• I like sushi
    2.4k
    You don’t appear to understand what ‘truth value’ means in terms of logical statements.

    The ‘truth value’ of ‘he will attack me’ is either true or false. If he doesn’t it is false, if he does it is ‘true’. The fact that he ‘looks shifty’ is not important.

    All logical statements are given ‘truth values’ of T or F. This has nothing to do with evidence.

    Saying ‘he might attack me’ is an observation not a prediction. All predictions are necessarily true or false.

    ‘He attacked because it was raining’ is either true or false too. Proving that the rain instigated an attack in the real world is completely different - but we don’t tend extend ‘truth values’ beyond the logical statements they are used in.
  • Athena
    735
    Liberty is not contingent upon morality, and morality is not contingent upon justice - that’s just how we like to conceptualise the world - but it isn’t reality. In truth, immorality enjoys undue freedom, and highly moral people suffer injustices. We ensure justice (and morality, too) by reducing liberty. Do you think you get to choose whether or not to ‘tolerate’ a pandemic? Do you think our efforts at isolating are the solution, or are they simply buying us time to increase awareness, connection and collaboration?

    The ideal of Liberty, Morality and Justice is one of many trinities whose ‘infinite possibilities’ cannot be manifest in observable reality. It may be mathematically perfect, but if you base your concept of reality on it, then your sense of suffering will be acute, I’m afraid.
    Possibility

    My reply to your post disappeared and I am too tired to repeat the effort so I will skip to the most important points. Besides the criticism that my post are not on point is also eating on me. I don't want something as important as the following to be lost in too much verbiage.

    Liberty is contingent on morality. Liberty, morality, and justice are a trinity, that manifest our reality, as surely as the three sides of a triangle give it strength. Democracy does not work without that understanding the trinity does manifest our reality.

    Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

    A moral is a matter of cause and effect.

    Only highly moral people can have liberty.

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson
  • Athena
    735
    I think you might be making assumptions here regarding my relative affluence and social position - perhaps to justify our difference in perspective? I don’t buy it.Possibility

    Either you can relate to what I am saying or you can not, and right now, you do not appear to be relating to what I am saying so yes I assume you have not had the same experience.

    [QU0TE]You’re railing against the perceived injustice of your position in comparison with everyone else.[/QUOTE]

    No, not everyone else has had a different experience. There are some people who share my point of view and would not make the arguments you have made.

    What they have that you don’t, in terms of economic opportunity or health or social validation or influence or power or independence. Yet, if you travel to the remote villages of East Timor, for instance, you will find more joy in what little they have than you can imagine.

    I once thought like you. The whole point of my explanation was to say how the experience changed my understanding of poverty.

    There, I think, you may understand what the value of family and community really is, without the economic, health, social or political structures that fail to serve you.
    They are not fighting for equality or validation or a better ‘standard of living’. They are happy with what they have, but they are open to increasing awareness, connection and collaboration with people and communities across the world. And we give to them, not because they ask or demand it, but because they give us an opportunity to care about them, and in that connection we recognise how much we have to give. It’s a matter of perspective.

    Thanks to television, I know of people in remote places. You are speaking of a totally different culture. The comparison of poverty in a completely different culture, with poverty in the US, is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Watch your assumptions here, again. No experience is meaningless - you might have just missed the point of it.

    The word meaningful means. "having a serious, important, or useful quality or purpose.
    "making our lives rich and meaningful"

    Arguing that my experience was a beneficial and meaningful experience is like arguing fighting for air because of the coronavirus and suffering organ damage for life is a meaningful experience worth having. That is pretty idealistic middle-class thinking not based on knowledge of the experience and when it comes to poverty, that kind of thinking is not to be tolerated! It is like tolerating people drinking bad water because it is a "meaningful experience" to watch your bright and loving child suffer mental retardation or death while being helpless to do anything about it.

    I think you keep reminding me to not assume things because you know the problem of making assumptions instead of asking questions.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    However, things that belong to the past are at least theoretically knowable, whereas future objects are not.
    “Peter broke his leg in 2019.” That statement has a truth value; it is knowable.
    “Peter will break his leg in 2021.” No truth value; not knowable.
    Congau

    The distinction of ‘theoretical knowing’ that you refer to here, for me, is between what is potentially knowable and what is possibly knowable, objectively speaking. I agree that there is so little relation to potential information in the isolated statement ‘Peter will break his leg in 2021’ that you can confidently refer to it as ‘not knowable’, especially in relation to the statement ‘Peter broke his leg in 2019’. There appears to be more potential to the statement ‘it is knowable’ in relation to this statement about Peter’s past than in relation to his future, given our perceived lack of potential to perceive potential information about 2021.

    You see, all of this is potential information. Statements are limited expressions in relation to limited perceptions of relational structure (ie. arrangements or sequences of information), not isolated things or objects. So, while the statement ‘Peter broke his leg in 2019’ suggests much more relational structure to a binary truth value than ‘Peter will break his leg in 2021’, neither statement can be said to have ‘inherent’ truth value. Rather, both express a relation to ‘truth value’, which in itself Is a binary (one-dimensional) relation to all possibility.

    Language messes with our understanding of this. We use the term ‘knowable’ even when we mean ‘potentially knowable’, and assume that we share this perspective, and therefore we share the limited perspective of this meaning. Objectively speaking, we understand that ‘knowledge’ is a relational construct of potential information, but because we interact with most of reality through a reduction of this potential information, and feel our certainty increase with instances of ever further reduction, it’s no surprise that we would want to express our potential relation to truth as the simplest and most certain reduction of information.

    From quantum mechanics, we can reduce existence to one-dimensional relation that manifests as potential, which interacts with other potential to manifest atomic relational structure and with that all of the physical universe. We understand that potential consists of a binary relation, which corresponds to the notion of true-false.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    This is the problem with ideology: there is an assumption of the eternal. I want to be very clear that I’m not advocating tolerance as an ideal or eternal situation. And when I say that suffering is a meaningful experience, I’m referring to the capacity for a temporary event to inform our perspective of reality.

    I never said that your experience of poverty was ‘beneficial’ or ‘worth having’ at the time. Don’t mistake meaning for perceived value or sensory affect. But what you’re telling me in declaring it was ‘meaningless’ (and by your definition) is that your experience of poverty was not serious, not important and had no useful quality or purpose. I understand that at the time you would have felt a sense of pointlessness, but looking back, do you really agree with that? I think it changed your perspective, so in that sense it was far from meaningless - but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have broadened your perspective. Your approach seems to be now that no-one should ever have to experience poverty as a relative sense of lack. But why? You assume I couldn’t possibly have experienced poverty because I don’t share your point of view, but are you saying then that I shouldn’t experience any relative sense of lack, and therefore never be in a position to understand your point of view?

    No, not everyone else has had a different experience. There are some people who share my point of view and would not make the arguments you have made.Athena

    Either you can relate to what I am saying or you can not, and right now, you do not appear to be relating to what I am saying so yes I assume you have not had the same experience.Athena

    It’s not that simple. You’re right in that I have not had exactly the same experience, but that doesn’t mean I have no experience of poverty, or no capacity to relate to what you’ve experienced. If I’m reluctant to share my personal information with you, it’s because of how you’ve responded in the past. I disagree with your assumption that either I share your point of view, or the difference in my experience prevents me from understanding it.

    Thanks to television, I know of people in remote places. You are speaking of a totally different culture. The comparison of poverty in a completely different culture, with poverty in the US, is like comparing apples to oranges.Athena

    Television gives you no indication of a subjective relation to the experience of poverty. You’re missing the point. If you’re relating apples and oranges in order to understand fruit in general, rather than making comparisons, then the discussion can still be useful and informative.

    That is pretty idealistic middle-class thinking not based on knowledge of the experience and when it comes to poverty, that kind of thinking is not to be tolerated!Athena

    I think I have been fairly tolerant of your dismissive attitude towards my perspective during this discussion. I recognise that you have a unique perspective and set of experiences that is meaningful in how I relate to a more objective understanding of reality, but you don’t seem to see it that way at all. I’m not sure how much longer my tolerance is going to hold out if you keep making comments like this.
  • Congau
    173

    So: “Peter will break his leg in 2021” is not potentially knowable even for you. That is because there’s probably nothing in the present state of the world that would indicate that that will happen to Peter next year.
    The statement “The oil price will be low in 2021” is potentially knowable since there exists something at present that might indicate that that will be the case.
    Have I understood you correctly?

    If I have understood you correctly, we have reached this far by clarifying definitions, and like I said, I’m willing to accept any of your definitions (whether or not they agree with my previous definitions or the ones you would find in a dictionary). Definitions are not important in themselves, but only to ensure that we are talking about the same thing.

    The important thing is: What does it say about reality?
    My basic claim at the start of this discussion was that reality consists of objective facts (truths) that are completely independent of how anyone perceives them and that I maintain. If someone is able or unable to use information fruitfully to make accurate predictions about the future or to realize connections between present and past objects, that may say something about different kinds of facts or at least our psychological relationship to them, but it doesn’t change the facts. The facts are the same whether or not anyone perceives them or use them.
  • Athena
    735
    I think I have been fairly tolerant of your dismissive attitude towards my perspective during this discussion. I recognise that you have a unique perspective and set of experiences that is meaningful in how I relate to a more objective understanding of reality, but you don’t seem to see it that way at all. I’m not sure how much longer my tolerance is going to hold out if you keep making comments like this.Possibility

    I have also felt offended.

    I am not sure women would have ever gotten a civilization going. Men seem more capable of getting past personal differences and achieving goals. I know I am not the person who can better.

    Before leaving, I want to say, Jesse Jackson said poverty is like living in a war zone. That is very different from pointing to people living simply in a Garden of Eden as a definition of living in poverty.

    Evidently explaining the difference an economic crash made on my understanding of poverty, did not convey the meaning I intended. Sorry about my communication skills being so bad and having such an obnoxious personality. I did the best I could.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    I have also felt offended.

    I am not sure women would have ever gotten a civilization going. Men seem more capable of getting past personal differences and achieving goals. I know I am not the person who can better.

    Before leaving, I want to say, Jesse Jackson said poverty is like living in a war zone. That is very different from pointing to people living simply in a Garden of Eden as a definition of living in poverty.

    Evidently explaining the difference an economic crash made on my understanding of poverty, did not convey the meaning I intended. Sorry about my communication skills being so bad and having such an obnoxious personality. I did the best I could.
    Athena

    It’s not about feeling offended - it’s about how you respond to it. I tend to view ‘feeling offended’ as a general recognition that someone doesn’t perceive reality in the same way as I do. But that’s not a bad thing: it’s a challenge to recognise that ‘reality’ includes more than what fits into my value system. The assumption is that if I express a different perspective, then I’m devaluing yours. So there is a tendency for you to try and justify or boost the overall value of your own perspective in comparison, or to reassert your value system as ‘reality’.

    I’ve found it more productive, however, to try and relate to your perspective first, but find a way of communicating that shared relation in a broader context that challenges both views. This requires that I be willing to dismantle my own perspective of reality to include what has no value for me as part of a more objective reality.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to imagine or relate to a reality or view of truth beyond their own perspective, especially if it challenges their value structures. By relate, I don’t mean agree with or have experienced yourself, but to recognise as meaningful - as having the capacity to inform and broaden your perspective of reality, even if it holds no value for you. Even if it is painful or heartbreaking or immoral or offensive.

    I’m not going to apologise for challenging the way you think about the world. I don’t believe any perspective can be ’wrong’, but I will point out missing information that I believe would enable you to accommodate alternative perspectives without feeling threatened or offended. Your personality doesn’t come across as obnoxious at all, by the way - but we don’t really convey ‘meaning’, rather we convey our perspective of meaning. So if you don’t convey what you intended, rather than give up on communicating, be prepared to look for limitations in your perspective: something you’re not seeing. We all have them - it’s part of being human. Our value systems and perspective of reality are more adjustable and expandable than you think; that’s what language, thought and imagination are for.

    FWIW, Jesse Jackson is entitled to his limited perspective of poverty, as you are to yours. If your particular perspective was personally satisfying, then we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. My description of an alternative view of poverty - not as a Garden of Eden, but as a focus less on the intolerability of comparative pain, humility and lack and more on recognising the unlimited potential and value of relationships and compassion - was an attempt to illustrate a broader view of ‘poverty’ that you might have missed in your own experience. I wasn’t dismissing your experience of economic lack, simply because I suggested an alternative value to focus on in a similar situation. Even the most affluent people experience pain, humility and lack, and many are willing to destroy their relationships and connection with the world in their attempts to avoid it. In my view, it is our relationships and connection with the world - and our willingness to be aware, connected and collaborating through experiences of pain, humility and lack/loss so that others’ suffering may be reduced - that gives our own life meaning, value, satisfaction, happiness, etc.

    As for women being unable to get past personal differences and achieve goals, I thoroughly disagree, and many of your previous posts would suggest that you do, too. My view is that we need each other’s approach as a counterbalance more than we’re willing to admit, but more importantly I think we need to get over the idea that either men or women (or indeed, you or me) are necessarily better or worse at anything in particular. It’s unproductive, and limits rather than enables us to achieve.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    Have I understood you correctly?Congau

    Yes, it sounds like we’re on the same page here. I want to thank you for your patience and generosity throughout this discussion. I’m not always communicating as clearly as I think I am, so I appreciate you taking the time to approach a shared meaning.

    The important thing is: What does it say about reality?
    My basic claim at the start of this discussion was that reality consists of objective facts (truths) that are completely independent of how anyone perceives them and that I maintain. If someone is able or unable to use information fruitfully to make accurate predictions about the future or to realize connections between present and past objects, that may say something about different kinds of facts or at least our psychological relationship to them, but it doesn’t change the facts. The facts are the same whether or not anyone perceives them or use them.
    Congau

    You keep using ‘objective facts’ as the origin of truth. Although I think I understand why, I believe this is a misunderstanding (and a common one).

    Facts are dimensionally located answers to dimensionally located questions about reality (a relation to objective truth). The statement ‘Peter broke his leg in 2019’ becomes a ‘fact’ IFF the statement relates to a shared perspective or view of ‘objective’ truth. That is, the statement refers to a particular spatio-temporal event observed from a relative position in time, expressed in relation to a particular cultural and linguistic value structure. Without those relations, the same statement has an undetermined relational structure to objective truth, and no fact can be established.

    Facts do not exist independently, but relative both to the position of the question, and to objective truth. If the question is not asked, then the fact (the answer) cannot exist. So a fact cannot be completely independent of perception, and therefore cannot be objective.

    ‘Peter broke his leg in 2021’ cannot be a fact (yet), because the question to which this is a potential answer cannot even be asked from this dimensional position. We can, however make the statement ‘Peter will break his leg in 2021’, but as a fact there is so little potential information perceivable to us in the world that it’s barely worth a mention. That’s not to say relevant potential information doesn’t exist, only that it’s too ‘fuzzy’ to determine any degree of certainty.

    As for the statement ‘Peter broke his leg in 2019’, this may be determined as a fact from our current position (the question) in relation to objective truth. So long as we share that perspective in relation to both the statement and to objective truth, then we should come to the same probable conclusion about its relative ‘truth value’. To the extent that our relative positions differ, we may still reach the same binary conclusion (when pushed to decide), but our certainty will vary.
  • Congau
    173

    There is a limit to how useful it is to change the definition of common words in order to name concepts you feel are not properly labeled. It’s bound to be confusing when your opponent doesn’t realize that you are not using a word in its normal sense.
    The dictionary (dictionary.com) says that “fact” means “something that actually exists; reality; truth” and that’s how I have understood it all along.
    When you say: “a fact cannot be completely independent of perception, and therefore cannot be objective”, you are rejecting the dictionary definition since you have already acknowledged that truth is objective. “Fact” equals “truth”, says the dictionary and if you insist that fact/truth is dependent on perception, our very faulty perception, it can obviously not be objective.

    I must ask you the old question: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
    The sound was there, sound waves were emitted, that is the truth, that is a fact, as certain as any fact in the world can be.

    So what is the real point you’re trying to make? That the way we process information and draw conclusions about the world around us is relative to our perception in a social context? I guess I can accept that.
  • Phil Devine
    14
    Men and women are both human beings. But they are different kinds of human beings. Otherwise you would have to say that sex and reproduction are unimportant. Women have been frequently treated unjustly. So have men. Violence against men is considered far more acceptable than violence against women. If Trump had nominated a woman as Supreme Court Justice, and some man had come forward and claimed that she had sexually assaulted him, when the Senators had stopped laughing they would have looked for some other ground to attack her. As for thinking like a woman or a man, the difference between the sexes is a matter of degree. A purely masculine mind or a purely feminine mind would be the mind of a monster. And lots of women opposed Hillary Clinton (I know at least three).
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    There is a limit to how useful it is to change the definition of common words in order to name concepts you feel are not properly labeled. It’s bound to be confusing when your opponent doesn’t realize that you are not using a word in its normal sense.
    The dictionary (dictionary.com) says that “fact” means “something that actually exists; reality; truth” and that’s how I have understood it all along.
    When you say: “a fact cannot be completely independent of perception, and therefore cannot be objective”, you are rejecting the dictionary definition since you have already acknowledged that truth is objective. “Fact” equals “truth”, says the dictionary and if you insist that fact/truth is dependent on perception, our very faulty perception, it can obviously not be objective.
    Congau

    I’m not changing the definition, I’m clarifying it. ‘Something that actually exists’ must be real and it must be true; but all truth is not necessarily manifest in reality as such, and neither does it necessarily exist as something actual.

    I recognise that your approach to truth and reality is reductionist. Because of this, I have also referred to objective truth and reality as a quantum theoretical approach. Pure binary truth (true/false) is a base relation of possibility, which is necessary to manifest a potential, and interacting potential is necessary to manifest ‘something that actually exists’: actual, observable, measurable fact. So, truth as fact consists of interacting potential information, which consists of relating possibility. I agree that a fact is necessarily true - my argument is that truth is not necessarily a fact.

    I must ask you the old question: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
    The sound was there, sound waves were emitted, that is the truth, that is a fact, as certain as any fact in the world can be.
    Congau

    The answer to ‘does it make a sound?’ is contingent upon the potential information that ‘a tree falls in the forest’, not on anyone being around to hear it. As a fact, the sound is independent of perception in the forest, but not independent of the perspective of the question. Its truth value is contingent upon the fact that ‘a tree falls in the forest’, but from the perspective of the question this is potential information, not actual. So, while the answer to the question is ‘yes’, it is truth and it is objective, it is only a fact IFF a tree does actually fall in the forest. It refers to an objective truth as a relation of potential information, but is irreducible to actual fact, despite our mutual certainty.

    The definition of ‘objective’ is where I think our main issue arises, though. I recognise that the dictionary definition of ‘objective’ is “not dependent on the mind for existence; actual”. But I would argue that even though what is actual may exist independently of your mind or mine, it is not entirely independent of perspective as such. I recall that Thomas Nagel explores this philosophical notion of ‘objectivity’ as a ‘view from nowhere’, but I may need to go back over my notes in order to clarify my argument, if you’re keen to get into it. This fits with the argument from quantum theory, which I touched on above.
  • Congau
    173
    truth as fact consists of interacting potential informationPossibility
    Where is that idea of yours actually coming from? How can that be a clarification of a common word we already thought we knew when not even a dictionary is suggesting anything like it? If it is your intention to introduce an epistemological understanding that necessitates interaction for all our essential perceptions of the world, so be it. Then we can discuss if this epistemology is plausible, but stretching mere words will not get you there. Most people who have learned the word “fact” would think they knew a fact when observing any disconnected occurrence alone in the wilderness. In philosophy I’m not in the habit of calling the masses as my witness, but when it comes to the mere meaning of a simple word, it has no other definitions than what the speakers of a language collectively think it means.

    it is only a fact IFF a tree does actually fall in the forest.Possibility
    Your distinction between fact and truth (and there is a distinction) is covered by the dictionary phrase “that actually exists”. That tree making a sound in the forest is only a fact if it actually exists. A generally law (a true one) “if x then y” may be true regardless of the actual existence of x, but it doesn’t express a fact since it doesn’t refer to an existing thing. However, if you find a fallen tree in the forest you may deduce that it is a fact that it made a noise when it fell.

    ‘objectivity’ as a ‘view from nowhere’Possibility
    “The view from nowhere” may not be very meaningful as a concept and I can see why subjectivists may want to attack it. Maybe it would be more helpful to talk about the view from anywhere referring to a truth that can be deduced from whatever perspective. We look at an object from all sides and thereby get an objective idea of what its totally looks like even though it can never be immediately observed.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    Where is that idea of yours actually coming from? How can that be a clarification of a common word we already thought we knew when not even a dictionary is suggesting anything like it? If it is your intention to introduce an epistemological understanding that necessitates interaction for all our essential perceptions of the world, so be it. Then we can discuss if this epistemology is plausible, but stretching mere words will not get you there. Most people who have learned the word “fact” would think they knew a fact when observing any disconnected occurrence alone in the wilderness. In philosophy I’m not in the habit of calling the masses as my witness, but when it comes to the mere meaning of a simple word, it has no other definitions than what the speakers of a language collectively think it means.Congau

    As I mentioned, this idea is based on an intuitive understanding of quantum mechanics, which necessitates interaction for all our essential perceptions of the world. If you want to call the plausibility of quantum mechanics into question, that’s not something I’m mathematically capable of getting into. But I will say that most people who have learned the word ‘fact’ do not learn it in the context of quantum physics. If you’re going to advocate reductionism, I don’t believe you can base it on an epistemological understanding of classical physics anymore.

    Your distinction between fact and truth (and there is a distinction) is covered by the dictionary phrase “that actually exists”. That tree making a sound in the forest is only a fact if it actually exists. A generally law (a true one) “if x then y” may be true regardless of the actual existence of x, but it doesn’t express a fact since it doesn’t refer to an existing thing. However, if you find a fallen tree in the forest you may deduce that it is a fact that it made a noise when it fell.Congau

    You may deduce that it made a noise when it fell, but your deduction remains potential information. It seems to me that your understanding of ‘fact’ rests more on certainty than on actuality. Logical truth is not the same as objective truth - it is based on an assumption that truth=perceived certainty=actuality. Your perceived certainty that there can be no reality whereby the fallen tree did NOT make a sound is probabilistic, not actual.

    “The view from nowhere” may not be very meaningful as a concept and I can see why subjectivists may want to attack it. Maybe it would be more helpful to talk about the view from anywhere referring to a truth that can be deduced from whatever perspective. We look at an object from all sides and thereby get an objective idea of what its totally looks like even though it can never be immediately observed.Congau

    Well, if you believe that objectivity is about what can be deduced from all possible perspectives, then you’ll need to take a closer look at quantum mechanics. But we can look here at how we get a more objective idea of what an object looks like.

    This is where we get into dimensional aspects of reality. When we observe or measure an object from all sides, we relate the appearance of these ‘sides’ to each other and structure a four-dimensional perspective of the object’s three-dimensional aspects from the difference between each view. This perspective is more objective than a single, immediate observation (ie. through one eye). As humans, we observe all objects from at least two different angles and, from this as well as past observations (ie. from their differences, not their similarities), deduce an object’s three-dimensional reality.

    When we experience an event, however, your four-dimensional perspective is not identical to mine, even if we are observing the same 3D objects in relation to time. You will miss details that I notice easily, and vice versa. By relating our observations of the event from two different four-dimensional perspectives, we can share knowledge of this four-dimensional event that is more objective than either of our single perspectives. The tendency here is to assume this objectivity consists only of information that is common to both perspectives (as per reductionism) - but that’s not how we determine the three-dimensionality of an object, is it?

    It is what is different about each perspective, and therefore irreducible, that increases objectivity. Their similarities give us confidence that we are referring to the same thing - a base of perceived certainty on which to construct a more objective view - but to achieve this we need to be prepared to question this perceived certainty in relation to dissenting perspectives. In other words, we need to be prepared to question the objectivity of what speakers of a language collectively think a word means if reductionism all the way down to quantum reality results in prediction error.
  • Congau
    173
    As I mentioned, this idea is based on an intuitive understanding of quantum mechanics, which necessitates interaction for all our essential perceptions of the world.Possibility
    Where have you mentioned that before? If anything, quantum physics increases the notion of objectivity. There are no minds in quantum physics, no difference between thinking things and any other thing.

    About the difference between fact and truth: A fact is anything that could be scientifically proven if science put it to a test. That doesn’t mean objective truth of course since science can be wrong. There is no such thing as proof in the absolute sense, but we have conventionally decided that things we can observe and deduce as certain within the laws of nature are facts. That’s what any shopkeeper means by “fact” even if he doesn’t express it in those words.
    (I once heard a tv evangelist say: “It’s a fact that Jesus is the son of God.” That sentence is nonsensical whatever you believe, but it makes sense if a believer uses the word “truth” in such an instance.)

    if you believe that objectivity is about what can be deduced from all possible perspectivesPossibility
    I didn’t actually intend to convey an idea about how we arrive at conclusions about the true identity of objects. I just suggested that the expression “view from nowhere” plays into the hands of subjectivists who can retort that such a thing is inconceivable. I now realize that any mention of “view” in connection with objectivity is misleading.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    Where have you mentioned that before? If anything, quantum physics increases the notion of objectivity. There are no minds in quantum physics, no difference between thinking things and any other thing.Congau

    Well, I mentioned that binary truth relates to quantum mechanics, anyway. I agree that quantum physics increases the notion of objectivity - it does so at the expense of certainty. That’s my point. Quantum physics employs probability and structures quantitative potential information as irreducible wave functions to increase this objectivity.

    About the difference between fact and truth: A fact is anything that could be scientifically proven if science put it to a test. That doesn’t mean objective truth of course since science can be wrong. There is no such thing as proof in the absolute sense, but we have conventionally decided that things we can observe and deduce as certain within the laws of nature are facts. That’s what any shopkeeper means by “fact” even if he doesn’t express it in those words.
    (I once heard a tv evangelist say: “It’s a fact that Jesus is the son of God.” That sentence is nonsensical whatever you believe, but it makes sense if a believer uses the word “truth” in such an instance.)
    Congau

    This makes more sense to me. Facts are provable within a shared value system but not objective, despite what scientific language might imply.

    I didn’t actually intend to convey an idea about how we arrive at conclusions about the true identity of objects. I just suggested that the expression “view from nowhere” plays into the hands of subjectivists who can retort that such a thing is inconceivable. I now realize that any mention of “view” in connection with objectivity is misleading.Congau

    FWIW Nagel’s book describes objectivity/subjectivity as a matter of degrees, and from what I recall argues that this ‘view from nowhere’ is conceivable (and useful as such), but not attainable.
  • Congau
    173

    Probability of course has to do with predicting the future and I assume quantum physicists use complicated mathematical formulas to reach varying degrees of certainty. Complete certainty is never possible because you can never take into account all particles that may enter into your universe. Therefore, what will be is not included in what is when considered as facts. Everything that will be is present as potential, of course, but that has no meaning in terms of facts and truth in any conceivable sense for human beings. This is not cultural or conventional; it has to do with our animal condition inside time and space. Only the past (which includes “the present”) has a truth value and it is absolutely and objectively either true or false: What has happened, has happened; it can’t be changed or whether it is known to us or not, is irrelevant: It is the existing absolute objective truth.

    Potentiality doesn’t figure into this scheme since in principle anything is potentially possible. It is only relevant when potentiality is understood as a definite present condition; as for example when all the genetic data about the plant that might come into existence is currently present in the seed, (but the prediction about what the plant might later look like has no truth value since anything could interfere with its development)

    If I were to give out prizes for best posts you and Congau would get prizes. The two of you have maintained the discussion, while others dropped in long enough to criticize me and left without contributing to the discussionAthena
    Thank you, Athena. I was worried that we were messing up your thread since we have gone way off the original topic.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    Probability of course has to do with predicting the future and I assume quantum physicists use complicated mathematical formulas to reach varying degrees of certainty. Complete certainty is never possible because you can never take into account all particles that may enter into your universe. Therefore, what will be is not included in what is when considered as facts. Everything that will be is present as potential, of course, but that has no meaning in terms of facts and truth in any conceivable sense for human beings. This is not cultural or conventional; it has to do with our animal condition inside time and space. Only the past (which includes “the present”) has a truth value and it is absolutely and objectively either true or false: What has happened, has happened; it can’t be changed or whether it is known to us or not, is irrelevant: It is the existing absolute objective truth.Congau

    I agree that we’ll never reach complete certainty, and that what will be is not included in what is when considered as facts. But I will argue that potential information - what can be (whether it will be or not) - does have meaning in relation to a human perspective of objective truth. This is because the human perspective is not confined to time and space, and in fact necessarily extends beyond it.

    Your use of the term ‘truth value’ seems confused. We have agreed that ‘truth value’ refers to a true-false binary, but you keep using it as if it’s a magically appearing, objective property of an event, not a value we attribute to our relative perspective of that event in relation to possibility. The past, present and future are conceptual representations of our relative perspective of reality in relation to time: they are not actual, stationary objects that have inherent and unchangeable properties. We can relate to the same event from these different temporal perspectives, but its ‘truth value’ does not change or magically appear in relation to time. It is our perspective of certainty (ie. potential information) in relation to that truth value that changes over time.

    ‘Truth value’ is a logical perspective of objective truth: one that assumes invariable or absolute certainty. I agree that our perspective of a past event in relation to objective truth appears not to change over time, assuming our degree of certainty is invariable. I think we can agree that this isn’t the case. So it’s a misunderstanding to talk about binary truth value as ‘absolute and objectively’ anything.

    Once a described event is in the past relative to our position, and the truth value (from our perspective) is 1, then it is still possible for potential information to change that truth value to 0. Likewise, if a described event is in the past relative to our position, and we have attributed a truth value of 0, then it is possible for new potential information to change that truth value to 1. The logical perspective gives no indication as to the uncertainty of our position, and in fact ignores, isolates and excludes any potential information that would contribute to that uncertainty.

    Let me give an example. I was watching a TV show recently, where someone referred to evidence they had in their possession from the Lindbergh baby case. Given that Hauptmann was convicted and executed for the crime, the truth value to a proposition that ‘Hauptmann kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh baby’ would be 1 for most people, even though we can never reach complete certainty. Now, the person on this show was saying that, going over this particular material, he had good reason to believe that Hauptmann was innocent, and that he had been unfortunate enough to have taken on a particular boarder at the time, resulting in damning evidence to be found in his home and possession.

    So, if we look at two propositions:

    A. Hauptmann was convicted and executed for the kidnap and murder of the Lindbergh baby.
    B. Hauptmann kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh baby.

    You may say that both events inherently have a ‘truth value’ because they exist in the past (relative to us), whether or not that value is or can be known to us. But you seem to believe that our perspective of objective truth is dependent on this truth value alone. You recognise that we can’t ever be absolutely certain, but then you talk about ‘truth value’ as if we should be.

    In my view, we attribute a ‘truth value’ to both propositions based on how we collapse all perceived potential information into facts. We may agree that the truth value of both A and B is 1, but we may not necessarily have the same perspective of potential information or facts contributing to our certainty in relation to that truth value.

    So, when new information comes to light, it is our perspective of all the potential information we have - including those on which the facts we have are based and those that are incompletely structured - that may change the truth value we attribute to B.

    Potentiality doesn’t figure into this scheme since in principle anything is potentially possible. It is only relevant when potentiality is understood as a definite present condition; as for example when all the genetic data about the plant that might come into existence is currently present in the seed, (but the prediction about what the plant might later look like has no truth value since anything could interfere with its development)Congau

    In principle, anything is possible, but possibility is not the same as potentiality. Potential information is relevant when it is perceived as such. The genetic data about the plant is currently present in the appearance of the seed, from which you can perceive potential information about what it can look like later. From this information, you would have sufficient certainty to predict that a nasturtium seed, for instance, is not going to be a tree. If that isn’t ‘truth value’, then we’re definitely not on the same page here.
  • Congau
    173

    A truth value is absolute and binary, either true or false and nothing in between. Whatever we believe the truth value of a proposition to be, doesn’t change its real truth value (which we will never know with absolute certainty).

    The proposition: “Hauptmann murdered the Lindbergh baby” has one truth value that has existed since the event happened (or didn’t) and will exist for all eternity. It is either true or false and that will never change. Investigators can continue to debate and change their theories about which truth value is the correct one, but it will remain (although unknown to us). Hauptmann did it, or he didn’t, and that is not dependent on the degree of our certainty.

    Everything referring to the past has a truth value, but that doesn’t mean we know it or that we don’t change our mind about it.

    Proposition with no reference has no truth value. For example: “The king of France is bald.”

    Everything referring to the future has no truth value, (but that doesn’t mean we can’t make qualified guesses about the future based on information from the past.)

    However, a potential has a truth value since it doesn’t really make a prediction about the future but only refers to something existing in the past/present. This seed has nasturtium as its potential and not a tree. “This seed has the potential to become nasturtium” has truth value T. That potential exists now and could be confirmed through a microscope.
    “This seed will become nasturtium” has no truth value. It’s not possible to make a prediction since a lot of seed normally gets discarded and becomes nothing.
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    Proposition with no reference has no truth value. For example: “The king of France is bald.”Congau

    Not necessarily:

    Truth values have been put to quite different uses in philosophy and logic, being characterized, for example, as:

    primitive abstract objects denoted by sentences in natural and formal languages,
    abstract entities hypostatized as the equivalence classes of sentences,
    what is aimed at in judgements,
    values indicating the degree of truth of sentences,
    entities that can be used to explain the vagueness of concepts,
    values that are preserved in valid inferences,
    values that convey information concerning a given proposition.

    Depending on their particular use, truth values have been treated as unanalyzed, as defined, as unstructured, or as structured entities.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-values/

    Red Wibbles eat Lemons as a propositional statement is considered to be either true or false regardless of what Wibbles are. The same goes for a French King or you may as well argue that there is no clear line between having hair and being bald therefore ‘bald’ has no meaning.

    Pick a map to work with and let those you’re speaking to know what map it is.
  • Congau
    173

    On the one hand there is objective truth, manifesting itself as past events that can be described with propositions all of which have the truth value T. This truth value will stay the same forever.

    On the other hand, there are our attempts to make conjectures about past events, more or less qualified, and more or less based on reliable assumptions (true or false, relevant or irrelevant). We come up with propositions which carry the truth value T if they express events that have actually happened or F if they refer to something that did not happen.

    We never know for sure if a proposition has the truth value T or F, but for practical purposes our feeling of certainty is good enough. Therefore, we give the proposition “Paris is the capital of France” the truth value T and “London is the capital of France” the truth value F, although strictly speaking the truth value is always a secret to us.

    When we grapple with piecing reality together in our mind, we can never change the actual truth value of anything, only our assumptions and guesses about what it is, can change. We keep assigning Ts and Fs to propositions, changing back and forth, although their real value can never change.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    A truth value is absolute and binary, either true or false and nothing in between. Whatever we believe the truth value of a proposition to be, doesn’t change its real truth value (which we will never know with absolute certainty).

    The proposition: “Hauptmann murdered the Lindbergh baby” has one truth value that has existed since the event happened (or didn’t) and will exist for all eternity. It is either true or false and that will never change. Investigators can continue to debate and change their theories about which truth value is the correct one, but it will remain (although unknown to us). Hauptmann did it, or he didn’t, and that is not dependent on the degree of our certainty.
    Congau

    A truth value is binary concept, either true or false and nothing in between, WITHIN the limited perspective and value system of propositional logic. But this perspective is a far cry from objective truth. It’s just a human construction of reality that assumes only one language system exists and that everyone values information only according to the rules of propositional logic. Within this limited perspective of reality, in theory, yes, only one ‘real’ or ‘correct’ truth value can be thought to exist for this proposition ‘for all eternity’ - once the proposition itself became valid as a proposition, anyway.

    I recognise that propositional logic is a reductionist attempt to process conflicting information in order to determine a clearer perspective of truth, regardless of beliefs. But the position from which one proposes truth is limited to maximise a degree of logical certainty at the expense of objectivity. This perspective cannot entertain the notion that truth exists beyond our limited human capacity to state it confidently as a formal proposition. We can use propositional logic to get closer to truth where our ideology differs, but not where we differ on certainty.

    The thing is, uncertainty cannot be dismissed as a limited perspective of objective truth. You can argue for the existence of a ‘real truth value’ as confidently as you can argue for the existence of a ‘God’. It exists as a possibility - that’s as much as we can be certain of, objectively speaking. “A real truth value is possible” is an objective truth (insofar as it can be stated) - but it doesn’t give us much confidence to act, does it? Because, by the same token, we also understand that “anything is possible”, and we are then tasked with humbly distinguishing the limited potential we perceive in ourselves in relation to it, in order to act.

    So, is objective truth what we have confidence to act on, what we (as logical beings) can state with confidence, or what we can understand with confidence (despite it giving us less confidence to act)? This may be an opportunity to start a broader discussion...
  • Athena
    735
    Men tend to discuss subjects and goals and shy away from correcting each others behaviors. Women tend towards correcting people's behavior and that can be very offensive and bring an end to further discussion.
  • Julia
    23
    I think when men act above women it actually makes them lower than a human being. A human being is male and female. It's not 3/4 male and 1/4 female. It's both are equal as human beings. Think of a penny. One side may be heads and one side may be tails. Neither side is more valuable. Each side is half a penny. Rich and poor are equal as human beings too. A fancy new penny is one cent just like a rusty old penny is one cent.
  • Pfhorrest
    2k
    it's very hard to keep oneself exploratory and collaborative when someone is going to come along and treat it like a fight anyway.fdrake

    I know I’m super late to the game here but I just wanted to :up: :clap: this.
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