• Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello 180 Proof,

    Well, (your) mind is nonmind-dependent unless solipsism obtains (which, of course, it does not).

    I don’t believe that is true at all. All that is required for idealism (and solipsism I might add: not that they are similar at all) is that existence itself is mind-independent, not that there exists any mind-independent entities within it.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    I was not meaning to imply that the evidence against one's intuitions must come from beyond oneself; as I agree that one should be actively trying to "attack" their own intuitions.Bob Ross

    I'd say the best evidence against one's intuitions necessarily comes from beyond oneself. There is an external reality to learn from.
  • Apustimelogist
    430


    So, for me, I don’t think this kind of reasoning is sufficiently elaborated on by saying “follow your intuition”--as, for me, that sounds like all levels would contain intuitions.Bob Ross

    This is fair I think.

    They would not be able to operate, which is means no knowledge of the world whatsoever.Bob Ross

    Yes, agreed. I guess I do kind of agree with you on this point in the way you're putting it now, I think I was just thinking about the notion of "objectively best way to get knowledge" in a different way beforehand which I would be more skeptical of.

    Rather, I mean that when explaining a set of data (about reality), do not extraneously posit entities (as it is superfluous and corresponds to nothing confirmable in reality).Bob Ross

    I still think I disagree profoundly on this one. If it is not about picking the correct explanation then I don't see an obligation to pick the more pasimonious explanation that would be independent of some further contextual details.
  • Apustimelogist
    430
    I think this is a fair point that I overlooked: if one were to “not follow their intuitions”, that may actually help them navigate the world. However, upon further reflection, this is a paradox (which annihilates it as a possibly viable alternative) principle, as in order to follow it one would have to intuit that it is true that they ‘should not follow their intuitions’; but if that is true, then they should not ‘not follow their intuitions’; but if they are intuiting that as true (which they would have to to accept it), then they should not not ‘not follow their intuitions’...ad infinitum. They would not be able to operate, which is means no knowledge of the world whatsoever.Bob Ross

    I may actually have to go back on my agreement on this one because thinking about, someone might be able to just formulate a more specific rule which tells them when they should and should not follow intuitions, which may avoid this.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I agree. The one reason I am not quite sold on your semantics is what is "real" cannot be considered true at that point.

    Sure, even if I affirm it as ‘true’, that doesn’t mean I am certain of it—but, by my lights, I am taking it up as ‘true’ by saying I know or, otherwise, I am saying that ‘I don’t believe this corresponds to reality, but I somehow know it anyways’.Bob Ross

    Right. Basically instead of "How do I know what I claim is true is true," for you it would be, "How do I know what I claim is real is real?" I think we're simply using different signs (words) for the same concepts. Whether you call truth real or real the truth, the end question still comes about.

    I mainly agree, but I would add there is more to it than being merely logically consistent and providing clarity (determinacy). Logical consistency, in itself, does not promise any sort of correspondence to reality (which I think you agree with me on that).Bob Ross

    Yes, agreed!

    I mainly agree,Bob Ross
    I would say, epistemologically, that the desire to “know the world” (i.e., ‘know reality) is the prerequisite to epistemology and stemming from that desire is to want to not contradict reality. The desire itself to want to not contradict reality can be taken on without wanting to know reality; however, I don’t think one needs to the desire, as a prerequisite, to desire to know reality.Bob Ross

    I agree here as well. I did not mean that the desire to want to know, meant an articulation or breakdown that the best way to know is to find something that does not contradict reality.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    :100:

    Well, (your) mind is nonmind-dependent unless solipsism obtains (which, of course, it does not).
    —180 Proof

    I don’t believe that is true at all.
    Bob Ross
    Okay.

    All that is required for idealism ... is that existence itself is mind-independent
    A typo – don't you mean "mind-dependent" instead?

    ... not that there exists any mind-independent entities within it.
    Non sequitur

    ... idealism (and solipsism I might add: not that they are similar at all) ...
    I didn't imply or state that they were.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    A typo – don't you mean "mind-dependent" instead?

    Nope. I do not think that 'being' unfolds from a mind, as that mind would be 'non-being' then, which makes no sense to me. Instead, there exists, fundamentally, one mind (at-large) of which we are minds within it. This is what I think objective idealist theories tend to purport, but of course there are theistic accounts that posit God as some sort of producer of even existence itself.

    Non sequitur

    How was that a nonsequitur? I said that there are not mind-independent existent 'things', which is what I mean by 'there are no mind-independent entities'.

    I didn't imply or state that they were.

    I guess I didn't follow what you were trying to claim with invoking solipsism before: could you elaborate?
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    I agree. The one reason I am not quite sold on your semantics is what is "real" cannot be considered true at that point.

    Under my theory of truth, the ‘real’ (in the sense of simply what exists) is never ‘true’ but, rather, is a part (an aspect: a component) of what is ‘true’.

    In other words, since truth is the correspondence of thought with reality, when a thought is ‘true’ it corresponds to reality with regards to what it references about it. Thusly, what is real is a component of the truth, in the sense that whatever is ‘true’ must correspond to it; but the ‘real’ is never ‘true’ itself—as it is just what is ‘real’. Without thought, there is no truth—but there is still reality (i.e., being).

    I think this is how it should be, for when we speak of ‘truth’ what we mean, I think at least, is that the person at hand has a thought (or thoughts) which do correspond to reality. ‘Truth’ is the act of uncovering reality, so it can’t be reality itself.

    Right. Basically instead of "How do I know what I claim is true is true," for you it would be, "How do I know what I claim is real is real?"

    I agree. The problem becomes “how does one know that what they think corresponds to reality actually does?”. My answer is that we cannot know with certainty that the correspondence holds but, rather, can only construct epistemic verification methods to determine whether we accept it as corresponding or not. Once accepted, irregardless of whether it is certain or not, then the person is taking it up as true (irregardless of whether it is). So, for me, one can know something, and thereby take it up as true, and then, upon further evidence, reject it and claim that they don’t know it anymore. I don’t think that the new evidence invalidates the person’s justification for claiming to know it before (and saying it is true) even though they now think it is false. I think gettier problems assume that the end result (which verifies the illegitimacy of the original claim of knowledge) is certain (i.e., set and fixed as ‘the truth’). Thusly, one claims to know X with justification Y, and then, upon new evidence, determines Y did not provide any correspondence to X; but, then, it takes for granted that justification Z for the illegitimacy of Y (for X) is also not guaranteed to correspond.

    In other words, Truth is the correspondence of thought and reality; but that correspondence is never certain between any particular instance of thought and reality, such that our aim is to correspond, but never to claim that we have definitively (absolutely) gotten there.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Under my theory of truth, the ‘real’ (in the sense of simply what exists) is never ‘true’ but, rather, is a part (an aspect: a component) of what is ‘true’.Bob Ross

    This leaves a bit of a mystery as to what the real is then. I think I see what you're doing, which is taking vocabulary and turning it around to solve an issue. The problem I see is you're not really solving the issue, you're just moving words around and avoiding the problem that is now only more difficult to see.

    There's a fine line we all tread in philosophy where we have to redefine words. Sometimes we find that certain properties of a word are simply impossible, or a misunderstanding. But while we change what the words properties can mean, we shouldn't change its essence. And by that, I mean some universally recognized aspect of that word.

    I'm not going to counter your redefinition of truth, instead I'm going to ask you some questions. Since we're on the Gettier argument, we can use that. JTB, or justified true belief, clearly separates a belief, justification, and then truth. Truth can be different from one's justification, and different from one's belief. But in your definition, truth can no longer be separate from one's justification or your belief.

    So the question is, what value are we getting out of changing the meaning of truth so drastically? How could I look to a normal person, describe truth as you are, and they want to accept that from the norm?

    I think this is how it should be, for when we speak of ‘truth’ what we mean, I think at least, is that the person at hand has a thought (or thoughts) which do correspond to reality. ‘Truth’ is the act of uncovering reality, so it can’t be reality itself.Bob Ross

    Here again, I think this is normally what people would refer to as knowledge. Truth is normatively seen as reality, while knowledge would be the understanding of reality, or truth. We can change it, but why? What benefit do we get out of it that cannot be gleaned as normal?

    The problem becomes “how does one know that what they think corresponds to reality actually does?”. My answer is that we cannot know with certainty that the correspondence holds but, rather, can only construct epistemic verification methods to determine whether we accept it as corresponding or not.Bob Ross

    Right, but this problem is already stated with the interplay between normative knowledge and normative truth. So here we've changed the normative meaning of the words, but we're right back to the same problem between knowledge and truth, its just called truth and reality now. Isn't that just introducing a lack of cohesion for the same result? We really haven't solved anything.

    In other words, Truth is the correspondence of thought and reality; but that correspondence is never certain between any particular instance of thought and reality, such that our aim is to correspond, but never to claim that we have definitively (absolutely) gotten there.Bob Ross

    I could just as easily say, "Knowledge is the correspondence of thought and truth; but that correspondence if never certain between any particular instance of knowledge and truth. Our aim is to correspond, but never to claim that we have definitively gotten there."

    The second statement keeps the cohesion of the general understanding of knowledge and truth, so why not just keep that?
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    I can't follow your inconsistencies, Bob.
    I do not think that 'being' unfolds from a mind, as that mind would be 'non-being' then, which makes no sense to me.Bob Ross
    Mind is non-being?

    Instead, there exists, fundamentally, one mind (at-large) of which we are minds within it.
    Ergo, "mind (at-large)" is being?

    This is what I think objective idealist theories tend to purport, but of course there are theistic accounts that posit God as some sort of producer of even existence itself.
    This account reminds me of Berkeley's subjective idealism (or Leibniz's monadology).
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    Semantically speaking, I contest the idea that truth as reality itself is the norm in society: a hazy correspondence theory of truth is equally as popular (colloquially). I will grant that many people do think of truth as just what is, but many also think of it as an agreement between thought and what is.
    This is easily reflected by looking up the word ‘truth’ in the webster dictionary, where #1 reflects your definition (i.e., ‘ the body of real things, events, and facts’) and #2 mine (i.e., ‘the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality’). So I don’t think I am radically shifting the terminology like you are proposing.

    Now, you ask a good question: what benefit is there of taking truth as some sort of correspondence instead of merely as reality itself? Here’s my reasons:

    1. Using ‘truth’ as interchangeable with ‘reality’ is redundant vocabulary. There’s no reason to have two words for the same thing, and ‘reality’ is a much better word (when compared to ‘truth’) for what one is describing. It is generally accepted that semantics should avoid redundant terms, and this is a text book example of two words which serve verbatim the same meaning (and aren’t even synonyms: they are literally equivalent under this sort of view).

    2. Using ‘truth’ as interchangeable with ‘reality’ doesn’t completely capture what is meant by ‘truth’ in society. If someone is on trial and they make claim X and I say “they are right about X” (or “X is true” or “they are in the truth”), then it wouldn’t complete for those to merely express that “there exists X (in reality)” but, rather, the whole meaning is that that person’s thoughts corresponded to X (in reality). Using truth as ‘reality’ completely overlooks the person’s assertion. This is even more self-evident if I were to re-write my claim (in this example) a bit odder: “there exists X in reality, and what that person said (which was X) matches X so what they said is true”--the claim that it was ‘true’ is derived from the correspondence of their assertion with reality and not merely from it being in reality.

    3. There’s no use for the term ‘truth’ if there were no subjects. We already have a term for what a world is without ‘subjects’ (or with them as well): reality; and there is absolutely no such thing as any claim being ‘true’ without subjects, so ‘true’, as a term, is now obsolete. My definition handles this, I would say, better insofar as truth dies with (the totality of) subjects, which I think makes more sense: it isn’t just merely inapplicable but still somehow pertaining to something in reality.

    JTB, or justified true belief, clearly separates a belief, justification, and then truth. Truth can be different from one's justification, and different from one's belief. But in your definition, truth can no longer be separate from one's justification or your belief.

    I think they can and are separate: my thought (or held belief) is not truth, for truth is the correspondence of that thought (or held belief) with reality. Truth is emergent from thoughts and reality (from subject and object).

    I can formulate a belief without it being true, or without checking whether it is true or not; so I can have a belief without truth.

    Justification, likewise, is just what is used to verify the belief with reality (to determine its truth) and thusly is not truth itself.

    I am failing to see how these are the same thing under my view.

    [quote
    How could I look to a normal person, describe truth as you are, and they want to accept that from the norm?[/quote]

    A lot of peoples’ notion of truth is correspondence, so I don’t think it would be as foreign to them as you are supposing. As a matter of fact, I’ve explained this to laymen before, and, although they weren’t sure of all the technical details, they usually say that “that seems about right” because they intuit truth as a correspondence. However, I will grant that if I also brought up “truth is what is”, they are very likely to say that same thing.

    The fact of the matter is that people usually have notions and not concepts of terms; and I am interested in having the best concept of truth I can (whatever that may be). So appealing to peoples’ notions doesn’t really help me, except in attempting to keep it as similar as possible thereto (which I think I have done).

    Here again, I think this is normally what people would refer to as knowledge. Truth is normatively seen as reality, while knowledge would be the understanding of reality, or truth.

    Knowledge isn’t truth, but they are very closely linked: the latter is the ‘boiler plate’ for what it means for something ‘to be true’, whereas the former is system (or method) of gathering information in a manner that produces the most truth. Knowledge needs truth, but truth does not need knowledge (although, of course, one cannot claim something is true without thereby claiming to know it as well, but they are not biconditionally, as terms, contingent upon each other).

    So here we've changed the normative meaning of the words, but we're right back to the same problem between knowledge and truth, its just called truth and reality now.

    I was never intending to claim that my theory of truth itself solves gettier problems: I was extending past that into a bit of my theory of knowledge and claiming that I no longer see them as an issue.

    The gettier problem would, as you rightly point out, be an instance, in my terminology, of something being claimed as true but isn’t real.

    I could just as easily say, "Knowledge is the correspondence of thought and truth; but that correspondence if never certain between any particular instance of knowledge and truth. Our aim is to correspond, but never to claim that we have definitively gotten there."

    You could, and that would reflect our semantic differences, but I don’t think, as I stated before, that truth as reality quite captures what is truly meant by the term.

    The second statement keeps the cohesion of the general understanding of knowledge and truth, so why not just keep that?

    Perhaps some people think of ‘knowledge’ as correspondence of thought with truth, which can be very practical and useful, but I don’t think that quite captures truth nor knowledge. To say something is true, in principle, is quite different (to me) than saying it is known (although knowledge is contingent on claiming it is true): the latter is claiming something is true in virtue of passing some epistemic verification while the former is merely stating that, in principle, the thought corresponds to reality (and not making any note, in itself, about how the agreement was verified).
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    I think you misread what you quoted of me, as I was claiming that mind cannot be 'non-being', which would be required if existence itself was mind-dependent; which you took it to mean I was claiming mind was 'non-being'. There was nothing incoherent (that I could find) with my statements (that you quoted).

    I find Berkeley to be neither a true subjective nor objective idealist: I find him to be the father of idealism in general, and his views really weren't fully fleshed out. He was more focused on refuting materialism. However, I view, although (just like any other idealist view), does have similarities with Berkeley, mine is not his view. I find too many things wrong with his formulation.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    IIRC, either Pythagoras or Plato has a stronger claim than Berkeley to being "the father of idealism in general" (in the western philosophical tradition). As for "misreading" what you actually wrote, Bob, I don't think so. And your attempt to clarify doesn't help.

    So, leaving aside Berkeley, you're not a Leibnizian? not a Kantian? not a Hegelian? ... but rather, an 'idealist' in the vein of Gabriel Markus? or Donald Hoffman? or Bernardo Kastrup? ...
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I will grant that many people do think of truth as just what is, but many also think of it as an agreement between thought and what is.
    This is easily reflected by looking up the word ‘truth’ in the webster dictionary, where #1 reflects your definition (i.e., ‘ the body of real things, events, and facts’) and #2 mine (i.e., ‘the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality’).
    Bob Ross

    The property of being in accord with fact or reality is another way of saying truth is reality. For example, if I stated, "That apple is red, is that true?" I'm asking the truth assessment of the property, or whether this is in accordance with reality. In no way does this definition imply thought. The idea of tying thoughts themselves with truth is philosophy, and a different take on truth. I'm not saying you can't change the norm of truth, but the norm of truth is what is real, not the marriage of our thoughts and what is real.

    1. Using ‘truth’ as interchangeable with ‘reality’ is redundant vocabulary. There’s no reason to have two words for the same thing, and ‘reality’ is a much better word (when compared to ‘truth’) for what one is describing. It is generally accepted that semantics should avoid redundant terms, and this is a text book example of two words which serve verbatim the same meaning (and aren’t even synonyms: they are literally equivalent under this sort of view).Bob Ross

    I do not see them as redundant. Reality is a general descriptor of experience. It is the "what is" that everyone understands at a primitive level. Reality is much like the term, "tree". Truth is a higher order descriptor. It is more carefully thought out, and describes a particular notion of reality. After all, an illusion is a real experience. But truth carefully describes how it is real in an objective manner. A visual illusion is a real experience of our senses, but we make unconfirmed assumptions about the physical aspects of the experience that aren't true. Truth is more refined in its description of that particular tree because it takes both the subjective and objective existence of the tree into question. Yes, they can overlap at times, but truth is a useful and different enough identity to matter in conversation. It is more about the context of the terms. Reality is generic, truth is more stringent.

    2. Using ‘truth’ as interchangeable with ‘reality’ doesn’t completely capture what is meant by ‘truth’ in society. If someone is on trial and they make claim X and I say “they are right about X” (or “X is true” or “they are in the truth”), then it wouldn’t complete for those to merely express that “there exists X (in reality)” but, rather, the whole meaning is that that person’s thoughts corresponded to X (in reality).Bob Ross

    If a person is on trial and someone said their thoughts were corresponding to reality, a good lawyer would counter with, "But how do you know?" Such statements require proof, which is the realm of knowledge. It can be true that our thoughts correspond with reality, but knowledge is the process that demonstrates how this is possible. Truth does not require justification. Truth simply is. It is when we claim that something is true that we require justification. This is again, at the heart of the Gettier argument. I can have a thought that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket. Its true that he does. But the justification which lead me to believe that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket is false. So again, truth requires no justification, truth is simply "what is". As such, I see no need to tie it solely to one's subjective experience.

    This is even more self-evident if I were to re-write my claim (in this example) a bit odder: “there exists X in reality, and what that person said (which was X) matches X so what they said is true”--the claim that it was ‘true’ is derived from the correspondence of their assertion with reality and not merely from it being in reality.Bob Ross

    This agrees with what I've noted. Truth is "what is". A person can claim something which matches with reality, so what they said is true. Its just an observation, not a justification. In this case a correspondence and it being real is the same thing. For if it was not real, we could not correspond.

    3. There’s no use for the term ‘truth’ if there were no subjects. We already have a term for what a world is without ‘subjects’ (or with them as well): reality; and there is absolutely no such thing as any claim being ‘true’ without subjects, so ‘true’, as a term, is now obsolete.Bob Ross

    In this case, yes, they are synonyms. "It is reality that I believe the visual illusion means something physical is there, but my belief is not true." "It is true that I believe the visual illusion means something physical is there, but my belief is not real." Even in this synonym case, it is useful to have a separate term to hammer home the intention. Keeping it all the same word just makes the statement more confusing.

    I think they can and are separate: my thought (or held belief) is not truth, for truth is the correspondence of that thought (or held belief) with reality.Bob Ross

    But is it not practically the same to say, "For truth is what is real?" Because if my thoughts did not correspond with reality, I wouldn't have the truth. For the truth is what is real regardless of whether my thoughts correspond to it or not. What you're trying to do is make truth dependent on the subject. Which violates the normative definition of truth which includes both the subjective and objective. Truth exists within the subject and despite the subject.

    I think they can and are separate: my thought (or held belief) is not truth, for truth is the correspondence of that thought (or held belief) with reality. Truth is emergent from thoughts and reality (from subject and object).Bob Ross

    The first sentence is correct. If you have a thought that corresponds with reality, that thought is true. That's because its "what is". If you had a thought that did not correspond with reality, this would also be true, in the fact that is the thought you are having. These are subjective truths. Truth is not an emergent property. There is the "what is" of the subject, but also the "what is" that is apart from the subject. If you tie truth to only the subjective viewpoint, you ignore the "what is" apart from the subject, which has traditionally been called "truth" as well. I think that is your mistake here Bob. You think because we can note that our subjective experience is true, that the truth of that subjective experience suddenly means all truth is tied to our subjective experience. This is not the case. There are things that exist apart from our subjective experience, and normatively, these things would be considered true existences, despite our lack of subjectively observing them.

    A lot of peoples’ notion of truth is correspondence, so I don’t think it would be as foreign to them as you are supposing. As a matter of fact, I’ve explained this to laymen before, and, although they weren’t sure of all the technical details, they usually say that “that seems about right” because they intuit truth as a correspondence. However, I will grant that if I also brought up “truth is what is”, they are very likely to say that same thing.Bob Ross

    This mirrors my experience as well. But note that they have two different notions of true. You also did not contrast true with the definition of knowledge. Part of our job as philosophers is to sort definitions and words in a clear way that both ascribes to the cohesion of common language, while clarifying generalities into non-contradictory specifics. People have a notion of what is "good". But ask them to specifically define it and most will have a difficult time. That's our job. Same with "truth". Yes, the general person is going to lump in truth with knowledge. But as we drill down into it, we realize that truth and knowledge are simply not the same thing.

    We take a general understanding of truth and knowledge, refine them, but still keep them within the cohesive framework of how people generally think where possible. Thus I can tell that same layman, "Truth is what is. Knowledge is a process that attempts to figure out what is true with the information we have. What we know can sometimes match the truth, but sometimes our knowledge is not true.", and while they will ask for clarification, they generally agree at the end of the day that knowledge and truth are separate entities.

    The fact of the matter is that people usually have notions and not concepts of terms; and I am interested in having the best concept of truth I can (whatever that may be). So appealing to peoples’ notions doesn’t really help me, except in attempting to keep it as similar as possible thereto (which I think I have done).Bob Ross

    However, I'm talking about the normative definition of truth within philosophy. I cited the JTB breakdown. We can know what is true. But what is true exists despite our subjective attempt to know it. Perhaps a better breakdown of truth for you might help. Essentially there is "subjective truth" and "objective truth". Your tying the word "truth" to only the subjective aspect of truth ignores the objective aspect. That is not the norm, and I do not as of yet see any advantage in changing from the norm besides personal preference.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    The property of being in accord with fact or reality is another way of saying truth is reality.

    I absolutely disagree: let’s break it down. To say something is ‘in accord’ is another way of saying ‘in correspondence with’, so we can rightly refurbish this definition, without changing its meaning, to ‘the property of being in correspondence with fact or reality’. Secondly, to simplify this down, I am going to remove ‘fact’ from the definition and stick to just ‘reality’ (simply so we don’t have to derail into our definitions of fact, and we already agree on the definition of reality). So it is now ‘ the property of being in correspondence with reality’. Thirdly, your definition is that truth ‘is reality’, which has no consideration of whether a thing has the property of corresponding to reality: it simply doesn’t matter for your definition. So, right there, in itself, these two definitions are not equivalent. Fourthly, to get my definition, all we have to do is specify what has the property of <...>, which I claim is ‘thought’: ‘the property of being in correspondence with reality, which can only ever be a thought’. This webster definition, as can be clearly seen, is a spin-off of mine (or mine is a spin-off of it); and is most certainly not the same as claiming truth ‘is reality’, for if that were the case, then there wouldn’t be any sort of property of correspondence to reality being posited in the definition.

    I'm asking the truth assessment of the property, or whether this is in accordance with reality

    I think you are using my definition here implicitly, and this is a great example of why truth being ‘is reality’ doesn’t work—it leaves out that you are assessing whether the claim (the thought) corresponds to reality (i.e., is in accordance with reality). I think, within your terms, you would have to say that you are (1) assessing whether the thing exists (and this is truth), and (2) to determine that (which isn’t itself truth) you see whether your claim about it corresponds with reality (which perhaps would be knowledge); but you wouldn’t be able to claim that your assessment of the truth of it is whether it corresponds with reality, which is, if I understood you correctly, what you claim in the quote above.

    In no way does this definition imply thought.

    Thought is the only thing which has the ability to correspond to reality, because it has the property of ‘aboutness’. Non-thinking beings just are: they don’t have any potential for correspondence with reality: they are just a part of reality.

    I'm not saying you can't change the norm of truth, but the norm of truth is what is real, not the marriage of our thoughts and what is real.

    We may have to just agree to disagree, but I think webster is a legitimate source of colloquial definitions, and a correspondence theory of truth is definitely in there.

    It is the "what is" that everyone understands at a primitive level. Reality is much like the term, "tree". Truth is a higher order descriptor...After all, an illusion is a real experience

    Under your term, illusions are a part of truth; but it is odd: isn’t it? What aspect of illusions makes them true (in the sense that that a part of reality is illusion) and them false (in the sense of what they are)? Within your definition, there is no way to account for this other than saying that an illusion, as an illusion, is real (and in the truth), but that to say whatever the illusion pretends to be is real is false because it isn’t. A much clearer way of depicting, I would say, is to note that the truth or falsity about illusions depends on what the thought about them references about reality. If I am saying that “illusions exist”, then that is surely true because my thought corresponds correctly to what it is alleging of reality; whereas, if I say that the illusion is what it is pretends to be, then it is false because the thought does not correspond.

    Reality is generic, truth is more stringent.

    This cannot be true if you are defining truth as equivalent to reality; but sounds like you may not be, correct?

    Whatever is true, is real; whatever is real, is true. It is irrelevant whether someone has a precise or vague idea of what exists (which is what you were referring to, as far as I could tell). So they, by my lights, if they are the same thing, are redundant. I can, in your terms, describe every vague vs. refined idea a person has about reality in terms of ‘the real’ or ‘the truth’. For your argument to work here, I would say, there would have to be something about ‘the truth’ which is not ‘the real’.

    If a person is on trial and someone said their thoughts were corresponding to reality, a good lawyer would counter with, "But how do you know?

    Then, like all trials, which they certainly do this all the time, they would present evidence in the courtroom of why one ought to believe that their claim corresponds to reality. This is the whole point of eyewitness testimony, videos, audio recordings, images, etc. that are submitted as evidence and presented to the jury.

    Such statements require proof, which is the realm of knowledge. It can be true that our thoughts correspond with reality, but knowledge is the process that demonstrates how this is possible

    Correct. That is why I said that truth, in my view, is simply that what is ‘true’ is that which corresponds, but makes no claims about how to determine how it corresponds (as that is knowledge).

    Truth does not require justification. Truth simply is.

    I would say truth simply is the correspondence of a claim with reality and requires only the justification required to demonstrate it is that, but whether or not a claim corresponds to reality is not a matter of truth itself, but the means of determining whether it is a part of the truth.

    This is again, at the heart of the Gettier argument. I can have a thought that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket. Its true that he does. But the justification which lead me to believe that Jones has 5 coins in his pocket is false. So again, truth requires no justification, truth is simply "what is".

    I simply say that one can take up something as true on evidence, and then reject it later on counter-evidence; it would have originally been true, but is now considered false. The gettier arguments falsely presuppose that the counter-evidence suggesting it is false is final: that is definitively false; but one can simply ask further: ‘what if it turns out to be turn, upon further counter-counter-evidence?’. For me, I don’t view it as a problem because I am not claiming that we can absolutely know the agreement between thought and reality.

    As such, I see no need to tie it solely to one's subjective experience.

    It is not solely tied to one’s subjective experience: it is tied to subjective experience (in it’s entirity, and not dependent on nor relative to one particular subject) and the objective world, as emergent from both.

    A person can claim something which matches with reality, so what they said is true

    In this case a correspondence and it being real is the same thing

    Correspondence is not equivalent to what is real: it requires a subject to correspond to reality. You can’t have a correspondence with reality without a subject.

    My point is that the ‘matching of’ is irrelevant to ‘truth’ under your definition, because it does not include any sort of correspondence with reality in it. For you, ‘truth’ just is, and corresponding with it is just how we know it.

    "It is reality that I believe the visual illusion means something physical is there, but my belief is not true." "It is true that I believe the visual illusion means something physical is there, but my belief is not real."

    I am not sure I fully followed this part; but, by my lights, the truthity of these claims is critically contingent on the correspondence (or lack thereof) with reality; but your definition does include that as a consideration.

    So, for you, truth persists when there are no subjects, because it is just what is. Whether we correspond to reality or not doesn’t matter with respect to truth, so, for you, it is not that the lack of correspondence in the first claim (in the quote) that makes it false: it is simply that it isn’t real (and we come to know it by that lack of correspondence).

    Truth exists within the subject and despite the subject.

    Truth still exists despite a subject, under my view, but not despite of all subjects.

    If you have a thought that corresponds with reality, that thought is true

    The thought, under you view, isn’t true by corresponding: it is known; what is true is whatever is claimed is—but the thought is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. You have removed the subject from truth.

    You think because we can note that our subjective experience is true, that the truth of that subjective experience suddenly means all truth is tied to our subjective experience

    Not at all. Simply because we obtain something as true, it does not follow that it is subjective; nor that it is contingent on the subject whatsoever. Just because I obtain that there is a ball in my room, the balls existence is not thereby contingent on me. I am saying that truth itself is an emergent property of subjects uncovering the world (in a more aristotilian definition) because of the previous reasons I already outlined.

    We take a general understanding of truth and knowledge, refine them, but still keep them within the cohesive framework of how people generally think where possible.

    I agree, but I don’t see how I am going that far from the norm.

    Essentially there is "subjective truth" and "objective truth". Your tying the word "truth" to only the subjective aspect of truth ignores the objective aspect

    There is no ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ truth: there is just an absolute truth of the matter; and I never claimed that truth was subjective (in that sense): I claimed that is dependent on both object and subject. If there was no object, but only subjects, then I would say there would be no truth either.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello 180 Proof,

    As for "misreading" what you actually wrote, Bob, I don't think so. And your attempt to clarify doesn't help.

    I am unsure as to where the confusion lies, so let me just re-state it and I will let you go into detail about what you think the inconsistencies are.

    I am saying that existence itself, i.e., substance, is mind-independent; for, otherwise, the mind would exist and then ‘being’ itself would ‘unfold’ (or be produced by) it, which would, in turn, entail that the mind itself is non-being (i.e., does not exist) since it is outside of (as the producer of) being.

    With this in mind, I am saying that my flavor of ‘objective idealism’ posits that everything is mind-dependent in the sense that everything that exists[/i] is mind-dependent, but not that existence itself, taken up as an entity itself, is mind-dependent.

    Where are the inconsistencies with that proposal?

    So, leaving aside Berkeley, you're not a Leibnizian? not a Kantian? not a Hegelian? ... but rather, an 'idealist' in the vein of Gabriel Markus? or Donald Hoffman? or Bernardo Kastrup? ...

    More in a bernardo kastrup sense, or an schopenhauerian sense.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    ... everything is mind-dependent in the sense that everything that exists is mind-dependent, but not ... existence itself, taken up as an entity itself, is mind-dependent.Bob Ross
    So to paraphrase in Schopenhauerian terms: "everything that exists" is phenomenal, or only appearances (i.e. Representations), but "existence itself" is more-than-appearance, or noumenon (i.e. Will). :chin:

    Is this close to what you're claiming, Bob?

    And, as per the OP, "objective epistemic norms" are, in effect, justified by, as Schopenhauer argues, the (Platonic / Leibnizian) Principle of Sufficient Reason (à la "The Fourfold Root of ...")?

    Btw, my take on Bernardo Kastrup is that his "objective idealism" (cosmopsychism?) isn't much more than a quantum woo-woo riff on Spinoza's acosmism (or Hindu Brahman). He seems slightly more rigorous (or strenuous) than ... Deepak Chopra. :roll:
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    ... everything is mind-dependent in the sense that everything that exists is mind-dependent, but not ... existence itself, taken up as an entity itself, is mind-dependent. — Bob Ross

    So to paraphrase in Schopenhauerian terms: "everything that exists" is phenomenal, or only appearances (i.e. Representations), but "existence itself" is more-than-appearance, or noumenon (i.e. Will). :chin:

    Your paraphrase is of schopenhauer's metaphysics, which is all fine and good, but doesn't paraphrase what I was saying in the quote you have of me; as schopehauer doesn't get into these kinds of distinctions I was making. My point in saying my view is schopenhauerien is not to mask it under everything he claimed, but just to answer your question (when you asked if it is berkleian, etc.).

    My point was that substance, analyzed as an entity, (i.e., existence) is not dependent on a mind; but the things which exist are because they are contingent upon one universal mind. In other words, all that exists is one universal mind.

    And, as per the OP, "objective epistemic norms" are, in effect, justified by, as Schopenhauer argues, the (Platonic / Leibnizian) Principle of Sufficient Reason (à la "The Fourfold Root of ...")?

    No, my justification is what I put in the OP. I take elements of schopenhauer's thoughts, but I do not subscribe to everything he said.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    :ok: But why do you call this substance – existence itself – "mind"? Seems to confuse more than it clarifies ...
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I think we are missing the forest through the trees here and I'm going to back out a bit to focus on the key points that I think are relevant to the discussion.

    So, for you, truth persists when there are no subjects, because it is just what is.Bob Ross

    Lets keep it extremely simple. I view this as the normative view of truth. If you disagree with me, that's fine. But from my part, this is what I hold. Why should I not hold this? What does your view of truth introduce that solves problems of knowledge, or clarifies confusion in epistemology?

    (Philosophim)Truth exists within the subject and despite the subject.

    Truth still exists despite a subject, under my view, but not despite of all subjects.
    Bob Ross

    I don't understand this statement. Can you clarify the latter part?

    (Philosophim)If you have a thought that corresponds with reality, that thought is true

    The thought, under you view, isn’t true by corresponding: it is known; what is true is whatever is claimed is—but the thought is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. You have removed the subject from truth.
    Bob Ross

    First, let me add the follow up to that quoted statement. I said its true because what you are thinking is "what is". What you think, is "what is". The fact that you are having a thought is true. This is when truth involves the subject. But you seem to be entirely negating the idea of truth that exists apart from the subject. It is normative to hold that if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, it makes an air vibration. The vibration of the air is sound to an observer. Do we need the subject to interpret the vibration of the air into something else? Yes. That is the truth of the observers experience of that sound.

    But the lack of the observer does not negate the air's vibration when the tree falls. That is also true. How does your view of truth that needs a subject handle this?

    You think because we can note that our subjective experience is true, that the truth of that subjective experience suddenly means all truth is tied to our subjective experience

    Not at all. Simply because we obtain something as true, it does not follow that it is subjective; nor that it is contingent on the subject whatsoever. Just because I obtain that there is a ball in my room, the balls existence is not thereby contingent on me. I am saying that truth itself is an emergent property of subjects uncovering the world (in a more aristotilian definition) because of the previous reasons I already outlined.
    Bob Ross

    Bob, this is a contradiction. You can't say that truth is not contingent on the subject, then say that it is an emergent property of the subject. And if it does necessitate the subjects claim about the world, this fits in with the normative notion of knowledge, not truth. This seems confusing and removes cohesion.

    I'll also address this part about illusions.

    Under your term, illusions are a part of truth; but it is odd: isn’t it? What aspect of illusions makes them true (in the sense that that a part of reality is illusion) and them false (in the sense of what they are)? Within your definition, there is no way to account for this other than saying that an illusion, as an illusion, is real (and in the truth), but that to say whatever the illusion pretends to be is real is false because it isn’t.Bob Ross

    The truth is your experience of the illusion as is. What isn't true is when you assume physical characteristics as being real after only experiencing the visual illusion. Its not that the illusion is pretending to be something false. Its that our minds are jumping to improper conclusions that aren't real. That claim is false despite our justification, and despite our knowledge.

    But I don't want to get off track here, as I think the crux comes down to your idea that truth must have a subject. The major note here is the contradiction I pointed out. Either you're holding something that cannot be true, or it just needs to be explained more clearly.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello 180 Proof,

    But why do you call this substance – existence itself – "mind"? Seems to confuse more than it clarifies ...

    Although maybe I have before (I can’t quite remember), I wouldn’t now: I would say that the type of existence is ‘mental’, which just signifies a nice shorthand for ‘everything that exists is mind’; but, of course, someone could point out that existence itself is mind-independent and is ‘physical’ in that sense. However, to me, that misses the point of idealism entirely to think that it is a form of physicalism because existence is mind-independent, unless, perhaps, someone is positing existence as a valid attribute (which I don’t) and thusly like a separate entity, similar to two separate existent entities within a substance.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    I would say that the type of existence is ‘mental’, which just signifies a nice shorthand for ‘everything that exists is mind’; but, of course, someone could point out that existence itself is mind-independent and is ‘physical’ in that sense.Bob Ross
    A physicalist would say 'mind is physical' (just as processes like digestion and vision are physical).
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    I think we are missing the forest through the trees here and I'm going to back out a bit to focus on the key points that I think are relevant to the discussion.

    Fair enough!

    Why should I not hold this? What does your view of truth introduce that solves problems of knowledge, or clarifies confusion in epistemology?

    To speak briefly, using your definition:

    1. Is redundant with the term ‘reality’
    2. Does not completely capture its colloquial usage (e.g., saying “bob’s claim is true” makes less sense if ‘truth’ is ‘reality’, as it is implying that it is true in virtue of the fact that bob’s claim corresponds with reality—but ‘true’ no longer relates to correspondence under your definition).
    3. Every deployed use of ‘true’ is contingent on a thinking being: there is no example where someone would say something is true without that something being related to thought. E.g., ‘that is true’ refers to a claim someone made and is useless as a proclamation if there was no claim made.

    (Philosophim)Truth exists within the subject and despite the subject.

    Truth still exists despite a subject, under my view, but not despite of all subjects. — Bob Ross

    I don't understand this statement. Can you clarify the latter part?

    Under my view, I am not saying that truth is relative (e.g., that there is my truth and your truth, and they can be contradictory but equally true); I am not saying that if I died right now, that truth would no longer exist, for there are other subjects which still exist. So long is there is at least one thinking being, I would say truth exists; but if all subjects died, then there is no truth (and, within the hypothetical where there are no subjects, there is certainly no use for describing things within it as ‘true’ or ‘false’: everything just is).

    I said its true because what you are thinking is "what is". What you think, is "what is". The fact that you are having a thought is true

    Yes, but whether it is true that you are thinking is not, for you, dependent on your thought (that you are thinking) corresponding to reality, such that you really are thinking. For you, it just has to be the case that you are thinking. Now, of course, if there are no thinking beings, then the claim, under your view, would be false—but not because the claim that “you are thinking” does not correspond to reality but, rather, because it simply is not the case. Even saying ‘it is not the case’, to me, implies that something did not correspond to reality, which, under view, is irrelevant to whether it is true or not.

    But the lack of the observer does not negate the air's vibration when the tree falls. That is also true. How does your view of truth that needs a subject handle this?

    I am not saying that thinking is not a part of reality, my correspondence theory applies to everything in reality; so I am thinking iff my thought that I am thinking corresponds to reality such that I am actually thinking. This process applies subjective acts just as much as anything else.

    In your analogy, I found nothing wrong with it (other than that I do not think that a tree literally falls, a physical sense, when no one is conscious of it: but I doubt we want to get into that right now). I am just failing to see how this ties to my idea of truth: could you elaborate a bit more?

    Bob, this is a contradiction. You can't say that truth is not contingent on the subject, then say that it is an emergent property of the subject

    I didn’t say that, I pointed out that the argument you gave doesn’t work and that is why, of course, you should find something flawed with (i.e., the claim ‘You think because we can note that our subjective experience is true, that the truth of that subjective experience suddenly means all truth is tied to our subjective experience’). I was simply noting that that is not what I am claiming.

    To clarify, I am saying that truth is contingent on the subject and object; but not on any particular object nor subject (viz., if I die, then truth still exists; if every subject dies, it does not; if all possible objects of thought perished, then truth no longer exists; if one object of thought perishes, then it still does).

    Its that our minds are jumping to improper conclusions that aren't real.

    Exactly! Which makes more sense if we are depicting a faulty correspondence between their thoughts and reality—and not just that ‘it is not’.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    A physicalist would say 'mind is physical' (just as processes like digestion and vision are physical).

    I don't think this quite depicts physicalism, as it implies (usually) that it exists mind-independently. So saying 'mind is physical' is shorthand, by my lights, for 'the mind is "emergent", a product of, a process of, etc. mind-independent entities'.

    For me, I would say that 'mind is natural', but not that it is 'physical' nor 'material'.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    1. Is redundant with the term ‘reality’
    2. Does not completely capture its colloquial usage (e.g., saying “bob’s claim is true” makes less sense if ‘truth’ is ‘reality’, as it is implying that it is true in virtue of the fact that bob’s claim corresponds with reality—but ‘true’ no longer relates to correspondence under your definition).
    Bob Ross

    I don't think you made a strong enough case for me to agree with these. I can definitely see some agreeing with you, but not the majority. But this is a minor quibble.

    3. Every deployed use of ‘true’ is contingent on a thinking being: there is no example where someone would say something is true without that something being related to thought. E.g., ‘that is true’ refers to a claim someone made and is useless as a proclamation if there was no claim made.Bob Ross

    If you said "some" instead of every, I would be in full agreement. As it stands truth is often referred to things objectively outside of our thoughts. I can say, "Its true that the universe would exist without me." and, "Its true that there are things existent outside of our thoughts". Am I right? That's a question of knowledge. The truth is what exists despite my statements.

    Very simply Bob, I'll divide truth into two concepts. Subjective truth, and objective truth. Subjective truth is the experience of a subject. Objective truth does not care about a subjects experience or thoughts. A subject or subjects subjective truth are also objectively true, as it does not matter if another subject is aware of those subjective experiences. This is a normative notion of truth that will be accepted by the majority of the people.

    Under my view, I am not saying that truth is relative (e.g., that there is my truth and your truth, and they can be contradictory but equally true); I am not saying that if I died right now, that truth would no longer exist, for there are other subjects which still exist. So long is there is at least one thinking being, I would say truth exists; but if all subjects died, then there is no truth (and, within the hypothetical where there are no subjects, there is certainly no use for describing things within it as ‘true’ or ‘false’: everything just is).Bob Ross

    Perhaps its your approach that's the problem. Lets look at the notion of noting that the descriptor of true and false would not need to exist if there were no beings that. Why is that special for truth? That's the case for all words. Reality, belief, knowledge, and dog. Without any subjects, there is no use in describing anything, everything just is. And what "just is" is truth. Just as the descriptor of "what is and is man's best friend" is a dog. Your notion is just describing that we create identities, and without people to create identities, identities wouldn't exist. That's not a reason to change the identify of truth as "what is".

    I said its true because what you are thinking is "what is". What you think, is "what is". The fact that you are having a thought is true

    Yes, but whether it is true that you are thinking is not, for you, dependent on your thought (that you are thinking) corresponding to reality, such that you really are thinking. For you, it just has to be the case that you are thinking. Now, of course, if there are no thinking beings, then the claim, under your view, would be false—but not because the claim that “you are thinking” does not correspond to reality but, rather, because it simply is not the case. Even saying ‘it is not the case’, to me, implies that something did not correspond to reality, which, under view, is irrelevant to whether it is true or not.
    Bob Ross

    You've noted that simplicity and coherency are a virtue of knowledge. I can say truth is what exists. There is subjective truth, my experience, and objective truth, that which is outside of my experience. Its simple, coherent, and everyone understands it. Bob, I'm not sure what you were trying to say in the above paragraph. Did you say anything above that couldn't just be resolved to the normative notion I put forward?

    I am not saying that thinking is not a part of reality, my correspondence theory applies to everything in reality; so I am thinking iff my thought that I am thinking corresponds to reality such that I am actually thinking. This process applies subjective acts just as much as anything else.Bob Ross

    As I noted early, this is a simple observation that without subjects, identities created by subjects don't exist. It doesn't mean the things we were identifying don't exist outside of us. And its surely not any justification for why we should suddenly stop calling the identity of "things that exist outside of us" objective truth. It doesn't give a reason to stop saying, "My subjective truth is my experience". Even the notion of subjective truth is objectively true. What I am thinking is what I am thinking, even if I believe I am not thinking it.

    n your analogy, I found nothing wrong with it (other than that I do not think that a tree literally falls, a physical sense, when no one is conscious of it: but I doubt we want to get into that right now).Bob Ross

    We may have to, as I think this is the crux. Identities are our representations of what is real so we can understand them. What is real does not cease to exist just because our identities do. A tree is a combination of matter and energy. A tree falling is a state change of that matter and energy. Whether we're there to observe and identity it or not, that matter and energy exists, and has a state change.

    I can say this using normative language, and its clear for everyone to understand. You note that reality exists apart from subjects. Aren't we essentially saying the same thing, but I'm able to do so more efficiently?
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    You seem to think that your definition ‘truth’ is predominant in society and that mine is not; but they are both aspects of the standard colloquial notion of truth. I already shared the definitions as per the Webster dictionary, and, as one more, a simple Google search (which gives colloquial definitions at the top) defined ‘truth’ as ‘that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality’ in the second definition. So I don’t see how you can rightly claim that my definition is not circling around in the colloquial ecosystem as a predominant notion. Thusly, when you keep saying things like:

    This is a normative notion of truth that will be accepted by the majority of the people.

    That's not a reason to change the identify of truth as "what is".

    Did you say anything above that couldn't just be resolved to the normative notion I put forward?

    You are just presupposing one of the things under contention.

    I also would like to point out that your use of ‘subjective’ truth is absolutely not the common notion of that term. People tend to mean by ‘subjective truth’ that it is relative to the subject, or a whimsical opinion, and not ‘the experience of a subject’ which is also ‘objective true’. I agree, though, that people use ‘objective truth’ in the sense of something independent of opinion, factual, or independent of desires, thoughts, etc.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think that we should strictly always use colloquial definitions for the sake of keeping it immediately comprehensible for the public; for there are a lot of situations where the terms need to be technical to encapsulate its entire refined conceptual meaning. So, even if ‘truth’ was predominantly viewed as ‘what is’ in society, I have already elaborated on why this definition is insufficient—some of which you passed over as ‘minor quibble’:

    1. Is redundant with the term ‘reality’
    2. Does not completely capture its colloquial usage (e.g., saying “bob’s claim is true” makes less sense if ‘truth’ is ‘reality’, as it is implying that it is true in virtue of the fact that bob’s claim corresponds with reality—but ‘true’ no longer relates to correspondence under your definition). — Bob Ross

    I don't think you made a strong enough case for me to agree with these. I can definitely see some agreeing with you, but not the majority. But this is a minor quibble.

    Both of those, taking in conjunction, offer ample evidence that, if true, your definition is insufficient; so I don’t think you can just skip over those two: please demonstrate the falsity or why they are irrelevant/insignificant to our discussion.

    I can say, "Its true that the universe would exist without me."

    "Its true that there are things existent outside of our thoughts".

    “Its” refers to a claim, and so this sentence makes no sense without it. So I don’t think you have provided examples here of an expression of something that is true which is not being related to thought (implicitly or explicitly).

    . Lets look at the notion of noting that the descriptor of true and false would not need to exist if there were no beings that. Why is that special for truth?

    I never said it was special. The difference, however, between words and truth is that the former is only contingent on subjects.

    Your notion is just describing that we create identities, and without people to create identities, identities wouldn't exist.

    No, I am not saying that truth is equivalent nor analogous to language. I am saying that the thought corresponding to what it references about reality is what it means for something to be ‘true’, and not that we create identities; but, of course, a ‘thought’ is a ‘created identity’ (in your terminology), and so if ‘truth’ is defined with any contingency on ‘thought’, then, naturally, it is to some extent contingent on the subject (which I have already noted).

    There is subjective truth, my experience, and objective truth, that which is outside of my experience. Its simple, coherent, and everyone understands it

    Couple things to note:

    1. I didn’t say simplicity is an objective epistemic norm: I said parsimony, which is very different.
    2. Both of our definitions are coherent; so I am not following that part of your claim (that it is somehow in your favor with that regard).
    3. With words, sticking to common language is ideal, so prima facie this does count (sort of) in favor of your view. But I think my is also very aligned with the common notion.

    4. The common notion of truth is incomplete and vague; so it is not most parsimonious to stick with it, albeit simpler. I think mine is perfectly parsimonious for accounting for what ‘truth’ is (i.e., I don’t think it posits entities without necessity). However, yours does posit an extraneous entity: the definition is redundant with the definition of ‘reality’.

    this is a simple observation that without subjects, identities created by subjects don't exist

    No. The point was that the correspondence theory applies to everything, including what pertains to subjective operations in reality. There is no ‘subjective’ vs. ‘objective’ truth distinction under my view, because I don’t think it makes sense. The subjective truth as “my experience” is subsumed under absolute truth and is no different, in its nature as ‘truth’, as this objective truth that you mentioned (viz., reality doesn’t care about my thoughts about my thoughts, which also fits your definition of ‘objective truth’ but since it is just about my thoughts it is also ‘subjective’ truth—and now we have even more redundancies and unnecessary turbidity). Positing them both makes it sound like there are two natures to truth, or types of truth: which is false. There is only one truth.

    We may have to, as I think this is the crux.

    I think it is completely irrelevant, as it simply depicts our metaphysical differences (which we are both aware of at this point) that do not affect in any way our definitions of truth. However, with that being said, I am more than happy to dive into this if you would like (if you believe it would help)!

    Identities are our representations of what is real so we can understand them. What is real does not cease to exist just because our identities do.

    Correct. I agree.

    A tree is a combination of matter and energy.

    A tree, as a tangible object, is the representation; and not the thing-in-itself. So I disagree here (assuming you mean that reality herself contains such a tangible tree).

    Whether we're there to observe and identity it or not, that matter and energy exists, and has a state change.

    The information about the tree falling is independent of conscious experience of it; but not the material (i.e., tangible object) falling of the tree to the material ground.

    I can say this using normative language, and its clear for everyone to understand. You note that reality exists apart from subjects. Aren't we essentially saying the same thing, but I'm able to do so more efficiently?

    Saying the same thing about ‘truth’? No. About reality being independent of our observance: yes. About reality as a material world being independent of our observance: no.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I already shared the definitions as per the Webster dictionary, and, as one more, a simple Google search (which gives colloquial definitions at the top) defined ‘truth’ as ‘that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality’ in the second definition. So I don’t see how you can rightly claim that my definition is not circling around in the colloquial ecosystem as a predominant notion.Bob Ross

    Yes, and I disagreed with your interpretation, and noted looking to the Gettier argument's idea of truth gives the normative view of truth. My point however, is not to debate with you here. Its to note a potential problem I see you having when conveying your idea to others. Language is purely invented by us. I'll be the first to say, "Yeah, lets use a new definition." I'm just not personally convinced I should here.

    If people accept your definitions, then its fine. I just think you'll have a difficult time doing so. As such, its really in the realm of opinion, and can only be tested by pushing your theory out to other people to see what they think. The definition change doesn't matter to me as much as the concept. I'm just not seeing why the definition change (in my opinion) is useful to your concept.

    I also would like to point out that your use of ‘subjective’ truth is absolutely not the common notion of that term. People tend to mean by ‘subjective truth’ that it is relative to the subject, or a whimsical opinion, and not ‘the experience of a subject’ which is also ‘objective true’. I agree, though, that people use ‘objective truth’ in the sense of something independent of opinion, factual, or independent of desires, thoughts, etc.Bob Ross

    No, my point was that I invented a phrase that took common language and conveyed a notion of what it was that was easy to understand. It was also an attempt to convey what you seem to be saying in a more concise manner. You didn't have to question what I meant by it. By all means disagree with its use. If you noticed as well I noted, "Subjective truth is also objective". Which taken at face value is contradictory. But because we're familiar with the terms, and their context didn't deviate too much, it was easy to communicate and understand.

    My major point Bob, isn't necessarily an issue with most of the concepts. Its how you're conveying them. Your use of truth seems to conflict with a core of what I believe most people see truth to be, what is real despite our beliefs. Now, you also agree with this notion, but with vocabulary that seems overly complicated and wordy to convey the same point. Which is why I've been asking why bother changing the vocabulary at all. What do we gain out of this? And I think the only thing I can spot is that you want to say truth is not material reality, which I will get to later.

    But before I continue, to sum:

    1. The idea that truth is redundant with reality and therefore should have its definition changed is an opinion. At worst truth is a synonym with reality. At best, it has a little more context in relation to beliefs. Many people use these terms interchangeably, and many of these people are philosophers. Considering we may invent terms however we wish, the question is whether your statement of redundancy is enough to turn people off of its use. I'm doubtful, and for my part, no.

    2.
    2. Does not completely capture its colloquial usage (e.g., saying “bob’s claim is true” makes less sense if ‘truth’ is ‘reality’, as it is implying that it is true in virtue of the fact that bob’s claim corresponds with reality—but ‘true’ no longer relates to correspondence under your definition).

    This is the general understanding of truth as referred to in JTB. Truth is true irrelevant of your justification, or correlation to it. What is true does not care about our opinion or observations. Again, you may disagree that this is the general understanding, and this is fine. For myself, I have not seen a compelling case in removing the word truth as something which exists independently of subjects.

    I can say, "Its true that the universe would exist without me."

    "Its true that there are things existent outside of our thoughts".

    “Its” refers to a claim, and so this sentence makes no sense without it. So I don’t think you have provided examples here of an expression of something that is true which is not being related to thought (implicitly or explicitly).
    Bob Ross

    The expression of grammar in language is not an argument. We are talking about an adjective of a noun. "The dog is red." "The dog is red is true". We are stating that the combination of language descriptors is not a mistake, but a correct assessment. Again, this argument against truth applies to any word Bob. You need to demonstrate why this argument for truth being purely a relation of us to objects is different from any other descriptor of a thing.

    No. The point was that the correspondence theory applies to everything, including what pertains to subjective operations in reality. There is no ‘subjective’ vs. ‘objective’ truth distinction under my view, because I don’t think it makes sense. The subjective truth as “my experience” is subsumed under absolute truth and is no different, in its nature as ‘truth’, as this objective truth that you mentioned (viz., reality doesn’t care about my thoughts about my thoughts, which also fits your definition of ‘objective truth’ but since it is just about my thoughts it is also ‘subjective’ truth—and now we have even more redundancies and unnecessary turbidity). Positing them both makes it sound like there are two natures to truth, or types of truth: which is false. There is only one truth.Bob Ross

    Agreed. That was indeed my point. Subjective and objective truths are simple divisions of identity to convey a concept. "Subjective truth" is a colloquial term to get a concept across without difficulty. Of course, this concept does not hold water as truth is truly objective. We're just using "subjective" to quickly summarize the notion of "The truth of your experience." This of course can apply to the truth of others experience, and finally, to the truth beyond experience. Summed all together, these individual concepts both with experience, and outside of experience, is truth.

    We may have to, as I think this is the crux.

    I think it is completely irrelevant, as it simply depicts our metaphysical differences (which we are both aware of at this point) that do not affect in any way our definitions of truth.
    Bob Ross

    I think its absolutely the crux, because I can see no other reason why you would argue for the notion of truth in such a way. There is zero gained utility in it beyond minor personal preference, unless you have issue with the general idea of "things in themselves".

    A tree is a combination of matter and energy.

    A tree, as a tangible object, is the representation; and not the thing-in-itself. So I disagree here (assuming you mean that reality herself contains such a tangible tree).
    Bob Ross

    Lets say that I'm walking along a road and I see a pole with a flat board and some lines on it that look like writing. We both agree this is real. I point to "it". I say, "That". Does "that" exist even if I haven't seen it? Yes. Does my definition or conception of "that" exist if I don't experience it. No. You seem to be implying, intentional or not, that if I don't exist, "That" doesn't exist either as real. That "That" is not true. Not the language, concepts, and descriptors, but that "That thing in itself" is not true.

    Because Bob, if there are no subjects, then no language or descriptor exists. But we have to use that language, and descriptors to describe an existence where there is no subject. This insistence that there cannot be a tree in a forest if no one is around only has teeth as a grammatical note. And again, these teeth apply to the totality of language; truth has no special place. It does not negate that fact that yes, there's still that thing in itself that we would have called a tree falling in what we would have called a forest.

    Saying the same thing about ‘truth’? No. About reality being independent of our observance: yes. About reality as a material world being independent of our observance: no.Bob Ross

    No one ever said reality had to be a material world. Reality and truth are simply what is. Call it material or whatever you want personally. I can just as easily state "Truth is independent of a subject," and I doubt most people on this forum would bat an eye. Of course all words are dependent on subjects viewpoints of the world. But that doesn't suddenly make the former statement wrong.

    And finally to circle back on the real main point, even if we are to shuffle the grammar around and make truth a completely separate concept from what is "real", we've solved none of the problems we still have with knowledge. "How do I know that what I know is true?" It sounds like the grammar shuffle is more of a need to let people capture truth. But then "How do I know that what I claim is true, is real?" Its just an extra intermediary with the same end problem.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello Philosophim,

    Yes, and I disagreed with your interpretation, and noted looking to the Gettier argument's idea of truth gives the normative view of truth.

    Gettier arguments don’t demonstrate your theory of truth: it is compatible with both of ours. Gettier was demonstrating the faultiness of justification in relation to truth. I can say that, in any Gettier argument, that the justification failing to prove the truth is because the justification for the claim corresponding to reality was insufficient for demonstrating that it actually does.

    And I think the only thing I can spot is that you want to say truth is not material reality, which I will get to later.

    Although I know you think it is the crux of our conversation and I will continue to converse about it, I want to disclaim again that our metaphysical differences (with respect to ontology) are irrelevant. Correspondence theories are compatible with metaphysical theories that posit a material world (beyond our conscious experience). As a matter of fact, typically it is viewed that idealists cannot hold correspondence theories; and my only point here is that our conversation about whether a material, mind-independent object exists does not matter for the conversation about truth, no different than how morality doesn’t matter either.

    The idea that truth is redundant with reality and therefore should have its definition changed is an opinion.

    It is less parsimonious, incoherent with respect to the basic norms of semantics, and the terms are not merely synonyms (under your view)(as a synonym can be a word which is not equivalent to another word but can be exchange loosely for it).

    This is the general understanding of truth as referred to in JTB. Truth is true irrelevant of your justification, or correlation to it.

    Again, yours is not referenced in JTB. Secondly, I agree that truth is not contingent on our justification for it: I never claimed that.

    What is true does not care about our opinion or observations

    That’s false. It is true that I saw an orange ball today, but not that an orange ball exists outside of observation, as color does not exist as a property of the ball in reality (even under your view). So I disagree that it is not contingent upon observations (in a holistic sense): like you even said, truth encompasses observations, but you would be excluding it if you said it if it was independent of observation. If by this you just mean that you either observed X or you didn’t, and that isn’t contingent on you opinion of the matter, then I totally agree.

    For myself, I have not seen a compelling case in removing the word truth as something which exists independently of subjects.

    Saying that is exists dependent on subjects (to some extent) does not mean that it is contingent on our opinions. Either the claim corresponded to reality or it didn’t: independent of our opinions on the matter (i.e., other claims we make about it).

    The expression of grammar in language is not an argument

    You are making a false analogy between language and (my definition of) truth. You saying that my argument for truth is no different than arguing that objects corresponding to words are subjective because the word is subjective—which is obviously false. They are not analogous. The word references something which is not dependent on a subject; but ‘true’ references a thought and an object and compares them.

    That’s why I said “its” is referring to a thought, and it makes no sense to say “its true <...>” if that is taken away. I am not merely saying that describing things makes no sense without words. To make it analogous to your language example, it would have to be an analysis of a word and whether it corresponds to the said object (in the sense that the word actually semantically references it). This ‘word-to-object comparison’ would be contingent on the word (and thusly the subject) and the object, just like truth.

    I think its absolutely the crux, because I can see no other reason why you would argue for the notion of truth in such a way. There is zero gained utility in it beyond minor personal preference, unless you have issue with the general idea of "things in themselves".

    I’ve already explained the benefits: it is more parsimonious and captures what we mean (implicitly) by truth better. We only say something ‘is true’ when relating a thought to something in reality, such that it corresponds: to use your definition (with consistency) one would have to come up with a different way of expressing it with language, which I think just counts in favor of my definition being better suited for colloquial settings.

    Lets say that I'm walking along a road and I see a pole with a flat board and some lines on it that look like writing. We both agree this is real. I point to "it". I say, "That". Does "that" exist even if I haven't seen it? Yes.

    This is too vague. For example, I take it that you agree that color is not objective, in the sense that the object does not contain the property of color which we attribute to it (e.g., I see a red ball, but that ball isn’t red: it is reflected a wavelength that my eye interprets as red). Imagine the pole is red, and you point it out with “that” and ask “is ‘that’ real despite my conscious experience of it?”. Well, no, the redness is not a property of the “that” in reality. Now, imagine extending that for all qualitative properties, which is all conscious experience, of the objects. E.g., does ‘that’, as a tangible pole, exist despite me consciously experiencing it? Well, if we grant (which I know you won’t) that it is analogous to color, then no. Does it not exist at all beyond our conscious experience of it: no, I would say the information about it is accurate enough: it just isn’t ontologically a tangible, red pole.

    This insistence that there cannot be a tree in a forest if no one is around only has teeth as a grammatical note

    I am not sure why this would be true. I am not arguing that a tree doesn’t fall (literally as a material object) beyond conscious experience because language is dependent on subjects: that’s a horrible argument.

    there's still that thing in itself that we would have called a tree falling in what we would have called a forest.

    But the thing-in-itself does not have to literally fall to still objectively exist, no different than color doesn’t have to literally be a property of the thing-in-itself.

    No one ever said reality had to be a material world. Reality and truth are simply what is.

    I never said it did, and this is why I didn’t find it relevant for us to get into our metaphysical differences. My theory of truth is independent of my idealism. As a matter of fact, I developed it when I was still a physicalist.

    we've solved none of the problems we still have with knowledge.

    Although we can get into trying to tackle gettier problems, and such, I never was claiming that my theory of truth (nor yours) solves them. One’s theory of truth is a prerequisite for their theory of knowledge: not vice-versa.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k
    @Philosophim

    I just thought of a clearer way of expressing the implicit use of correspondence theory of truth in colloquial speech, and just wanted to briefly share (and hear your thoughts).

    Let's take your statement "Its true that the universe would exist without me.", which is, from your point of view, an expression of truth which is not contingent on thought. There are two aspects of my interpretation of that sentence that I think are worth elucidating to you:

    1. "Its" is referencing a thought (i.e., a claim); and
    2. "true" is signifying the reality of what is referenced as "its".

    I think this is important to our conversation because I think, for your theory to be compatible with this colloquial sentence, one of the above must be false (i.e., either "its" does not reference a thought or "true" is not signifying the reality of whatever is referenced by "its"). Of course, this is presupposing that one is trying to fit their theory of truth into common language, which I believe you are definitely a proponent of that (based off of what you have said).

    By my lights, if both of the above are true, then 'true' is signifying the reality of what is referenced in a thought which, in turn, directs the person interpreting the sentence to examine the thought and take its claim about reality to agree with reality: thusly, it entails that truth is not merely 'what is' but signifies the process of correspondence of a thought with reality.

    I don't see it very plausible that either of the above are false, let alone one of them; so if, for you, one is (by your lights) false then it would help understand your view better if you elaborated on it. If I am just completely missing the mark, then perhaps elaborating on that would help me better orientate towards whatever you are thinking.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Hello Bob, I've had a busy weekend, but I'm back to answer!

    I think our conversation has narrowed now to language. Again, you're using the fact that we reference things through language to indicate that truth requires a subject. Let me take your second post as an example.

    "Its real that the universe would exist without me".

    1. "Its" is referencing a thought (i.e., a claim); and
    2. "real" is signifying the reality of what is referenced as "its".

    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. That doesn't have any impact on the intent of what the word is conveying.

    Bob, very simply does the thing that we reference still exist despite us not seeing it? Not the word "thing". Not the concept of us thinking about a "thing". Not our relation to the "thing". Does the "thing itself that we are referencing" exist apart from a subject?

    Gettier arguments don’t demonstrate your theory of truth: it is compatible with both of ours.Bob Ross

    Here is a breakdown of the normative idea of truth under JTB from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
    "Something’s truth does not require that anyone can know or prove that it is true. Not all truths are established truths. If you flip a coin and never check how it landed, it may be true that it landed heads, even if nobody has any way to tell. Truth is a metaphysical, as opposed to epistemological, notion: truth is a matter of how things are, not how they can be shown to be. So when we say that only true things can be known, we’re not (yet) saying anything about how anyone can access the truth. "
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/#TrutCond

    Although I know you think it is the crux of our conversation and I will continue to converse about it, I want to disclaim again that our metaphysical differences (with respect to ontology) are irrelevant.Bob Ross

    Then I have no idea and see no value in defining truth as you do. Why are you defining it this way Bob?
    I’ve already explained the benefits: it is more parsimonious and captures what we mean (implicitly) by truth better.Bob Ross

    But its not. I've listened to you trying to understand your viewpoint, and it is neither of those things. It dose not capture implicitly what I mean by truth. It upends a traditional notion of truth. Perhaps I am outside of the norm. Regardless, surely there must be some other benefit in defining it this way despite these reasons.

    What is true does not care about our opinion or observations

    That’s false.
    Bob Ross

    Then you agree with me. 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. Your definition of truth does not lead to parsimony, but contradiction.

    It is true that I saw an orange ball today, but not that an orange ball exists outside of observation, as color does not exist as a property of the ball in reality (even under your view).Bob Ross

    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, if you as a subject did not exist, then the truth of your subjective experience would not exist. That does not mean that the objective reality that was necessary for you to have that subjective experience from, is not true.

    This insistence that there cannot be a tree in a forest if no one is around only has teeth as a grammatical note

    I am not sure why this would be true. I am not arguing that a tree doesn’t fall (literally as a material object) beyond conscious experience because language is dependent on subjects: that’s a horrible argument.
    Bob Ross

    But this is how you are coming across, intentional or not. I understand that you want this outcome, but your claims don't lead to this outcome. 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
    Bob Ross

    when I am pointing out the thing-in-itself in the context of the conversation. We both understand that yes, all words that represent things in themself, represent things and are not the things in themselves. But if I have not been clear enough from the context of the conversation, I am not referring to the "tree" as a representation of the thing in itself. This is the denotation, the finger point, to the thing in itself that is necessary to exist. The truth of that thing in itself's existence does not depend upon myself as a subject.

    I think that about covers your points, let me know if I missed anything.
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