the only easy day was yesterday

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Three Theories of Truth

The Correspondence Theory of Truth is perhaps the most plausible theory of truth within these three theories. It states that a statement is true if and only if it corresponds to a fact in the real world. This is a seemingly intuitive theory; the statement "i have socks on" is only true if i in fact do have socks on in the "real world." sounds logical. There are a few problems with the correspondence theory, but none that entirely refute it. a major problem with the theory is that it does not account for fictional truths. Peter Parker, the fictional character is Spiderman in the comic book, but there is no Peter Parker nor a Spiderman in the "real world"; yet the statement "Peter Parker is Spiderman", as we understand it, seems to be true.

The Coherence Theory of Truth turns on the word 'coherence.' The theory states that a statement is true if it coheres with some set of beliefs. By cohere, we mean here, that it is consistent, or not inconsistent, with that certain set of beliefs; it's important to understand, before we go any further, that this is to say that it does not contradict, that it coheres to the 'rules' of a certain set of beliefs. The problem with this theory is that it boils down to relativism. What set of beliefs do these truths adhere to? Certainly if there was more than one set of beliefs we would have the same problem as we had for individual relativism: that there would be no false belief, and thus contradicting true beliefs. And if there was one set of beliefs to adhere to, we don't yet know it and this is a useless statement because if we were to know it we would not be asking what truth is. Another problem is that every set of beliefs will rest on another set of beliefs, the argument becomes circular.

The Pragmatic Theory of Truth states simply that a statement is true if it works. What this means is that a statement is true if it yields a preferable result. For who you ask? You, or someone, it doesn't really say. The very trivial point is that it is another relativistic theory, and thus useless...

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