Any concepts/terms to refer to the phenomena that one can claim "truthfulness" only if the interpreter of truth has the same truth concepts?

What I mean is that eventhough one could claim e.g. that Newtonian mechanics has some kind of truth. Those that wouldn't recognize Newtonian mechanics are containing truth, wouldn't agree on it containing truth.

So it's a problem of different levels of socialization. Scientific truth exists only to those who have socialized to the concepts of scientific truth.

  • Something scientifically true does not make it a truth. Science evolves, conclusions change.
    – Overmind
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 8:53
  • Cultural relativism? Semantic relativism? But if scientific truth exists only to those who have socialized to the concepts of scientific truth then those who did not do not get to agree or disagree, they are simply using a different concept.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 17:55
  • @Conifold Whatever it is, it can be speculated to complicate the concept of truth. Make it context-sensitive. Contrary to the belief of some that e.g. scientific truth is something that overarches others.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 17:56
  • Well, there is epistemic contextualism, which is weaker than relativism. One problem that Davidson pointed out with strong forms of conceptual relativism is that when parties truly have non-overlapping conceptual schemes they can only talk past each other. Disagreement is only meaningful against a common background. Scientific truth is merely an extension of common sense notions on collection and evaluation of evidence which can presumably serve as a common core.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 19:34
  • I would like some examples of scientific truths. I see lots of theories but nothing that could qualify as truth. Further to Conifold's point about shared conceptual schemes it could be said that a truth is only a truth when we know it is, in which case there are no non-tautological truths in the empirical sciences or speculative philosophy. This is a tentative comment since the topic is so slippery.
    – user20253
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 13:37

2 Answers 2


Scientific or otherwise, truth does not exist. You need to distinguish the ontological from the epistemic. Truth is an abstract idea, and like all abstract ideas it is only to be found in language.

Truth is simply a condition which is satisfied when what is said is corresponds to what is. "What is" is that which is empirically verified - else how does one know what is?

  • What about mathematics which is not empirically verified? Or heuristic statements that "might" be true, but are not or cannot be verified empirically? Are they undecideable, even when they could be true? How much "proof" does one need? Your version of truth sounds much like the Vienna circle's, which is not bad, but it's not entirely perfect, because it's too rigorous.
    – mavavilj
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 8:15
  • @mavavilj philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/38210/23399
    – MmmHmm
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 14:31

*Here is a very pragmatic view.

If you make this a statement, "One can claim "truthfulness" only if the interpreter of truth has the same truth concepts." instead of a question, you come closer to your answer. Truth is transitory at best, and only applies as a judgement that is agreed to. It is parochial, limited, and, as soon as an exception can be made, it is no longer the 'truth'.

The problem with this view is that we are always looking for certainty. And, facts, data, observations, perspective, and research brings us really close to finding it.

But, the 'truth' will be always stuck in a limbo, where, on any given day or moment, the exception is found and the agreement changes into a new 'truth'.

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