatist in my thinking,.. with a touch of other aspects, only to make me think about things like this.

Pondering this......
I think that's pretty much it. We can't hope for a meaninful non-tautological definition of the word, truth, any more than we can for "good." In fact, truth can be thought of as a species of good. "Truth" is the word we use for "good" when we are talking about beliefs. Saying that "it is good to believe what is true" is tautological.

In contrast to this view, Rationalists hold up Truth as an essence (a post-Enlightenment replacement God) and subordinate "the Good" to "the True" and leave no place for values, while pragmatists make room for values by recognizing truth as a type of good. Facts and values are not seen as discrete categories since facts always presuppose values.

Best,
Leela
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  #15  
Old Feb 24, '09, 7:08 am
JDaniel JDaniel is offline
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Default Re: Philosophical definition of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela View Post
I think that's pretty much it. We can't hope for a meaninful non-tautological definition of the word, truth, any more than we can for "good." In fact, truth can be thought of as a species of good. "Truth" is the word we use for "good" when we are talking about beliefs. Saying that "it is good to believe what is true" is tautological.

In contrast to this view, Rationalists hold up Truth as an essence (a post-Enlightenment replacement God) and subordinate "the Good" to "the True" and leave no place for values, while pragmatists make room for values by recognizing truth as a type of good. Facts and values are not seen as discrete categories since facts always presuppose values.

Best,
Leela

If I witness man A murder man B, what I have witnessed is True. How, exactly, is that then "good"?


jd
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