Talk:Truth/Archive 1

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From the current article:

"With such a variety to choose from at the very least you should be convinced that you don’t have to rest content with any sort of relativism that says that truth is just the same as belief. You can do a heck of a lot better than that. "

I'm not entirely sure, but the above strikes me as unneutral. I mean, does anyone have any solid proof that relativism isn't the case? Isn't proof against solipsism supposed to be unavailable? How do you really know the universe isn't just in your head?

Sigh. Because when you die, I'm still here. And vice versa. And if you don't accept that we must cease to discuss this and go directly to a duel. <-- clearly the Active Creation of Truth at work.

Why is the above point being pushed without the clear support of firm evidence? Why is the mere availability of other theories of truth accepted as such evidence?

(NOTE: This article talks mainly about reasoned truth and observed truth. For other forms of truth, see revealed truth, and intuitive truth.)

(Please let's not start articles called "reasoned truth" and "observed truth." Oy.)

No, let's not, because it's not necessary - reason and observation work in tandem. It is necessary to talk in short separate articles about revealed truth and intuitive truth

Deleted the above comment. Basically, I think what the author of the above comment is referring to is a colloquial and religious notion of "truth," according to which "truth" means "anything that anyone thinks is true." I do think that we should change the truth article so as to properly acknowledge this sense.

That is a pretty biased view of religion.

Except a few sorts of meta-comments for the benefit of editors, I think we should make all comments about the relationship between the given subject and other subjects within the page itself. There are lots of good conventions we've developed--having plenty of links and general discussion in the first paragraph of the article goes a long way. Having "see also" at the end of the article, while often less than entirely helpful, is also sometimes a good idea.

--Larry Sanger

frankly, after reading this article it certainly lacks objectivity and has only the barest references to the peoples 'shoulders upon whom we stand' to kludge a ref. of my own...--dgd

It's better organized now. Larry's original material was good but didn't have enough out-links, not surprising since it was early in Wikipedia history:

Well, it's just taken from some lectures I wrote out, and no one (including me) has put it into third person voice and removed the opinions (here and there). And definitely needs to include more references to philosophers who actually hold the views. (For purposes of the class I was lecturing to I didn't think it was necessary to do that--an encyclopedia article of course is different.) If you can correct the problems, that would be great, but otherwise it'll have to wait until I get around to it, and who knows when that will be. --Larry Sanger


I just completely removed five paragraphs that were recently added to the article, so let me explain why.

Aside from Rene DesCartes statement "I think, therefore I am" (or better still, "I can disbelieve everything except for the fact that I disbelieve"), people have not had great luck in finding absolute truth. Thus, most truth contains an element of relative quantifiability. This should not be surprising, however, as truth is something that only observers worry about having.
Descartes definitely saw imagination at the confluence of body and mind, and sw it as driving everything. He is being misrepresented as a dualist above. His real views are something between Semantic ("sin is not a thing") and Active Creation (see his view of dreams), it seems, not in any sense Deflationary or strictly Epistemic.

This is not NPOV and it is not particularly clear what the author is trying to say. In any case, the operative notion of "truth" in the above is not the simple bare concept that analytic philosophers are after in defining "truth," but rather "absolute truth"--and that is, basically, not the subject of this article, which is truth pure and simple. (I am skeptical that there needs to be an article called "absolute truth" except perhaps as a pointer to absolutism and relativism and a brief discussion of how people use the phrase "absolute truth"--the notion of absolute truth is usually discussed by philosophers and I suspect by religionists under different headings than this.)

Agreed.
This more common, relative kind of truth is an accepted norm as part of scientific method, which posits that all facts are merely theories of varying strength, and the stronger the theory, the more factual the fact. The "fact" that gravimetric hydrogen-helium fusion is a stable process, for example, is absolutely no guarantee that the sun will exist tomorrow -- indeed, all of the laws of physics may change entirely in the next instant.
That would not make the sun blow up, though. Only human belief would have blown up. See what's said about Euclid and his absolute view of geometry.

This assumes that there are in fact absolute and relative truths, which is highly biased--and again, people who actually theorize about this stuff don't put it in terms of truth. They put it in terms of justification, warrant, theory confirmation, and other terms depending on the context.

Agreed. To see science as a route to truth is plain scientism. And the article should say that, and say why.
Such truths, as dispiriting as it seems, take much on belief. For example, let's say that you were sure that you were thirty years old, and then the following day your memory, everyone else's, and your birth records and any other evidence as to your age became unavailable. A doctor could analyze your cells and say that you were somewhere between 28 and 33, and that fact would be the truest statement about your age. However, the truth that you are thirty would still exist to aliens with powerful telescopes thirty light-years away witnessing your birth, even if the aliens' existence (to us) is not an established fact. In this sense, truth does exist, but the problem is one of discovery. Or to put it another way, the fact that you can only be certain that you are between 28 and 33 does not alter the fact that you can only be one particular age. The truth is not gone; it is simply unknown.
The idea that truth exists independent of any observation is annoying but necessary to deal with. "If a tree falls in the forest" and all that jazz...

Here, "truth" is bandied about as if it meant "knowledge," which is, again, another use from ordinary language that is virtually always discarded by professional philosophers. (But nevertheless, the article should acknowledge it--my most recent update doesn't, by the way!)

It's better now, but, there are concepts of truth that cannot be dismissed as "mere knowledge" but also cannot be called correspondence, deflationary, semantic, or even wholly epistemic. All of these, and knowledge, are necessarily backward-looking, and employ fatalism or nihilism to claim that truth must be discovered, and cannot be created. All the views that challenge that idea, are not lumped together into Active Creation of Truth, but, that is where they are for now. They must be *somewhere*!
Concluding the above, what may be of greater importance is not whether things are true or not, but how you personally decide what is true (i.e., your objectivity), how you search for the truth, and how you let the truth affect you. This is ultimately what is morally interesting about observers. It is also logically provable that the truth cannot be searched for without observers entertaining

the untrue.

Whoever wrote this clearly has a philosophical enough of a bent that I predict he or she will enjoy reading neutral point of view.

This paragraph came from the beginning:

The search for absolute truth has been a theme of many important works, including the major religious texts. For example, one of the last things Christ did before His death was to tell Pilate "I seek the truth". Perhaps the definitive exposition of how truth is relative is George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.

In place of this I've put a little longer discussion that explicitly acknowledges two different senses of "truth." --Larry Sanger

There are at least four senses that are labelled "types" now. If you agree that they exist, we can label them "senses". But really there should be a fith sense to deal with the "species scope" issue, that being the "bodily truth" that is validated by your physical senses and ends with your personal death.

The article as it stands is still far too Western, despite introduction of Gandhi's "truth-force", RSA "truth and reconciliation". Some discussion of the process of ijma among umma (later restricted to just ulema) in early Islam (especially kalam), and mention of Mao's mass line theory, would help explain the active creation view better, which is much more "Eastern".

Agreed. This is all lumped in under Active Creation now, which needs sub-theory distinctions. And most of these have the "bodily truth" issue to very different degrees which is another reason to distinguish them. Some of this is just theories of power and sociology of knowledge, though.

Continued censorship of such views shows clear bias on the part of its censors.

Probably racism. Gandhi and the other key figures of apartheid resistance, like Desmond Tutu, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, are all darker than a brown paper bag. We should watch carefully what that censor is doing.
If it's racism, then mention of Islamic or Chinese may also trigger them, unless the racism is specifically anti-black or something.
When it's done, the average colour of the philosophers mentioned should be at least a deep tan. ;-) Confucius in particular must be mentioned, as he is very focused on honesty.

Missing:

Now both included
See above. Also Judea Pearl's algebra of doing needs its own article. He deals with this issue nicely. And do we have philosophy of history yet?
Thanks for digging this up. It seemed to confuse Consensus and Active Creation, though. I used some of it. I will use more of it on the next go. But I want the sections "prior to Pragmatism" reviewed by someone else first.

Concepts of truth, like trust or integrity, depend heavily on the point of view chosen. Religion has had the major influence, but there is increasing science brought to bear on these subjects, and causality.

Taking the view from propaganda analysis, truth can be defined as that explanation that we not only accept but act on reliably (to some standard of evidence for some period of time). Most people think of it as something that holds 'for a lifetime' or some equivalently long period, e.g. to the seventh generation.

Truth need not (some say cannot) be permanent - beings with this long-term perspective and the will to live by it are very rare in any society, and symbolic means of recording events are themselves distorted: Recent philosophy of mathematics focuses on the fact that even axiomatic proof is quite often corrected after the fact, and ultimately relies on human beings to and their inherent similarity (the cognitive science of mathematics) - nor need it apply to every type of living being, e.g. economics is a human construct. Choice of time and space limits (a spacetime frame) and point of view from which a given truth can be assessed, and the assessment then trusted by others, is absolutely pivotal to establishing any notion of truth - the branch of philosophy called epistemology deals with this directly.

The three paragraphs above are now integrated. The following hasn't been:

So, there can be "local truth" within that spacetime frame, and multiple point of view within that frame can be reconciled for that period of space and time. Many people describe love this way, and see it as closely allied to truth - both being an attribute of romance.

But, we rarely have the luxury only of acting on truth we accept so willingly - most concepts of truth are compromised by the need to agree with people that we do not wholly like or trust (that being another closely related concept along with its economic indicator called social capital). We do this to gain other advantages, e.g. not devoting our lives to the perfect framing of instructional capital for all beings for all ecologies for all time. So we accept in daily life a much looser notion of what truth is:

Truth is what we can agree on with those whose actions we must depend on.

Even this fairly permissive notion of truth can be twisted in various ways. The following are fundamental epistemology problems many people share which be very heavily by propaganda techniques:

The psychological manifestation is often as groupthink, a social instinct or preference to agree with those who are physically present but not representative of all those whose actions must ultimately be depended on make something 'real'. In any psychological or strictly social concept of truth, sincerity counts. That is, one can operate out of ignorance or make good faith mistakes and still be "telling the truth" from the point of view of an inquirer.

However, sincerity in error is no protection for ecologies or other living things that may be harmed by decisions made by any group of human beings even if they consider the interests of all other human beings. So no human social nor any human psychological notion of truth can actually be sufficient to ensure a biosphere survives. This would necessarily imply a tighter claim for truth:

Truth is what we can *rely* on for at least seven generations on this planet.

This is framed spatially and temporally, and agreement is not as important as reliability. Note that this necessarily implies some coordination of visions and perhaps also some coordination of perception of threats, across languages, and perhaps across species, to the degree that is possible (this latter requirement was first noted by Eugene Wigner in a 1960 paper). Greenpeace and advocates of Great Ape personhood take this broad view.

The above hasn't been integrated, as it's mostly about Active Creation and to some degree Pragmatism and other Epistemic views. The following *is* in there:

It is also necessarily the case that some beings have a narrower perspective. For instance the following cncept of tseems to have prevailed in various accounting scandals of 2001-2002 in the USA, e.g. Enron:

Truth is that agreed on a golf course and lasting until liquidity event

This suggests that concepts of truth might change over time. In addition to a very clear impacts on ideology and political economy, war might also alter truth, under this definition, by changing "who we must agree with" to include our former enemies.

But this isn't:

That in turn suggests that peace, the cessation of struggle, could only really be achieved by starting from the global perspective and thinking back to steps to take in the present moment. It would also suggest that trying to reach for a longer period than a century, or seven generations (if each is 15 years that's 105 years, a good human elder lifespan) would be to over-reach the point of view that any human being could ever achieve in real life - thus to make grievous errors. The Green Parties and the Iroquois Confederacy lay achieving this perspective out as a goal, often, and seem to use the term "elder" to mean only those that have this view.


Can someone please clarify the following:

For instance, a computer program typically calls on functions with side effects to test whether any given assertion is true. Even in LISP, a particularly strict language, four of the five basic atom types have such side effects, and thus its statements are not "formal".

In the first sentence, are is "side effects" meant to refer to setting of registers following a comparison, and/or the fact that something like a "branch if equal" instruction changes the program counter? In the second sentense, what is meant for a type to have side effects? Does this mean you can mutate the value bound to a variable? If this isn't made more clear, I'm not sure it's of any use. --Ryguasu 04:12, 12 Sep 2003 (UTC)


I'm removing the italicized portion of the following:

This view is radical and anti-symbolic. Activity, rather than agreement, is what creates truth, which can only be seen and measured and agreed after the fact. While conceptual metaphor can play a role in the choice of action, it too is dependent on symbol ultimately (e.g. to say "love as war" is to assume something about the symbol "love" and something about the symbol "war", and is no more than suggestive of dangers, actions, goals - it isn't instruction).

It is altogether useless to say that a view is "anti-symbolic" without some kind of reference to what that might mean. Conceptual metaphor was apparently mentioned in response to the "anti-symbolic" claim. Although conceptual metaphor is interesting, it seems irrelevant once "anti-symbolic" has been removed. --Ryguasu 04:36, 12 Sep 2003 (UTC)

It's back in temporarily as part of a revert to a version before some vandalism. The vandalism seemed apparently to stem in part from a lack of adequate introduction to "active creation", so the above has been restored. The quick answer to the issue: if symbols CAN state the truth well enough to act on decisively, as Western philosophy has always assumed since its roots in Platonism, then conceptual metaphor is a cultural choice, a "nice to have". If symbols CAN'T state the truth that well, as Eastern philosophy tends to say, then conceptual metaphors (back the body which is the root of them all) is "all you have". This is a rather pivotal question in "East versus West" too:
It's important to emphasize how different the "active creation" theory is from other theories. It is more an adaptation of Eastern philosophy from Taoism and Buddhism in particular, and some would say also Hinduism. In those, there is an acceptance that it is impossible to state truth in symbols. One approaches it instead through meditation, action, creation such as the famous Zen gardens, etc. One can't really say what is true for anyone else. There is no God's eye view to pretend to be looking from, as the religions do not say that man is in God's image. One looks backwards at the present from one's future enlightened state, in a sense, to unravel what must be true now... so symbols are useful only really for engineering, falsehoods, and experiments. A lot of which just break what they are trying to test, like torturing a witness to get more information. What you get is likely false. This can extend to opposing science as well, so it's important to say it's "radical". Anyway the "truth and reconciliation commissions" in many countries, the idea of "telling the truth" being essentially and only a matter of finding the right conceptual metaphor, need to be in there somehow.
Gandhi, who studied all these religions and was trained as a British Empire lawyer, was well aware of these issues, and chose "truth-force" as the name of his method of challenging power quite deliberately. It *must* be mentioned here. If one wants a purist Western statement then write truth (philosophy).

other I-E resources

other correctible resources

other freely redistributable texts

other references


Wikified Larry's Text

The following was Wikified by me from Naive relativism about truth, and should, I think, be integrated here. Tuf-Kat 06:35, Sep 22, 2003 (UTC)

The nature of truth is frequently debated in philosophy. The following are examples of uneniably true statements:

  • Two plus two is equal to four.
  • Some dogs bark frequently.

Both of these sentences are meaninful and true. The issue of why these, and similar statements are true, is an important one. Some philosophers claim that no statement can be true for all people. This means that these statements are only true for those who speak them, and their veracity for other people must be independently determined. This position is called relativism, and the logical conclusion is that whether a claim is true or false depends in some way upon each individual person; so "P is true" is always short for "P is true for S ("S" being a person).

The position that there is no such thing as absolute truth is rare among philosophers. As an example, there are few, if any, persons who seriously dispute whether or not ice is a form of frozen water. That this is self-evidently true is obvious to most adults; a relevant objection then is that some children may claim that ice is simply a special kind of rock. Whether or not a dispute limited to persons of limited intellectual maturity is relevant to the claim that truth does not depend on the observer is disputable.

Critics of the relativist view on truth may also claim that defining truth as relative to the observer negates any meaninful definition of truth, meaning that the claim is paradoxical and irrelevant. Under this view, the idea that truth is relative is only meaningful if the notion of truth refers to some concept, which the theory denies as meaningless.

Relativists could, however, define truth as "P is true for S iff S believes P". This would define truth as being synonymous with belief (see consensual reality). The question of how truth depends on individual persons is then relevant. A relativist claims that true statements can only be reliably said to be true for a specific individual, and not for all persons.

Critics of relativism could point out that belief and truth are separate concepts; they have different referrent words, and refer to different concepts in the minds of all individuals. This would, in addition, render oxy-moronic terms like false beliefs or truths that haven't been discovered yet. This idea would render many arguments irrelevant because they discuss issues of truth, which are relevant only for one person, and not for all. An argument that "X" claim is true could not be resolved by proving that it is so, because it could not be proven that it is so for all persons.

Most philosophers consider the following claims self-evident:

  • If it is true that P, then P.
  • It is never the case both that P and not-P are both true.

This second principle is called the Law of Noncontradiction, which claims that the real universe does not include contradictions. This means that if it is true that that Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, then it can not be true that there is another mountain taller on Earth. While some may argue about the definitions of terms, in this case, for example, mentioning the different ideas about measuring (i.e. if measured from the ocean floor, some islands which can be considered primarily underwater mountains are taller than Mt. Everest). The relativist position would claim that, a person, X, who had never left an area Y could truthfully claim that Z, the tallest mountain in Y, is the tallest mountain on Earth, because it is so true relative to X. Another person, K, might then claim that Mt. Everest, or even a third mountain, is taller. This would mean that both Z is the tallest mountain on Earth and that there is at least one mountain taller. The apparent contradiction would violate the Law of Noncontradiction.

This contradiction could perhaps be reconciled by differentiating between two different statements:

  • I know that the sentence "Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world", is true.
  • The sentence "Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world," is true.

The meaning of these two statements is not identical. The first statement is a claim about the speaker, while the second is claim about a theoretically verifiable statement. Tuf-Kat 06:35, Sep 22, 2003 (UTC)


My thought is that the abuse so freely dispensed by 195.92.67.75 disqualifies them from serious consideration in editing this article. If they wish to edit the article in a normal way and justify their changes that would be a different matter.Fred Bauder 13:16, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

195.92.67.75 has merely replaced a rather poorly written and non-NPOV article with the original article (to which I made some additions which are being lost as a result of this silly dispute. [User:Dbuckner | dbu ]]

The original article was written by Larry Sanger. It was very good. It was then comprehensively extended by myself (195.92.67.75), Nov 18 2002, incorporating the major conceptions of truth, and detailed arguments for and against, which are found in the modern scholarly literature. In June 2003, another user---who was in fact *banned*---made huge changes which were (a) NPOV and (b) confused and ignorant.

Yes, they were NPOV - they made clear where the conceptual metaphor and strict body-based theories come from. The confusion is yours, likely inability to comprehend truth not written symbolically. The ignorance is also yours, notably of everything that has been studied regarding truth and integrity since General Semantics. Your loose use of "were", "are", etc., betrays this. The Sanger article read like a bad third year course. It's now a bad fourth year course. Whoopee. Look up the references.

When I reverted to the *original* Wikipedia article, removing the irrelevances and sloganeering, this user accused me of racism, a preposterous and offensive allegation. The article has been reverted to a reasonably balanced form. Political sloganeering, combined with bias and intellectual ignorance concerning the actual topic, has no place in such discussions. -195.92.67.75 Oct 2003

Your assertions are not specific - make specific ones here, they'll be answered. It IS racist to claim that those people who create "truth and reconcilation" commissions, or believe in "truth-force", somehow "don't know what truth is", which is what your statements clearly imply.
The article was about halfway through a major series of edits that were going to be fair to theories that have a chance to be CORRECT, rather than just a list of theories that are rightfully discredited, plus two that are not totally discredited, as it was. Rather than finish it, various online politicians decided that there were more important things that really writing articles, and that was a distraction... one thing that was not done yet was to clearly separation those approaches that assume that (a) truth can be stated symbolically (almost the core assumption of truth (philosophy) (b) truth can only be stated in relation to a conceptual metaphor, of which the human body is the most basic referent (most postmodernists, most cognitive linguists) (c) truth can't be stated symbolically (the Buddhist position, and that also of most cognitive scientists)
Ok, Well that's an explanation, but reverts back to Larry's text are pretty regressive. Fred Bauder 15:07, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree with 195.92.67.75 . The point is the changes had no scholarly content, and were non-NPOV. DBU.
This is pure ignorance. Ask anyone educated in France, or Germany, or India, if they 'had no scholarly content'. What they lack is rather 'lack of submission to authoritarian Western standards of scholarly-monopolized truth' or something, or 'lack of acknowledgement that truth can always be stated in symbols'. DBU is showing his bias towards pre-Frege logic here, which is a radical neoclassical view now only shared by the most idiotic of economists.
195.92.67.75's contributions reflect an effort to straighten out this mess of an article. Having a background in philosophy I've been frustrated to see the crap that has been put in this article. Folks who don't have a considerable background in philosophy should be hesitant or cautious to edit this technical article.
That solution would totally curtail all discussion of concepts of truth poorly reflected in symbolically-biased Western training. If you want an article restricted, as Sanger's was, to that subject matter, consider creating truth (philosophy) - this approached worked well for knowledge vs. knowledge (philosophy). Of course those of you who think Western philosophy actually defines or successfully monopolizes 'truth itself' will not like this solution... Your "background in philosophy" isn't worth what you paid for it. The "Grasping Truth" section alone is worth more than all of it combined, obviously. That section at least had the merit of (a) dealing with types-of-integrity problems (b) acknowledging that it's a metaphor (c) situating that metaphor in something experiential that is part of the body (d) being comprehensible to the average person with a high school education.
I'm less impressed with 195.92.67.75 charges of racism, right wing, etc which really isn't resonant with wikipedia policy either. This article does need to address notable POVs on what truth is however uneducated, stupid, confused and nonsensical those POVs are...briefsummation of notable, sophmoric POVs in NPOV fashion with links to articles on those subjects as needed. —B 16:24, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)
The most notable and sophomoric view is Consensus Theory of Truth, which by the way is what NPOV is based on. ;-) User:BoNoMoJo is right about the need to deal with all theories, foolish or not. But where are the qualified parties to write about it? All banned, likely... for challenging NPOV/CTofT
If I thought that Wikipedia was aiming for Truth, I would give it up as a frustrating and degrading failure. Lofty claims like that are rarely made, though. Instead, we aim at allowing those who are interested in the topics to share what they know with others who are interested in verifying what they report, without regard to whether there is a systematic agreement between all participants, or all of the resulting articles, about the Truth. The result is an uneven consensus. If the product is useful, it is successful. But do contributors to that consensus make claims of Truth about the product? Not this contributor. That must be why I'm irritated by the deleted "Grasping the Truth" guruism. It must be why I hate the approach in overturned versions of theReality article, and the artifacts of it in Ultimate reality, and some related pages. I don't think we can work together productively, if we switch over to the mode of presuming to channel "insight" to the mortals who read this stuff. This work would not be worth reading, if it devolved into a collection of vanity pages dedicated to esoteric musings: mine, or anyone else's. Mkmcconn 23:25, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)


These discussions and other events have persuaded me that it is not possible to develop an encyclopedia (meant to be a reliable guide to current educated and informed views on any subject) in the WP way. WP works for topics such as pop music and TV shows, and will turn into an interesting historical document one day. An encyclopedia it is not. The only good stuff on philosophy wwas by Sanger, who has since left. The theology section is largely cut-and-pasting from nineteenth century bible dictionaries. Bibliographies taken from Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 (scanning errors and all).
Compare WP with, say the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you see the difference. db-u-c-k-n-e-r.
So, the gurus win.
"it is not possible to develop an encyclopedia (meant to be a reliable guide to current educated and informed views on any subject) in the WP way." — The project is in various stages of "reliability". It's not a failure in those terms, because it gradually improves. If what you mean is that Wiki is not "authoritative" on controversial topics, then you have a point. But, the process is working, as long as it is able to reject vague, standardless, ahistorical and uninformative approaches to these topics, like this:
There are several broad senses in which the concept of truth is usually considered. They are quite different in the point of view or purpose they assume. There is also the view that conceptual metaphor dominates the connection between experience and action, in which truth cannot be stated, and the view that chosen action alone is a reliable guide to truth.
Information, as opposed to guidance, is what we can do. And if we do that, we can improve reliability. Mkmcconn 18:42, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)
And if the process can't select information, and replaces it with vague musings about what is beyond knowledge, instead, then it is a failure after all. Mkmcconn 03:08, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Isn't 142.177 banned? Evercat 03:12, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Anyway, I actually have no problem with the idea of an article truth (philosophy) - this page here is perhaps too esoteric for a lot of people. But this page shouldn't be a load of gibberish either. I think it could just be stated that most people think truth means something like all statements that accurately describe reality... I really question whether stuff like pragmatist theories or "The Active Creation of Truth" (what the heck is that?)should be here. Evercat 03:19, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)


This article is perfect example of how things get worse when messed aroudn by lots of people. Larry Sanger's introduction was reasonably good. Now some idiot begins "Truth is a property by reference to which things may be characterised as true/false" plus the stupid Professor bot. Compare

  • Hardness is a property by reference to which things may be characterised as hard/not hard. For example Professor X says "this stone is hard"
  • Hotness is a property by reference to which things may be characterised as hot/not hot. For example Professor X says "this bath is hot"
  • &c &c
This idiot would be pleased to see the Professor bot go away, and happy to see rewrite of the opening sentence; which, as you point out, subtracted from the article takes nothing away. Mkmcconn 17:42, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The "epistemic conception"

Can someone provide an explanation for why it makes sense to clump the coherence theory, the correspondence theory, and pragmatism under the single banner of the "epistemic conception"? About all these seem to me to have in common is that the contributors thus far to the article don't take them very seriously. --Ryguasu 06:33, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)