What is Truth?

I tried again at a response to this question. Any comments, questions, concerns?

Truth is an intangible “reflection” of reality…

Truth is only the popular view at one point in time.

Truth in the mind is the conformity of the mind to that which is outside the mind (the real).

Truth is God’s mind and heart in the world of men. :wink:

If truth is only the popular view at one point in time we should reject scientific explanations!

Many do reject scientific explanations!

God alone is Truth, and we would be completely nullified in the presence of God. There is no describing God in lower-ordered truths. Truth must have a hierarchy!

Truth is first and foremost not something that we do. It’s something that Being does. Being discloses itself. Being is the quarterback. We simply catch the ball.

Source: Heidegger.

truth is useful…

Yet they rely on devices that wouldn’t otherwise have been invented!

Philosophically, I like Aristotle’s definition from Metaphysics:

Truth “…is to say of what is, that it is, or to say of what is not, that it is not.”

Truth is the correspondence between a statement and reality. For example “the cat is on the table” I call this corresponding truth

In another sense, “truth” is anything which reveals something profound about ourselves or the human experience. For example, if one reads great literature, studies a great painting, watches a sunset, something is “revealed” about the concepts of love or beauty or someother aspect of the human codition. I call this revealing truth.

While I am certainly not a religious person, nonetheless when Christ is reputed to have said that “I am ‘truth’” then I can only suppose that what was meant is that the existence of Christ revealed something profound about who we are and perhaps of what we might become.

Very profound, excellent. Linus2nd

The trick here is how do we get to “reality” to compare it with the “statement”.

Being has to disclose itself to us first before we can check the correspondence.

It’s this primordial disclosure on the part of Being that is the original sense of “truth”.

We are “recipients”, the “datives” of manifestation (“dative” because Being discloses itself “to” us - “us” is in the dative case after the preposition “to”).

OK. So your question truly is “what is reality”. Of course, this is a problem we are not able to resolve. Remember Kant’s delimma with " being"? Didn’t he essentially conclude that we could never get “behind the mask” and actually know the ding an sich. When I made the statement that one definition of truth is that it bore correspondence to reality, I intended to take “reality” to be that which we sense. For example, I can see the cat on the table,and, thus, my statement that this is so, therefore, corresponds to reality.

But you want to dig deeper, and, indeed, it is possible to question whether there truly is a real cat or only my perception of a cat. And, indeed, to go deeper, than that, it is possible to even question whether there is a real self which perceives this apparent cat, or, rather if all of “this” may only be a dream in the mind of some other entity which manufactures the illusion of an independent “self” . However, I am afraid is beyond the pay grades of such men as Emanual Kant and thus way beyond anything that I can ever answer for you.

That raises the question whether truth exists only in minds… Even if that were so it would be no less real than material objects.

Technically, yes.

“Truth” is conceptual so it must existence in minds. However, like some other concepts, such as mathematics or perception, its principal action is measurement and discernment, so while “truth” exists in minds, things that are “true” exist in reality. That is why Christ is indeed the Truth - he is supreme mind (logos) and the underpinning of all reality.

Kant’s problem here, I believe, is in swallowing Humean scepticism when it comes to substance and perception.

Being’s disclosure to us happens all the time (e.g., the bus discloses itself to me every time I board it). Regardless of our pay grade.

This “event” of disclosure (Being manifesting itself to us) got “covered over”, “forgotten”, in modern philosophy. There’s a long and fascinating history here which we can’t explore in this posting.

But the bottom line is that things really do show themselves to us as they are in themselves. We don’t have to prove that an external world exists.

Where modern philosophy went off the tracks was when it confused the medium quo and the medium quod. The medium quo (that by which) is the sense datum, the phantasm, inside us. The medium quod (that which) is what we are aware of.

We are not aware of the medium quo, only the medium quod (e.g., the bus itself). The sense datum is the means by which we are aware of the medium quod. But the sense datum does not interfere with the medium quod; it is “transparent”. Being really does disclose itself to us as it is in itself (and with a certain immediacy - we do not have “infer” to get to Being - e.g., we do not have to “infer” to get to the bus).

Kant’s case is a bit complicated. He was trying to make room for “God and morality” in the deterministic materialist universe of Newtonian physics. So he distinguished between “phenomena” (what appears) and “noumena” (what does not appear).

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