User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 44

  1. #1
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Theories of Truth

    [Note: I have posted something very similar to this somewhere on MBTICentral before; this is a rewritten version.]

    Suppose that a scientist is searching for theories which correspond to the facts, and by convention he labels such theories 'true.' One day a philosopher asks the scientist whether he has succeeded. Although the scientist has discovered some useful theories, each has its problems and he does not think any are true. But the scientist is then told by the philosopher that his theories must be true. He is then convinced by the philosopher that a theory is not true because it corresponds to the facts, but because it has instrumental value. Disabused of the correspondence theory of truth, the scientist now adopts to the pragmatic theory of truth. Prior to his conversion, the scientistís search for truth meant searching for theories which correspond to the facts, but now that is replaced by a search for theories with instrumental value.

    But is this a sensible move by the scientist? The original aim of the scientist's search was the discovery of theories which correspond to the facts, and even though he may no longer label such theories 'true,' nothing else need change.

    Suppose that the scientist lost his car keys and searched thoroughly to no avail. The philosopher then convinces him that the word 'key' really refers to a writing utensil, and therefore, advises that he search for that instead. Now disabused of the locking theory of key, the scientist adopts the writing theory of key, and begins searching for a writing utensil. Shortly afterward the scientist declares that he has found his key, and triumphantly uses it to write a letter to his car's manufacturer asking how to turn the engine on.

    Words do not have real or essential meanings. For example, the word 'post' can refer to many different things--including a piece of wood set upright into the ground as a marker, a starting point at a racetrack, or an electronic message sent to a forum. But do these alternative interpretations constitute theories of post? Would it be sensible to argue about which theory of post is correct? The meaning a word is not a matter of discovering its real or essential meaning, but of negotiating a conventional use and interpretation. And although this principle is uncontroversial regarding words like 'key' and 'post,' it is often forgotten when discussing the word 'truth.'
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #2
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5/8
    Socionics
    ENTp None
    Posts
    4,754

    Default

    Science seeks to remove untruth (a loaded term) through empirical inquiry. Science is fundamentally concerned with identifying data and applying perceived premise. To this end, one could argue that science is truth -- until it becomes untrue.

    Philosophy is the study of reason as it applies to existence. How to think. Philosophy is less concerned with the application of utility (central division between philosophy and science) than the information, as an ideal. Information is without premise. Without meaning. Philosophy seeks to logically unravel our bias to apply extraneous meaning to information. Truth is artificial; without context.

    By asking "who is right", you are begging a conclusion that runs contrary to your message (or conforms to it). Asking the poster to identify himself as either "Philosopher" or "Scientist".

  3. #3
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    I think we're talking about different things.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    681

    Default

    The goal of science is to predict through careful observation, and to be able to predict events in a given context is to know the truth to some extent. The goal of philosophy is to reason the truth through logical inquiry, and to be able to reason the truth logically one may be able to predict. (I haven't taken philosophy yet but this is how I understand it)

  5. #5
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    NeFi
    Enneagram
    4w3
    Posts
    1,573

    Default

    Uh oh. I smell Gettier.

  6. #6
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    Call the scientist 'person A', and call the philosopher 'person B', then forget that I ever mentioned any scientist of philosopher.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #7
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    Uh oh. I smell Gettier.
    Why, are you with him?

    If you're thinking Gettier, then you're thinking along the wrong lines.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  8. #8
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5/8
    Socionics
    ENTp None
    Posts
    4,754

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    I think we're talking about different things.
    Maybe so.

  9. #9
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    NeFi
    Enneagram
    4w3
    Posts
    1,573

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Why, are you with him?

    If you're thinking Gettier, then you're thinking along the wrong lines.
    what, you're telling me this in no way links with the classic tripartite of knowledge?

  10. #10
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    what, you're telling me this in no way links with the classic tripartite of knowledge?
    Yes, I am telling you that. If it did, then I would have written something entirely different.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

Similar Threads

  1. Hap's Theory of Dynamic Type
    By Haphazard in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 11-08-2008, 01:42 PM
  2. The theory of enlightenment
    By ThatGirl in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-04-2008, 10:39 AM
  3. [MBTItm] Theory of Dominae Intuitus
    By Martian Manifesto in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 09-21-2008, 05:23 PM
  4. Moment of Truth on Fox
    By CzeCze in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 03-14-2008, 02:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO