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## Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth

 To: "[ontolog-forum] " Kathryn Blackmond Laskey Thu, 10 May 2007 18:48:02 -0400
 ```John,    (01) You want to distinguish between true statements and "truthlike" statements and argue forcefully against the idea of degrees of truth. You assign truth-values (not "truthlikeness-values" or degrees of truth) to vague statements. For example, you say it is true that the sun is about 93 million miles from the Earth.    (02) What exactly does that mean?    (03) In the decision analysis literature, there is the idea of the "clarity test." Probabilities are supposed to be assigned only to propositions that satisfy the clarity test. A statement satisfies the clarity test if someone in possession of all actual facts, past present and future, could unambiguously state whether or not the statement was true. As an example, "Humphrey Bogart was a great actor," does not satisfy the clarity test. "More than 100 million people have seen all or part of a Humphrey Bogart movie," would satisfy the clarity test, provided we gave an unambiguous definition of "have seen" (e.g., we would need to specify whether a person who fell asleep before the opening credits and woke up just as the closing credits were rolling off the screen "has seen" part of the movie), as well as an unambiguous specification of what counts as a Humphrey Bogart movie.    (04) I am having trouble figuring out how we can state clarity-test criteria for specifying truth-values for statements of the form "x is about y miles from z." Perhaps you have a definition in mind for what it means, precisely, for the sun to be "about" 93 million miles from the Earth. You didn't give us a definition. In the absence of such a definition, how can we determine truth-criteria?    (05) I don't dispute the meaningfulness, the communication value, or the utility of vague statements. But I don't get what it means for them to be true. I don't get how such truth-values combine. For example, if a box weighs about 1 kilogram, and its contents weigh about 2 kilograms, about how much do the box and its contents weigh? If you give me a set rules for "about arithmetic," I can come up with an alternate set of rules that is about as reasonable, and gives different answers on some problems. So then, what is the truth-value of the statement that the abovementioned box and its contents weigh about 3 kilograms?    (06) I'd appreciate hearing more about what you think it means for vague statements to be true.    (07) Thanks,    (08) Kathy    (09) At 4:07 PM -0400 5/10/07, John F. Sowa wrote: >Ingvar, > >I accept the notion of 'truthlikeness' with the option >of degrees of truthlikeness, as well as many degrees of >confidence, certainty, approximation, etc. > >But I wouldn't equate truthlikeness with truth. > >Given Peirce's definition of truth as the ultimate goal that >might require an indefinite amount of research by indefinite >number of scientists, it wouldn't make sense to have >different degrees of truth. > >I also accept the fallibilist point that we may already have >discovered a large number of true statements, but that we >have no way of being absolutely certain that any particular >statement is absolutely true (although we may have a very high >degree of certainty in its degree of approximation). > >As I said, I am willing to bet my life on the science and >engineering that supports our cars and airplanes. > >John > > > >_________________________________________________________________ >Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ >Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ >Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx >Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/ >Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ >To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx >    (010) _________________________________________________________________ Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/ Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (011) ```
 Current Thread Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, (continued) Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Ingvar Johansson Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Ingvar Johansson Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Ingvar Johansson Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <= Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, John F. Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Ingvar Johansson Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Ingvar Johansson Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Barker, Sean (UK) Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Barker, Sean (UK) Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Waclaw Kusnierczyk Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth, Barker, Sean (UK)