• Banno
    6.4k
    So your theory that meaning is thinking leads you to having an issue with truth.

    Suppose instead that the meaning of a proposition is whatever you are doing with it. Then the meaning is a part of the world, not of thinking.
  • Mww
    1.1k


    Nothing is ever written, spoken or displayed, that isn’t first thought. Seems like we should analyze how we came to our thoughts before we analyze how other minds are affected by our communication of them.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    Nothing is ever written, spoken or displayed, that isn’t first thought.Mww

    Do you really think the whole thing out before you set it into words? That's not my experience. The setting out happens with the thinking.
  • Mww
    1.1k


    One never thinks about the physicality of getting a fork to his mouth, but let something go haywire, and he invariably recalls the very physicality in order to figure out what happened. Given enough experience in some thing, attentive thinking diminishes with respect to that thing, but cannot be said to be non-existence. Otherwise, it would be impossible to recall anything at all.

    The setting out happens after the thinking, although the time differential borders on immediate. But it obviously cannot be instantaneous. We see this in, e.g., when the eye looks aside during verbal communication.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    Let's look at use and truth.

    It's statements that are true or false. Statements are generally about how things are. So a given statement will be true, or it will be false.

    Under what circumstances will it be true, or false? Under the circumstances set out in the statement.

    So the statement will be true exactly in the case that it sets out what is the case.

    "The cat is on the mat" is true only if the cat is on the mat. "2+2=7" is true only if 2+2=7. And generaly, the statement "P" will be true only if P.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    So your theory that meaning is thinking leads you to having an issue with truth.

    Suppose instead that the meaning of a proposition is whatever you are doing with it. Then the meaning is a part of the world, not of thinking.
    Banno

    I wouldn't say it's an "issue with truth." It's simply an analysis of it.

    It's not a matter of simply redefining meaning. It doesn't matter what we call anything. It's a matter of what phenomena occur where and how--whatever we choose to call the phenomena in question. Phenomena that occur outside of our brains (well, or outside of anything that would amount to mentality--I'm not arguing that mentality necessarily could only occur in brains) can't refer or correspond to anything.

    We could talk instead about "what you do with a proposition," whatever that's supposed to amount to--you'd have to present what it's supposed to amount to, present examples, etc., and then you could say just how that's supposed to have a relation to anything else, especially a la anything like a truth or correspondence relation.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Nothing is ever written, spoken or displayed, that isn’t first thought.Mww

    I'm fine with that (even though there could be exceptions), but how does it help some truth-value not be a matter of judgment?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Statements are generally about how things are.Banno

    How do you get to "about" without thought being present?
  • Banno
    6.4k
    It's not a matter of simply redefining meaning. It doesn't matter what wecall anything.Terrapin Station

    I'm not so much wanting to redefine meaning as drop it altogether.

    ...do you use the definition that propositions are the meanings of statements?Terrapin Station

    "il pleut" means that it is raining. One way of saying this is that they set out the same proposition. Another is that they have the same use. But one would not suppose that the french speaker and the English speaker have the very same brain state...
  • Banno
    6.4k
    Thinking is involved. It's just not the whole of it.
  • Mww
    1.1k
    I'm (vaguely)familiar with the introduction of CPR where Kant called judgment an innate talent that cannot be taught, etc. I disagree because judgment is far too complex a thought/process for a human to be born with already fully intact and working(innate).creativesoul

    It does not follow from the availability of an innate capacity, that it’s proper employment is thereby given.

    “.....A physician therefore, a judge or a statesman, may have in his head many admirable pathological, juridical, or political rules, in a degree that may enable him to be a profound teacher in his particular science, and yet in the application of these rules he may very possibly blunder—either because he is wanting in natural judgement (though not in understanding) and, whilst he can comprehend the general in abstracto, cannot distinguish whether a particular case in concreto ought to rank under the former; or because his faculty of judgement has not been sufficiently exercised by examples and real practice. Indeed, the grand and only use of examples, is to sharpen the judgement....”

    Note “real practice”, a.k.a......experience. The capacity to judge is innate; the capacity to judge the synthesis of intuition to conception is developed, because both intuition and conception are themselves developed.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Thinking is involved. It's just not the whole of it.Banno

    It's not the whole of it in the sense of what we're thinking about, what influences our thinking, etc. That's obvious enough, right? It's not like I'm arguing that there's thinking in a vacuum set aside from other things.

    But the place where meaning occurs, where correspondence occurs, etc. is brains in the process of thinking.

    Thus a proposition isn't true or false outside of this. It requires someone to think about it and to make a judgment about whether it corresponds (or coheres, or whatever relation we're using). It's not like the words on a page or a computer screen or anything like that can determine this themselves somehow.
  • Mww
    1.1k


    Some truth values are a matter of judgement. I am well aware that “Terrapin Station” is the name of a 1977 Grateful Dead album (I owned it on 8-track, as a matter of fact), but the proposition “you are a Dead-Head because you use a facsimile of it to represent yourself”, is nothing but my personal judgement. The truth value of which is no more than merely possible, however, because there is no contradiction between the conception contained by the subject of the proposition I constructed for myself (“Terrapin Station” represents something) and the conception contained by the predicate of that same proposition (Dead-Heads sometimes use representations of Grateful Dead experiences).

    The whole point is that there are some truths without judgement, therefore judgement cannot be an absolutely necessary qualification for all truth. That is not to say what is absolutely necessary, but only what isn’t.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    The point I'm making is that the relationship of a proposition to, say, a state of affairs (if one is using correspondence theory) can only obtain via a judgment that an individual makes that the proposition "matches" or corresponds to the state of affairs. That relation can't obtain some other way that doesn't involve a judgment.
  • Mww
    1.1k


    A week ago I wrote, “Understood, and accepted......as far as it goes.”, in response to practically the same point you’re making here.

    Nevertheless, I defer from the correspondence in the theory you use, to the correspondence in the theory I use. I don’t think your version goes far enough in the explication of what is correspondent. What I accept is that there is a certain relation between propositions and states-of-affairs.

    But as you are often inclined to say.....how does that work, to which I say.....change the realm of the correspondence and you’ll have the how, at least from one point of view.

    No religiosity required. Not even a “cosmic religious feeling”, as Albert would have us know.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    But as you are often inclined to say.....how does that work, to which I say.....change the realm of the correspondence and you’ll have the how, at least from one point of view.Mww

    What realm are we changing it to, though?
  • Mww
    1.1k


    The same place everything else human comes from, that isn’t fully and sufficiently biologically/physiologically explanatory.......pure reason.

    Yeah yeah yeah....I know. Brain states and all that. Even if the words cat and mat relate to certain action potentials across certain gaps in certain pathways in certain brains, it is completely irrelevant, because we don’t think or express thoughts in those terms. Be that as it may, and it is of course, if we don’t give reason its just reward, which is the juxtaposition of those terms into the terms we actually do use, we may as well stop talking. By “we” I mean everybody.
  • leo
    621
    Allow me to offer again something on this subject.

    If we say that something is true, by what method have we arrived at this truth? And why is it true that that method gives truth, and why is it true that the explanation for why that method gives truth is true, and why is it true that the explanation of the explanation ... and so on and so forth.

    So from this I think we can agree that truth is problematic, and that it might be better to forgo truth altogether, and just speak of beliefs or assumptions instead?

    Earlier in this thread it was mentioned that doing away with truth could be dangerous, because then for instance we can't say it's true that parents shouldn't give rat poison to their children. But I argue that the statement "parents shouldn't give rat poison to their children" doesn't stop working just because we don't assign a truth value to it, even as a belief we can act on it, people act on their beliefs all the time, and then it could be argued that when people act on truth they act on what they believe is true.

    In practice I would say truth is treated differently than belief, truth is not seen as belief but as "what ought to be believed". But then there is coercion implicit in the concept of truth, what we consider to be true is not just what we believe, but what we think ought to be believed.

    Thoughts?
  • Mww
    1.1k
    truth is not seen as belief but as "what ought to be believed".leo

    Interesting.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    But the place where meaning occurs, where correspondence occurs, etc. is brains in the process of thinking.Terrapin Station

    You're equating meaning and correspondence?

    Consider the Slab game. The correspondence of "Slab" to a slab is a small part o f what is going on. Saying that the builder was referring to a slab goes only a very small way towards explaining the meaning of his utterance. The exercise is about the apprentice bringing a slab so the work can continue. There's more going on here than just what is in their heads.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    Do you really think the whole thing out before you set it into words? That's not my experience. The setting out happens with the thinking.Banno
    So the phrase "think before you speak" is meaningless to you? And what would "You don't know what you're talking about." mean? What is the language game being played when using those phrases?

    Does speaking it require different thinking that writing it? Why if you're saying the same thing?
  • Banno
    6.4k
    So the phrase "think before you speak" is meaningless to you?Harry Hindu

    No, Harry. That's not what was claimed.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    One never thinks about the physicality of getting a fork to his mouth, but let something go haywire, and he invariably recalls the very physicality in order to figure out what happened. Given enough experience in some thing, attentive thinking diminishes with respect to that thing, but cannot be said to be non-existence. Otherwise, it would be impossible to recall anything at all.Mww

    This paragraph seems to be changing the topic to proprioception. So I'll not respond.

    The setting out happens after the thinking, although the time differential borders on immediate. But it obviously cannot be instantaneous. We see this in, e.g., when the eye looks aside during verbal communication.Mww

    I'm saying that this is in point of fact wrong. The setting out happens as the text is produced. We can, on occasion, set it out before hand, privately as it where. But this is the exception, not the rule.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.5k
    Claims have implications, no? That is what I was talking about - the implications of your claim. In order for a claim to be meaningful it needs to be compatible with the rest of what we claim or say.

    Isnt that what it means to "think before you speak". To think about the implications of what you want to say before you say it.
  • Mww
    1.1k


    Suit yourself.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    If we say that something is true, by what method have we arrived at this truth?leo

    And straight away you have replaced truth with belief. Propositions are true, or false, regardless of what you say is true. Justifications are for beliefs, not truths.
  • tim wood
    3.3k
    May I add my pennies' worth (and jumping in, I'm prepared and willing to be booted out)?

    Truth, in my considered view, is an empty abstract term that merely catches, in the general way, that this or that or these or those propositions are true. As to "truth" conveying any sense or understanding in itself of what true is, or how it is, it just plain doesn't. Rather the claim of "truth" is just in itself an appeal.

    Now to true. It seems to me that no propositions are true except by reference to something that is true. But how can that be? Aren't propositions true or false, for example? Sure, but they are true in virtue of predication and prior judgment. By "judgment" I only mean that in some sense the truth of a true proposition is established (somehow) prior to the proposition. This priority being a logical priority, not the same as a temporal priority. The true itself, then ain't in the words themselves, but what they point at.

    Wherein does truth - the trueness - referenced by the proposition come in? What is the ground of any such truth, such truths ranging from 2+2=4 to "it's hot today," to water at sea level boils at 212 degrees F. That is, from apodictic to private to demonstrative - or any other way? The answer must be, and can be no better than, whatever makes it true, is what makes it true.

    By "ground" I mean what blocks the road to an infinite succession of the form, "...and what makes that true?"

    So for any statement to be true, it must refer to something that is true. And for something to be true, it must be such that the denial would destroy the system itself in which the particular truth arose. Deny 2+2=4, and arithmetic explodes. Deny it's hot and my judgment is overthrown. Deny water boils at a certain temperature under certain conditions and a corner of science is undone.

    In consequence, it must be that any discussion of any general notion of truth must itself be hopelessly general. That is, perfectly fine at a non-specific level of generality, but doomed to an aporia if tied to any specifics.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    I don't disagree with any of this; but then i don't quite agree, either.

    One way to put it is that we say too much about true and truth. Yes, truth is redundant, because only if "the act is on the mat" is true, will 'it is true that: 'The cat is on the mat'" also be true. So one says no more than the other; Adding "it's true that:..." adds emphasis or other illocutionary force to the very same utterance.

    The true itself, then ain't in the words themselves, but what they point at.tim wood

    This approach relies on reference. A better approach relies instead on what one is doing with the words one is using. So to understand 2+2=4 is to be able to add, count and so on. Someone who claimed that 2+2=4 is false has either misunderstood what was being done or is engaging in subterfuge.

    Similarly someone who claims it is wrong that water boils at 100ºC might have misunderstood; or may be engaged in some pedantry about air pressure and water purity; or is engaged in some activity unrelated to the boiling point of water and is bullshitting.

    That is, belief, action and language are interlocked - Davidson's triangulation. I'm only beginning to understand how this notion replaces his radical interpretation.

    In consequence, it must be that any discussion of any general notion of truth must itself be hopelessly general. That is, perfectly fine at a non-specific level of generality, but doomed to an aporia if tied to any specifics.tim wood

    Yes... Truth is redundant. It is also not available for analysis - it cannot be broken into simpler notions. Yet it is fundamental.
  • Banno
    6.4k
    By "judgment" I only mean that in some sense the truth of a true proposition is established (somehow) prior to the proposition.tim wood

    That's unclear. Is it a bit like @creativesoul's "thought/belief" that wants it's language before it can speak?

    Perhaps the judgement is in choosing the statement that suits the purpose here.
  • creativesoul
    6.6k
    Is it a bit like creativesoul's "thought/belief" that wants it's language before it can speak?Banno

    That's a mischaracterization my friend. Thought/belief is not the sort of thing that wants. I would disagree with tim wood regarding that quote as well...
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