• Bob Ross
    1.4k


    Hello Philosophim,

    Let me take your second post as an example.


    And yet we've already established that what is real does not depend upon a subject. As I noted earlier, this argument that truth requires a subject is just the nature of a subject using language to describe objects. That's just grammar.

    The problem is that you are saying your definition fits the colloquial settings better (which you strongly advocate that we stick to the colloquial definitions), which I broke down, in my second post, why it is not. Secondly, you are still conflating a sentence being contingent on a subject and a sentence referencing something which is contingent on a subject, which you insist is a mere ‘grammatical issue’.

    So, how do you go about reconciling your definition with its alleged incompatibility with a sentence such as “its real that the universe would exist without me”? I don’t think you adequately responded to that part.

    Bob, very simply does the thing that we reference still exist despite us not seeing it?

    It depends on what you are referencing. If I reference another thought with a thought, then no. If I reference a ‘tree-in-itself’ with a thought, then yes.

    Here is a breakdown of the normative idea of truth under JTB from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    Everything in that paragraph and section in the standard encyclopedia is compatible with every major theory of truth (e.g., pragmatic, correspondence, coherentist, etc.): it simply noted that (1) truth is independent of our opinions, (2) truth is independent of our justification for it being true, (3) truth is is independent of our knowledge, and (4) truth, within the context of JTB, is being deployed in a metaphysical as opposed to epistemological sense (viz., it is about how things are, as opposed to how we come to know them).

    Which part of that did you find incompatible with my theory? And where did you think it referenced your theory?

    Then I have no idea and see no value in defining truth as you do. Why are you defining it this way Bob?

    I think I have already stated my reasons, but here they are again:

    1. Captures better what people mean by truth (e.g., the truth of the matter is always, within a claim, a referencing of a thought corresponding to reality).

    2. Something that simply exists, simply exists: it is redundant to say ‘it is true’ and incoherent (since one is referencing a claim with ‘it’ while simultaneously claiming ‘true’ signifies nothing about thought). Asking what it means for ‘something to be true’ presupposes that something as a proposition, which is a thought (in the form of a truth-apt sentence).

    If I observe or have an opinion that I believe is true, yet you tell me that it is false, then you are telling me truth does not care about my opinion or observation.

    Truth is independent of opinion. But this doesn’t entail specifically your theory of truth.

    It is true that something exists which you observed to be an orange ball. There is the truth of your observation "seeing orange" and the truth of the light which entered into your eyes.

    Yes, but this response is missing the mark: you were asking if ‘that’ existed independently of observation, which you are now agreeing it doesn’t (completely).

    I am trying to give you all the benefit I can in this, but I do not see any other claim when you state:
    (Me)A tree is a combination of matter and energy.

    (Bob) A tree, as a tangible object, is the representation; and not the thing-in-itself

    What you quoted here does not in any way entail any sort of argument of semantic dependency on subjects: I am not following why you think that: could you elaborate? Things-in-themselves vs. representations is a metaphysical distinction, not semantic.

    Also, metaphysically, I don't think trees are a combination of matter and energy. Scientifically, that is the model we have of reality, but I don't think science is capable of penetrating reality far enough to give us metaphysical insight.

    when I am pointing out the thing-in-itself in the context of the conversation.

    I am not referring to the "tree" as a representation of the thing in itself.

    Ahh, I see. So I am using ‘things-in-themselves’ in the traditional way: they are whatever exist as themselves and are never directly perceived by us. The tree-for-you is a representation of the tree-in-itself, and they don’t necessarily match 1:1 (e.g., the tree-in-itself does not have green leaves, but the tree-for-you does).

    The truth of that thing in itself's existence does not depend upon myself as a subject.

    The thing-in-itself, as opposed to the thing of which you experience, does not depend on yourself as a subject, but object within your experience of it (which is a representation of it and the only candidate that you could ‘single out’ as a ‘that’) is.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Thank you for waiting Bob, the weeks have recently been filled so I have not been able to respond quickly to you. Excellent, I think we've tied the issue down now!

    Ahh, I see. So I am using ‘things-in-themselves’ in the traditional way: they are whatever exist as themselves and are never directly perceived by us. The tree-for-you is a representation of the tree-in-itself, and they don’t necessarily match 1:1 (e.g., the tree-in-itself does not have green leaves, but the tree-for-you does).Bob Ross

    I believe this has been the source of our contention. I knew from your initial post that we had a slightly different take on some small thing. My view on "things-in-themselves" is both the way you view it, and the way you see me viewing it.

    Now you can see why truth as a subjective concurrence with reality doesn't work for me. What is true about the thing-in-itself is something which is beyond my ability to know. The thing-in-itself as perceived by me is a representation that cannot exist without me. That is what I believe/know the thing in itself as. It is truth that this is a representation only. It is not necessarily true that my representation is an accurate assessment of the thing-in-itself. It is true that the thing-in-itself exists.

    As you can see, I'm using the language of truth outside of my own subject. My concurrence of belief or representation is irrelevant. But I can also use truth within my subject, which I agree with you on. My major point is that your use of truth either disregards are eliminates the colloquial understanding of "truth outside of our subject". If you wish to delineate the two, I would add some adjective to truth to mark the difference, but I would not simply eliminate truth as describing a situation that does not require our subject.

    And truly, I think this is it. If its the case that your redefinition of truth is only for the reasons you've described, then it is semantics. My point is that I feel you're going to get a strong push back from others, and you're making truth unnecessarily complex. If you feel that its not, then I have heard your points, and you have heard mine. Good discussion Bob! I will try to get back soon on replies going forward.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    Hello Philosophim,

    Thank you for waiting Bob, the weeks have recently been filled so I have not been able to respond quickly to you

    Absolutely no worries my friend! Take all the time you need: I always appreciate your substantive responses.

    Now you can see why truth as a subjective concurrence with reality doesn't work for me. What is true about the thing-in-itself is something which is beyond my ability to know.

    Demonstrating that we cannot know the truth about things-in-themselves does not demonstrate that ‘truth’, as a concept, should be deployed as equivalent to ‘reality’. I have no problem, under my theory of truth, also claiming that we cannot know the truth about the things-in-themselves. So I don’t think this is a valid reason for why you would, as noted in your first sentence above, use truth as non-subjective.

    It is true that the thing-in-itself exists.

    To you, this would be an inconcise sentence, since ‘it is true’ and it ‘exists’ are both expresses the same thing.

    For me, ‘it is true’ denotes the accuracy of the claim, which is that ‘the thing-in-itself exists’.

    My concurrence of belief or representation is irrelevant.

    I think we may be using the term ‘non-subjective’ differently as well; because I have no problem noting that the truth of the matter is independent of my beliefs and perceptions—but not independent of my thought, because I cannot express anything is ‘true’ other than a thought corresponding to reality.

    But I can also use truth within my subject, which I agree with you on. My major point is that your use of truth either disregards are eliminates the colloquial understanding of "truth outside of our subject". If you wish to delineate the two, I would add some adjective to truth to mark the difference,

    My definition does not eliminate the fact that truth is independent of the content of our thoughts, of our beliefs, and our perceptions: it just notes that the thought is required for there to be truth at all, since what is true is a claim that corresponds to reality. You seem to be eliminating the correspondence aspect of claims, and noting that truth is just what is.

    Good discussion Bob! I will try to get back soon on replies going forward.

    You too! I look forward to any future discussions we have!
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Thanks Bob, I think I fully understand all of your points by now, and you mine. I think its just a different outlook on the word usage, but in general, the underlying concepts we're both trying to describe seem the same. I'll catch you in another conversation later!
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