• Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    In my view nothing is objectively true. "Objective truth" is a category error.

    I was simply asking why you were conflating universality with objectivity. The subjective/objective distinction doesn't conventionally have anything to do with whether something is universal.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    When I say universal, I am referring to that which is. Sort of like how the world would look if you were a god.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    When I say universal, I am referring to that which iscuriousnewbie

    So x is like F from reference point y, and like G from reference point z.

    Does it make sense to call "x is like F" "universal"?
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    No, but it would make sense to state that it is universally true that observers view events differently.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    No, but it would make sense to state that it is universally true that observers view events differently.curiousnewbie

    Couldn't we say that P is universally true, where truth is subjective?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    1. World exists objectively, independently of the ways we think about it or describe it.
    2. Our thoughts and claims are about that world.
    Harry Hindu
    [My reformatting.]

    If you can prove (to the same objective standard that you reference) either of these things, you will change the face of science and philosophy. But you can't. So you fall back on the topic-breaking Subjective/objective debate? How about we just stick to the topic?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    world exists objectively, independently of the ways we think about it or describe it
    our thoughts and claims are about that world
    Pattern-chaser

    I would change the second line to "A lot of our thoughts and claims are about that world." Certainly not all of them are. (Well, and the first claim should be "Much of the world exists objectively . . .")

    I wouldn't worry about proving it. We can't prove empirical claims period. It's just a matter of whether there are good reasons to believe one option over the contradictory option there.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    We can't prove empirical claims period. It's just a matter of whether there are good reasons to believe one option over the contradictory option there.Terrapin Station
    Can you prove that an empirical claim was made? If so, how do you do it if not empirically? Is it an fact that people make empirical claims and have feelings about things that influence their thinking? Is that a fact regardless of how people, or any mind, feels about that? Is it a fact of reality that you have feelings and preferences that may differ from others? Whenever we are referring to some state of affairs that we expect to others to agree if you cancel out our subjective differences (like our location in space-time and personal feelings and values), we are making objective statements about the world.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    world exists objectively, independently of the ways we think about it or describe it
    our thoughts and claims are about that world
    Pattern-chaser

    Oops! Sorry. My poor formatting made @HarryHindu's words look like they were mine. :blush:

    I reformatted the original post to correct this.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Can you prove that an empirical claim was made?Harry Hindu

    No, you can't. And yes, that's an empirical claim. Since you can't prove empirical claims, you can't prove that an empirical claim was made.

    Again, the take-away should be: "Don't worry about proof. Worry about the reasons there are for believing P versus ~P."
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    No, you can't. And yes, that's an empirical claim. Since you can't prove empirical claims, you can't prove that an empirical claim was made.

    Again, the take-away should be: "Don't worry about proof. Worry about the reasons there are for believing P versus ~P."
    Terrapin Station
    Lol, you can only know that you believe something, empirically.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Lol, you can only know that you believe something, empirically.Harry Hindu

    I'm not saying anything like that. Knowing that P in no way hinges on P being provable.
  • S
    11.8k
    I've seen some pretty awful proposals of what truth is.

    Truth as honesty? No, that's a different sense, just use the word "honesty" for that.

    Truth as broad or universal agreement? No, because there are exceptions.

    A much better indication of what truth is would be to point out that a truth can be stated by stating a true statement, and it resembles the expression of a fact or what's the case. This discussion is in English.

    This discussion is in Japanese? No.
  • charles ferraro
    89


    How about trying a more “down-to-earth” definition of what is true and what is false. For example: Any system of human thinking, doing, and governance which promotes and enhances the physical, biological, and mental health of the human race is true; those which do not are false.

    Hopefully, this will get us away from focusing exclusively on overly abstract semantical arguments and dry propositional analyses.
  • S
    11.8k
    How about trying a more “down-to-earth” definition of what is true and what is false. For example: Any system of human thinking, doing, and governance which promotes and enhances the physical, biological, and mental health of the human race is true; those which do not are false.

    Hopefully, this will get us away from focusing exclusively on overly abstract semantical arguments and dry propositional analyses.
    charles ferraro

    Is this a joke? You've basically just described the fallacy of appealing to the consequences.
  • charles ferraro
    89


    No Joke!! I would submit that I have, in fact, described the "false" criterion commonly used and accepted by most unsophisticated humans to distinguish the true from the false; whether one (the elitist logician) likes it, or not.

    For example:

    Isn't uncontrolled global warming due to climate change deemed "true" precisely because of the deleterious effects to humanity that would result from it?

    And, by contrast, isn't uncontrolled warming due to climate change deemed "false" precisely because of the lack of deleterious effects to humanity that would result from it?

    What else would be able to bring actionable meaning to this issue????
  • PossibleAaran
    243
    That seems fair enough. I would add that the infinite series of "I believe that..." collapses to a single one because it is what mathematicians call an 'idempotent operator'. That means that applying it any number of times in succession has the identical effect to applying it once.

    The link gives an example of a physical idempotent operator: an On button on an electric device. This contrasts with an On/Off toggle, whose effect depends on the initial state and on whether the number of times it is pressed is odd or even.

    A mathematical example would be the operation of rounding to the nearest integer. Doing it once has the same result as doing it a million or infinitely many times.
    andrewk

    That's an interesting solution, but I'm not sure that "I believe that" really is an idempotent operator here. Saying that I believe that P does not mean the same thing as saying I believe that I believe that P. The former asserts that I think that the world is a certain way. The latter states that I think that I possess a certain mental state; that of thinking the world is a certain way. And of course, the more "I believe that"'s we add, the more the meaning will diverge from the original "I believe that P", until it gets so complicated that I can't understand it.


    PA
  • S
    11.8k
    How is your contribution helpful with regard to the matter of truth, except perhaps as some guidance to those unaware of this fallacy in attempting to determine truth? Aren't we supposed to talking about the real deal? I agree that such fallacies are common amongst the common folk. But we should be thinking about this more like a logician would think about it.
  • charles ferraro
    89


    What really counts, after all is said and done, is precisely truth "in the real world" among "the common folk,' as you condescendingly refer to them. The majority of humanity (those unaware of this fallacy) could care less for this "fallacy." And, furthermore, it is extremely presumptuous and elitist to think that one is, in fact, privy to the "real deal,".like a Gnostic logician, as it were. If one lives long enough, one realizes that no one is, or ever will be, privy to "the real deal," at least this side of the grave
  • S
    11.8k
    My language is no more condescending than yours. You already insinuated that I was "elitist", and you made reference to "unsophisticated humans" before I even made my remarks which you've singled out.

    I couldn't care less if the rest of humanity, or "unsophisticated humans", as you condescendingly refer to them, do not care about this fallacy (and it is a fallacy, so scare quotes are inappropriate), because they must not care about the deep and fundamental questions of philosophy, whereas I do.

    Good luck having any hope of getting close to the truth if you show a careless disregard for logic and reason.
  • tim wood
    3.4k
    Any of you able to offer any understanding of truth, or what "true" means? I'm thinking it must mean something.

    My understanding is that some propositions are true and understood to be so. That is, such things exist. Anyone disagree so far?

    If anyone were to ask what made this or that particular proposition true, that would be an answerable question, yes? If a proposition be true, it must be possible to give some account of why or how that particular proposition is true. Any disagreement yet?

    That is, there exist true propositions, and each is true for some reason.

    What do the reasons have in common? At first cut, it seems that what they all have in common is that they are all reasons that account for some true proposition being true. And for all the different kids of reasons, I think this is the best that can be done.

    To be sure, there are subcategories. A number of reasons will have something in common that other reasons don't share. But those others will have their own sub-categorical commonality. And so it goes. I think any google search on "truth" will yield several criteria that cannot be merged into one category.

    The true, then, of any particular true proposition is just that that makes it true. Not a lot of satisfaction on this path. But the proposition is true - because of the reason. That at least is secure.

    So much for "true." But what does "truth" mean? To start, true is an adjective, truth a noun. Nouns, usually, are persons, places, or things, defined as broadly as necessary. Truth, then, is a kind of a thing.
    What kind of a thing? My answer is that truth is an abstract collective noun that does nothing more than indicate that the subject matter in question is true.

    I'd welcome an improvement on this, but I do not think it is possible.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    That's an interesting solution, but I'm not sure that "I believe that" really is an idempotent operator here. Saying that I believe that P does not mean the same thing as saying I believe that I believe that P. The former asserts that I think that the world is a certain way. The latter states that I think that I possess a certain mental state; that of thinking the world is a certain way. And of course, the more "I believe that"'s we add, the more the meaning will diverge from the original "I believe that P", until it gets so complicated that I can't understand it.PossibleAaran
    It depends on what one means by 'I believe that P'.

    In philosophy that sort of statement is a cliche and usually leads to boredom, but perhaps one can make something slightly non-boring from it here. We could investigate it a little by asking whether in order for 'I believe that P' to be true one must have held the proposition P in one's mind at one stage. If one says Yes to that then it could certainly be the case that one believes P but doesn't believe that they believe P because they have never held the thought 'I believe that I believe that P' in their mind.

    I am inclined to the opposite interpretation, that holding the thought in one's mind at some time is not necessary for belief. I think belief can be non-verbal. Dogs and toddlers in happy homes believe that their humans love them, but are unable to articulate that thought internally. Perhaps even a person that has language may believe something without articulating it in their mind. We may feel that a person we have met is kind or hostile and hence implicitly believe that about them without having explicitly thought it.

    Interestingly, this perspective seems to count against 'I believe that...' being idempotent. Somebody that is very arrogant believes that they are better than most people but would quite likely sincerely deny that they believe that. They believe they are better than others, but don't believe that they believe that.

    I wonder then if it might be the case that the operator 'I believe that...' is one such that applying it twice can be different from applying it once, but applying it more than two times is the same as applying it twice. I imagine there are such operators but I need to ride to work now so I will leave it to other mathematically-inclined posters to find an example of such an operator.

    I have forgotten how this relates to the thread but nevertheless I find it interesting. I apologise if my digression irritates.
  • Janus
    8.6k
    Spinoza made a similar point somewhere in reference to the Pyrrhonian Skeptics' problem of the "criterion", I seem to remember. When asked "how do you know, how do you know that you know, know that you know that you know" and so on, he replied that in order to know that you know you must first know. In other words knowing that you know, that you know that you know, and so on is not possible without first knowing, so it is knowing that warrants knowing that you know, and it is not the case that your knowing that you know could warrant your knowing.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    An example of knowing but not knowing that you know might be blind sight. As described, it appears that someone with blind sight could know that they are facing a red swatch of material, but not know that they know that.

    Very odd!
  • Janus
    8.6k
    Very odd indeed!
  • TheSageOfMainStreet
    31


    Present in Absent-Mindedness

    Philosophers fail to realize that they are creating a separate world that can fall apart if applied too closely to the real world. Russell's problem with "the set of everything that doesn't belong to a set" brings that out; it is a self-made contradiction, but it doesn't contradict the fact that he has abstracted his philosophical world from reality. The first rule must be existence; he forgets that his system exists only in his fearfully wandering speculations. It should only be viewed as an approximation to reality; its internal contradiction only proves that it is a temporary substitute and shouldn't be expected to be complete within itself.
  • TheSageOfMainStreet
    31


    Do These People Actually Want to Be Confused?

    It is a defective statement. It cannot be stated unless it has the full form, "No statements are true except this one."
  • Joshs
    733
    How bout "all statements that I have ever encountered that make a claim for objective truth change their sense from one instantiation to the next, including this statement."
    That's really what radical relativists are trying to say.
  • YuZhonglu
    219
    "Objective Truth" just means "I'm really really sure this is correct and if you don't agree with me you're dumb." "Subjective truth" is more like "I'm pretty sure this is correct, but feel free to disagree.
  • MathematicalPhysicist
    28
    It's indeed self-contradictory.

    But it raises the question then what is the objective truth in our world?

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