Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 T - Truth


Truth: A statement is true iff what the statement means represents a fact. Accordingly, the truth is whatever exists in reality, whatever is real.

Note that it often is highly convenient to pretend that "truth is relative", or that what is true for one is not true for another. But everyone knows himself to be a realist where his own direct interests are involved, and indeed all you - whoever you are - and me have to do to arrive at some common reality is to arrive at the idea that we both have access to the same domain of possible facts by our senses that our minds may formulate hypotheses about. As soon as we have done that we can try to work out what is the case in that domain of possible facts by careful logical reasoning and experimentation.

Next, note that there is in most cases and about most subjects and most statements about these subjects far less problem about what the truth of these statements would mean, than about what is really true, the statement or its denial, and what is the evidence for each, and how well-founded methodologically and without prejudice or wishful thinking this evidence is.

There are more formal explanations of truth in Truth formally explained, and also in Basic Logic - semantics. Also, there is an important qualification of truth, to the effect that we need only to know a little of the truth to make it work under Adequacy, and a refinement of the whole notion under Probability.


See also: Basic Logic - semantics, Evidence, False, Falsehood, Formalizations of representing, Logic, Methodology, Philosophy of Science, Proposition, Proof, Science, Statement, Truth formally explained, Representing, Universe of Discourse, Valid


Armour, Benacerraf & Putnam, Heijenoort, Stegmüller, Tarski

 Original: Sep 24, 2004                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top