## Do we need objective truth?

• 4.4k
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.
If I train a parakeet to intelligibly state that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, does the truth of that depend on the parakeet's comprehension of any of it?

You got something against reference? A criterion of true (truth) we might adopt is that if what is referred to is so, then it's true, and if not, then not. A benefit is that we need not concern ourselves at all with the speaker. Nor am I concerned with the ingredients - the immediately prior conditions - of speech acts.

One might suppose that you're concerned with some behavioral constituent of truth. I only on the what it is that makes the true true.

Yes, truth is redundant, because only if "the cat is on the mat" is true, will 'it is true that: 'The cat is on the mat'" also be true.
Yes... Truth is redundant. It is also not available for analysis - it cannot be broken into simpler notions. Yet it is fundamental.
Disagree. The statement - the proposition - however and to whomever it is made, even to oneself without spoken language, is not itself true by itself. To be true it requires something added, like sugar to lime juice to make lime-aid. And that something is not the bald fact of the cat's being on the mat. It is rather the determination that the cat is on the mat. And that determination, like any determination, is analyzable, though the result, indeed, appears to be binary - true or not true.
• 8.1k

So...

"The cat is on the mat" is not a true statement/proposition unless we look to determine if it is?

:brow:

Certainly the cat is either on the mat or not regardless of our checking to determine if it is.
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"The cat is on the mat" is not a true statement/proposition unless we look to determine if it is?

Before determination it's a proposition. I'm a blond. Either I am a blond or I am not a blond. So far so good? But you seem to be supporting the conclusion that I am a blond. Once some determination is made then the proposition can be established as true or not true. Question: how could the proposition be true prior to that determination?

And I mean determination in a general sense, whatever it takes to evaluate the proposition. That is, to evaluate the proposition that 2+2=9, looking at the mat for a cat won't help.

No doubt I've missed the point you were aiming at. Try again?
• 8.1k
Before determination it's a proposition. I'm a blond. Either I am a blond or I am not a blond. So far so good?

No.

Clearly set out the referent of "it is(it's)"...

What exactly is being determined again that is a proposition beforehand?

So...

During the time period before we check, what is it that you are calling a proposition?
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Question: how could the proposition be true prior to that determination?

I reject the conventional notion of proposition. It's tied up in far too much mistake.

Thought/belief and statements thereof are the sort of thing that we all know and agree can be true or false. So, to answer your question with that in mind...

The statement "The cat is on the mat" is true if, and only if, the cat is on the mat.
• 830
Propositions are true, or false, regardless of what you say is true. Justifications are for beliefs, not truths.

What makes a proposition true? That it matches a 'fact'? What makes the fact a fact, how do you know it's a fact, and then how do you know the proposition matches the fact? Therein lies the issue with the concept of truth.
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I like it. Most of it.
• 4.4k
I like it. Most of it.Mww
I would not want for a minute your hand to get tired holding on to that other shoe.
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I don’t care who y’are; that right there was funny.

I shall not rain on your well-organized parade, but I do wonder about that aporia thing. Just seems like if there are general logical laws, specifics plugged into those laws properly shouldn’t be susceptible to aporia.
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I shall not rain on your well-organized parade, but I do wonder about that aporia thing. Just seems like if there are general logical laws, specifics plugged into those laws properly shouldn’t be susceptible to aporia.Mww

Yes, but it doesn't work that way, does it! Maybe the problem is that it's truth/true under the lens, and not laws of logic - or laws of any kind. Truth appears to escape any kind of particularization into any law except the most general. (And) in particular, the instant anyone says, "truth is this," someone else says, "no, it's that." And in this case it is, and in that case, that is and this isn't. And so it goes. The sublation of so many truths into one is both surprising and disappointing - as Wesley in Princess Bride says, "Get used to disappointment." And that truth is, there isn't one.
• 1.5k
And that truth is, there isn't one.

I never took you for such an epistemic nihilist. You done went and killed off knowledge!!!!

Riddle me this, my good man: If the general expression X + Y = Z is a logical truth, the denial of which, as was mentioned herein would trash the system of mathematics, why wouldn’t anything specific you plugged into the expression....that would fit of course....be just as true?
• 7.9k
"Le chat est sur le tapis" is true IFF the cat is on the mat.

There are two things to be decide here - that the cat is indeed on the mat, and that "Le chat est sur le tapis" sets out that the cat is on the mat.

Considering the right side of the equivalence, it makes no sense to say that the cat is on the mat but that you do not believe that the cat is on the mat (Moore's paradox). SO deciding that the cat is on the mat is exactly believing that the cat is on the mat.

Considering the left side of the equivalence, we are deciding on the use of an appropriate expression of the belief given on the right. But change the expression on the left to '"The cat is on the mat is true' and this decision dissipates.

The statement - the proposition - however and to whomever it is made, even to oneself without spoken language, is not itself true by itself. To be true it requires something added, like sugar to lime juice to make lime-aid. And that something is not the bald fact of the cat's being on the mat. It is rather the determination that the cat is on the mat. And that determination, like any determination, is analyzable, though the result, indeed, appears to be binary - true or not true.

What is the difference between the bald fact, and the determination of that bald fact, if not the deciding that the cat is on the mat? But then the distinction is between the cat being on the mat and one's deciding to believe that the cat is on the mat.
• 8.9k
What is the difference between the bald fact, and the determination of that bald fact, if not the deciding that the cat is on the mat? But then the distinction is between the cat being on the mat and one's deciding to believe that the cat is on the mat.

The problem for your position is that the cat being on the mat is riddled with perceptual, that is to say, conceptual underpinnings. Sure, it's true the cat is on the mat if you can see the cat on the mat. If you can't find out whether the cat is on the mat then it might be true or false that the cat is on the mat. I know you want to say that it is true regardless of whether we can find out that the cat is on the mat, if the cat is on the mat.

And of course, logically speaking that's right, but it doesn't really mean anything of any importance to say that something might be true even if we cannot discover it to be so. All it does is to reveal the already bleeding obvious logic of our ways of talking about (empirical) things.

You appear to be some kind of monomaniac; going on and on about the same tired old, super-obvious (from a kind of naive commonsense point of view) point over and over, insisting on it again and again perhaps hoping that eventually you will bore us all into submission. :joke:
• 7.9k
Sure, it's true the cat is on the mat if you can see the cat on the mat.

Rubbish. Either it is true or it isn't, regardless of what one sees.

Your approach is just wrong.
• 7.9k
You appear to be some kind of monomaniac; going on and on about the same tired old, super-obvious (from a kind of naive commonsense point of view) point over and over, insisting on it again and again perhaps hoping that eventually you will bore us all into submission. :joke:

That's pretty much right. Thank you.
• 8.9k
You're taking that out of context. My approach in everyday commonsense parlanace is no different from yours. I just don't take that approach to be be very interesting or relevant when it comes to philosophical thinking, where we should start to become aware of the inextricable perceptual and conceptual elements of a phenomenon such as the cat being on the mat.

You have said yourself that the world is always already interpreted, and I agree with that. It means the world is a human world, and the truth of the cat being on the mat is a human truth. Sure, we can imagine a cat being on a mat in a world where there are no humans, but we conveniently ignore the relational elements in such states of affairs which can only obtain in the presence of humans.

I am a realist though, so I will say that regarding a "state of affairs obtaining" that we would call 'the cat on the mat', absent any humans there would be some structural or dynamic actuality that would reliably appear as the cat being on the mat if there were humans to interact with that actuality via visual or tactile perception.

That's pretty much right. Thank you.

Ah, self-knowledge...it's a beautiful thing! :cool:
• 4.4k
What is the difference between the bald fact, and the determination of that bald fact,

The bald fact has no hair. How do you know anything bout the cat until and unless you determine that something, somehow? But maybe it's my usage. There are lots of things out there that are in themselves so - the so-ness I'm calling the fact - that I myself do not know. If by fact you mean something "always already" known, then we're just at odds over usage.

I say I'm blond. I assure you that either I am or I am not blond. But you don't know which until and unless you make some determination.

Re Moore: I am not propounding any proposition in the form of a "Moorean" sentence.

Are we on different topics?
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You're taking that out of context.

Yes, I am taking it out of a context into which it was erroneously placed.

Here's the thing, undeniable, yet denied: Either it is true or it isn't, regardless of what one sees.
• 4.4k
If the general expression X + Y = Z is a logical truth, the denial of which, as was mentioned herein would trash the system of mathematics, why wouldn’t anything specific you plugged into the expression....that would fit of course....be just as true?Mww

No contest. Math/logic works that way. Please now show me the math/logic proof that it's hot outside, or water boils at 100 C. My point is that this true proposition is true under this set of criteria, that true proposition true under that set of criteria. And so on. And the sets are irreconcilable. That leaves, for all true propositions, the meta-proposition that what they all have in common is that each is true. I have looked for anything else and haven't found it - maybe you can.
• 8.9k
Yes, I am taking it out of a context into which it was erroneously placed.

Here's the thing, undeniable, yet denied: Either it is true or it isn't, regardless of what one sees.

It's true in the naive context; I admit that. That's obvious. And it's not that it's not true in the extra-human context, but more that's it's being true or untrue in that context is not what we naively take it to be. So, what I am doing is allowing for different conceptual framings; but you being a Davidsonian, I presume would want to deny that distinction and even the coherence of the very notion of conceptual framing.

My point is, though, that that denial is misguided, given that we can indeed (at least begin to) think about how things might be conceptually and epistemologically different in extra-human contexts. So, given that most everyone will admit that what you say is right in terms of the naive everyday conceptual framework; what is it exactly that you are wanting to deny?
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How do you know

But we are talking about what is true, not about what we know...

When we introduce knowledge, we add belief. If we are going to talk about what is true, we must take care not to add what is believed, since that is something quite different.

There are lots of things out there that are in themselves so - the so-ness I'm calling the fact - that I myself do not know. If by fact you mean something "always already" known, then we're just at odds over usage.

Phew. I agree that there are facts we do not know. This of course implies that there are true, unknown propositions. SO I do not think that to be a fact is to be known - quite the opposite.

SO I do not think we disagree here.

I say I'm blond. I assure you that either I am or I am not blond. But you don't know which until and unless you make some determination.

Indeed. We do not disagree here, either.
Re Moore: I am not propounding any proposition in the form of a "Moorean" sentence.

OK, good.

I had suspected that we would be pretty much in agreement.

As @Janus said, I'm just pointing to the obvious grammatical point that what is true is a different thing to what is believed, and hence to what is known.
• 7.9k
My point is, though, that that denial is misguided, given that we can indeed (at least begin to) think about how things might be conceptually and epistemologically different in extra-human contexts.

This is an excellent sentence. I love "we can indeed... think about how things might be conceptually and epistemologically different in extra-human contexts"!

Here is exactly Davidson's point in One the very idea... To take an extra-human context and to think about it is to make it no longer extra-human...

And it's not that it's not true in the extra-human context, but more that's it's being true or untrue in that context is not what we naively take it to be.

...hence you cannot possibly make comment on this.
• 7.9k
...and the upshot is not that you are stuck in your own conceptual schema, but that the notion of such a conceptual schema is incoherent.

(@Janus)
• 7.9k
Rolling this back to the OP, if truth is not dependent on what we know, and if objective truth is known only objectively and subjective truth is known only subjectively, then there is no reasonable way to distinguish subjective truth from objective truth...

That is, the objective-subjective distinction is not about truth.
• 4.4k
You done went and killed off knowledge!Mww

Not at all, I just have come to see it as a many and not a one, nor reducible to a one - except as a useless generalization.
• 8.9k
Here is exactly Davidson's point in One the very idea... To take an extra-human context and to think about it is to make it no longer extra-human...

In fact this is exactly Hegel's point against Kant's idea of noumena. And in one sense I agree with it, but in another I don't. We can think about things in a human context, and we can (at least try to) think about things in an extra-human context. I would say that the obvious fact that thinking about either context is human thinking does not entail that we have not thought about, in the sense of tried to imagine, an extra-human context.

But, in any case, even remaining within the human context, take thinking in QM terms, a different conceptual framework, about the cat on the mat (which is not really thinking about the cat on the mat at all but we can stipulate that we are thinking about the dynamic field that appears to us as 'cat on mat'). The perceived cat and mat disappear on that view, so the statement that is true in the everyday context "the cat is on the mat" becomes meaningless in the QM context. There are no entities such as cats and mats in that context.

and if objective truth is known objectively and subjective truth is known subjectively,
I think the notion of subjective truth is meaningless; we are then talking about belief. All truths that we can know are objective, that is empirical, truths. We can say there might be metaphysical or ontological truths, but we cannot know if there are, or if there are what they are.
• 4.4k
Rolling this back to the OP,... That is, the objective-subjective distinction is not about truth.
I'll second this. Per the OP, objectivity/subjectivity seems to be about how something is known, not what is known or whether it is known; as such, not about truth.
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Didn't think we were too far apart.
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I just find this quite confused on many levels.

But, in any case, even remaining within the human context, take thinking in QM terms, a different conceptual framework, about the cat on the mat (which is not really thinking about the cat on the mat at all but we can stipulate that we are thinking about the dynamic field that appears to us as 'cat on mat'). The perceived cat and mat disappear on that view, so the statement that is true in the everyday context "the cat is on the mat" becomes meaningless in the QM context. There are no entities such as cats and mats in that context.

So we cannot talk in QM terms about the cat being on the mat? And yet Schrödinger has a quantum cat in a box.

I'm not at all convinced you are not just muddled.
• 8.9k
Saying it is "confused" means little and is unhelpful unless you point to what you find to be such. And "Schrodinger's cat" is not "quantum" it is the everyday cat in a box. On the contrary the thought experiment is an attempt to show how counter-intuitive quantum "results" are when we attempt to understand them in terms of everyday commonsense concepts.

The thought experiment could be re-framed so that if a uranium particles decays a lever is actuated which pushes the cat onto the mat. Then the point would be like my point about the extra-human context being indeterminate; that, prior to the human observer "collapsing the wave function'" to find out whether the cat was on the mat, and thus whether the uranium particle had decayed, the cat would be in "superposition"; neither on the mat nor not on the mat.
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