Questions tagged [truth]

Theories of truth deal with questions such as: what are truths? what makes them true? what is the relation between truths and the things that makes them true? Not to be confused with "what is the truth", which is a completely different matter.

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33
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15answers
12k views

Why do some people care so much about “empirical truth”?

Whenever you discuss philosophy, inevitably you will come across a type of person who holds empirical truth above all else, and will blatantly ridicule any discussion which has its onset in a paradigm ...
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9answers
18k views

What is the difference (if any) between “not true” and “false”?

A fairly simple question I hope someone can help me with.
29
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4answers
11k views

What are the philosophical implications of Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem?

Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem states Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any ...
27
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9answers
188k views

What is the difference between Fact and Truth?

I'm curious about the difference between Fact and Truth. I was searching on the internet if I could find it. But still I'm confused about the exact meaning. I first read the forum discussion here Fact ...
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12answers
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Motivations for dialetheism?

At the request of the moderators, I've reformulated this question to change the emphasis of the question to something perhaps a little more broad-ranging: Question. What are the major modern ...
21
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10answers
598 views

Is the truth a privative?

A privative is the absence of something, and as such doesn't exist. So cold is a privative, as it is merely the absence of heat. This question is inspired by this answer about a single noun for an ...
20
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7answers
2k views

Is scientism a self defeating epistemology?

Some who have argued against the validity of scientism have argued that the view that only science can uncover truth is not a scientific discovery but rather a epistemology. Hence it has been claimed ...
19
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1answer
11k views

How can we reason about “if P then Q” or “P only if Q” statements in propositional logic?

When you have a propositional sentence of the form P ⊃ Q  — which we might read as "if P, then Q" — how can you tell when it is true, or false, based on the truth-values of P and ...
16
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11answers
6k views

Is everything just an opinion?

I read some people don't believe in truth but do believe there is always a chance that x. I have a question about such thought. I recently heard an anecdote that says nobody can ever prove I ate ...
16
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1answer
3k views

When it is correct to use Tarski's undefinability theorem versus Gödel's incompleteness theorem?

Smullyan (1991, 2001) has argued forcefully that Tarski's undefinability theorem deserves much of the attention garnered by Gödel's incompleteness theorems. That the latter theorems have much to say ...
14
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1answer
11k views

How do quantifiers work in predicate logic?

Predicate logic is somewhat like propositional logic, except that where propositional logic only works on the level of whole sentences (e.g. A = "Socrates is mortal", B = "All ...
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5answers
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Is the concept of “knowledge” important for philosophy?

I learned the definition of “knowledge” of justified true belief. I wonder whether it is important in any branch of philosophy? If I think about information per se, this boils down to technical ...
13
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3answers
415 views

What is the relation between proof in mathematics and observation in physics?

Recently in his 2015 Hirzebruch Lecture in Bonn, Arthur Jaffe re-amplified his famous perspective that finding proof in mathematics is analogous to making experimental observation in physics. In ...
12
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4answers
3k views

What makes Humans different from a chemical computer?

Are we all robots? Is our DNA the 0's and 1's of computer code? Are we an advanced computer system, with instead of keyboard and mouse input... input from our senses. Our database being our brain ...
12
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1answer
546 views

What are the differences between Tarski's 1933 and 1956 truth definitions?

The paper "The Seven Virtues of Simple Type Theory" mentions that it uses the same trick (due to Tarski) to define the semantics that is also used by first-order logic. I interpreted this a reference ...
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5answers
521 views

Shouldn't statements be considered equivalent based on their meaning rather than truth tables?

Consider the following truth table, which serves to define the logical connective ⇔, P | Q || P⇔Q T | T || T T | F || F F | T || F F | F || T According to the above truth table, the logical ...
10
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3answers
774 views

What are the philosophical implications of Tarski's truth definition?

I am a Math student currently taking my Master's Degree, and last semester I took an introductory course on Mathematical Logic. One of the subjects we covered there was Tarski's truth definition; and ...
9
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6answers
796 views

Claims that we know (virtually) nothing - can they be refuted?

Here's an argument that I've heard a number of times from friends and on the Internet: "The ratio of what we know about the universe to what we have yet to discover is so small - it is therefore ...
9
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1answer
339 views

Supervaluationism and Theories of Truth

How does the supervaluationalist defend his/her theory of truth since the correspondence theory of truth seems to presuppose bivalence? It would seem then that the only truth is Super-Truth. And, the ...
8
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7answers
3k views

Why is belief necessary for justified true belief?

In justified true belief it is said that for a person to know a fact it must be true, she must believe in it and she must be justified in believing it. My question is: Is belief necessary? Why is the ...
8
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3answers
369 views

Are truth-claims inappropriate?

Strictly speaking, is it inappropriate to make a truth-claim? I am seeking an answer from Philosophy (Epistemology), and feel free to use logic I am speaking "theoretically", not "practically" I am ...
8
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4answers
277 views

Dynamic concept of “truth”

I've recently read a book in which a certain sentence sparked a question in my mind: "the Platonic philosophy is a search for truth, the certain truth. Such truth... is necessarily static" (...
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6answers
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How does Logic define “true” and “false”?

"Truth", "Falsehood" are pretty axiomatic expressions, but even axioms need to be defined in common language terms. What are the "official" definitions of these in Informal logic, Formal logic, ...
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3answers
12k views

The difference between soundness and completeness

Is anyone able to articulate the difference between the properties of soundness and completeness insofar as they relate to the validity of the tree test?
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5answers
603 views

Is Truth the Primary Epistemic Goal?

There is broad agreement that knowledge is more than just true belief. What, though, must be added to true belief to get knowledge? According to traditional epistemology, two more ingredients are ...
8
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1answer
825 views

Roko's Basilisk as Descartes' evil genius?

I'll try to pose a shortened version of Roko's Basilisk below and then ask about how it relates to Descartes' evil genius: The idea is that down the line may it be decades or centuries from now, ...
8
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1answer
132 views

Have there been any attempts to “redo” epistemology without the factivity of knowledge?

Mainstream analytic epistemology seems to take for granted that for S to know p, p must be true. I do not share this intuition. It seems that to be properly internalist about knowledge, one can't ...
8
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1answer
248 views

Does Fodor present any argument for his use of computable methods in his view of the mind?

In defense of his Language of Thought Hypothesis (SEP article), Jerry Fodor argues that Thought is recursively compositional in just the same way that Language is. When we understand a sentence, we ...
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3answers
1k views

In what sense are proofs just arguments that convince us, not arguments that establish truth?

In mathematics and logic, it seems that once a proof of some theorem is discovered, then it is taken to be "absolute truth" within the axiomatic system from which it was derived. My question is: are ...
7
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2answers
279 views

Should truth entail possible truth?

It is a well-accepted axiom of modal logic that truth implies possible truth. Is there any philosophical argument against this conclusion? In other words, should truth entail possible truth?
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5answers
345 views

Is it possible to have truth if objective randomness exists?

I will do my best to describe both of my terms as clearly as possible. I would describe true randomness as a process that has absolutely no predictability : even if you knew absolutely everything you ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as a 'necessary truth'?

Wikipedia (note the redirect) defines 'necessary truth' as statements which "could not be untrue", and I assume that this is how the term is usually used. A search through the SEP shows that while ...
7
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3answers
632 views

Is there modal logic without possible worlds?

Would it be desirable to carry out a deflationary research programme in modal logic? In other words, would it be desirable to re-think modal logic without the possible worlds semantics? The original ...
7
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2answers
183 views

How does strong evidence imply truth?

I have seen a great number of individuals who take a step from "There is overwhelming evidence to suggest theory X is true" to "Theory X is true." (I think I misworded the former sentence ...
6
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7answers
10k views

Do good explanations have to be true?

Is it so that whenever one gives an explanation to a question starting from 'why' or 'how' the explanation that we receive in return always is true in nature? From one perspective, an explanation is ...
6
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4answers
810 views

Is there a way to avoid Gödel's incompleteness affecting mathematics as a whole?

I have been thinking about Gödel's incompleteness theorems and their ramifications for the whole of mathematics. In this question I assume some fixed formal system F expressive enough for the ...
6
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8answers
3k views

Is finding truth possible?

Consider the following argument: If want to know that something is true, I need to first know what is truth. If I need to know what is true, I need to find the truth. (Is there ...
6
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3answers
653 views

Why do we naturally regard the unfamiliar as ridiculous?

(Since there is no Psychology.SE, Ph.SE seemed like the best place to ask this question.) I have noticed that when a person is presented with an unfamiliar idea, the default reaction is often to ...
6
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5answers
347 views

How to Respond to this Argument about Faith?

I've seen the following situation come up several times, and wanted to know what a common response was. Suppose Fred and George are arguing about a proposition X. Fred takes a faith based position on ...
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4answers
474 views

Why do many people derive comfort from the belief in an objective reality?

Many people derive comfort from the idea that there is an objective reality, and that there are objective truths, independent of our own individual subjective perceptions. Why should this be so? Why ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Is 'truth' abstract or concrete?

I'm reading Mathematics: Its Content, Methods and Meaning. The authors make what is to me a surprising claim: To put it briefly, truth is concrete; and it is particularly important to remember ...
6
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2answers
381 views

How should we choose between different theories according to Rorty, based on Kuhn?

Popper tried to distinguish a scientific framework from a non-scientific framework ( like Marxism or Psychoanalysis, according to him) by suggesting the criterion of falsification. Kuhn suggested ...
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5answers
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Are mathematical statements necessary truths?

I apologize if a similar question has been asked here, but I haven't found it. Are mathematical statements necessary truths? By 'mathematical statements', I mean both mathematical axioms as well as ...
6
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2answers
349 views

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, do “being” (ens) and “truth” (verum) differ?

In his Disputed Questions on Truth q. 1 a. 1 arg. 3, St. Thomas Aquinas presents an argument against "that the true (verum) is exactly the same as being (ens)": 3. Things which differ conceptually [...
6
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2answers
170 views

Is Tarski's theory of truth compatible with intuitionism?

Intuitionistically, truth is identified with provability: A is true means that it is possible to prove A. In his essay "Intuitionistic logic a philosophical challenge, Logic and Philoshophy" (1980) ...
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6answers
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Finding a clear difference between truth and fact [duplicate]

I have been starting back in school after a long hiatus. In one of my classes, a discussion of Truth began. The problem I have had is that no one seems to have a solid definition between the two. ...
6
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2answers
392 views

Absolute Truth - Is there existence?

I restate the question in a simpler and more specific way; is there a proof or has a philosopher proved, that things can be absolute and observed by each in the same way? Are there like conserved ...
5
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2answers
356 views

How to disprove “I'm entitled to my opinion”

Background There is an article in The Conversation that attempts to disprove the notion that people are "entitled to their opinions." That is, people have a right to believe whatever they wish. I ...
5
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3answers
634 views

Would Popper's philosophy become pragmatist without the idea of getting closer to “The Truth”?

Popper believed that scientific knowledge is obtained through conjectures and refutations; the refutation of Newton's theory by Einstein is an example. He also believed that in this way science ...
5
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3answers
881 views

Is the claim that atheism is the null hypothesis invalid because it applies a physical measurement to the metaphysical?

I've heard several people state that: Atheism is the null hypothesis. ie that this null hypothesis can be falsified: if one piece of evidence is found to contradict it, the existence is considered ...