> My responses to Ingvar (essentially agreement, with a bit of
> explanation) are embedded below.
> ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> I am happy to join what I take to be your agreement on the concept of
> truth. Let me just test my understanding.
> In one of her mails, Paola wrote: "Truth (like falseness) is a
> of a statement or assertion about reality."
> [Not that it matters, but I think I (Ken) wrote (get the blame
> for) that statement.]
> In philosophical ontology, it
> is sometimes necessary to distinguish between *monadic qualities* and
> *relational qualities*. The quality of "being a sphere" is monadic;
> when there is an instance of sphericity it simply inheres in a thing.
> The quality of "being more spherelike than the Earth", on the other
> hand, is a relational quality. If we claim "Venus is more spherelike
> than the Earth", then we claim not only that Venus has a certain
> we also claim that this shape stands in a certain *relationship* to
> another shape. Now, what has this distinction with the truth
> concept to do?
> In my understanding of Ken's nice exposition, truth as a "quality
> of a
> statement" cannot possibly be a monadic quality, it has to be a
> *relational quality*; it must bring in a relation of correspondence
> between the statement and something that ought to be called a
> *truthmaker*. To claim that a statement is completely true is to
> that it has a relation of complete correspondence to a truthmaker; to
> claim that it is truthlike is to claim that it has a relation of
> correspondence to a truthmaker.
> Do you (at least Ken and Paola) agree?
> I think I agree, with a few qualifications or caveats with respect to
> my view of it.
> 1) One can, I think, consider the truth not only of a statement, but
> of a (the) mental model associated with the statement, as a statement
> is typically an expression of a mental model of reality. The two (the
> statement and the associated mental model it expresses) can be
> considered themselves to be corresponding. (01)
I have used the term "statement" in such a way that a statement contains
both a sentence (as a pure graphical or oral sign) and a proposition
(mental or Platonic). I have no qualms about talk of models
corresponding or not corresponding to reality. (02)
> 2) The "truthmaker" as I interpret Ingvar's invocation of it would be
> the aspect of reality that the statement is about and that the mental
> model associated with the statement represents. (03)
Yes, this is the way I meant it. (04)
> 3) The relation is the degree of correspondence between the model or
> statement expressing it and the reality; no correspondence means
> falseness, complete correspondence means truth, and partial
> correspondence means partial truth.
> 4) I agree with Ingvar's last statement about complete and partial
> truth, with the caveat that it may be difficult or impossible to
> assess the level of truth in a meaningful absolute way. However,
> science does it in a relative way of checking correspondence of the
> statement or model with observations associated with the reality,
> considered using logical reasoning. To the degree to which the
> statement or model accurately expresses or predicts the observations
> or results of experiments considered to "test" its validity (truth),
> it is considered to be true. But science always leaves room for a
> better-performing model that can be demonstrated to be "more true" by
> a better correspondence with observations, including observations that
> may not have been considered initially in association with the
> statement or model. (05)
I agree with the caveat. (06)
> 5) However, as I indicated previously, some statements are so clearly
> agreed to represent reality accurately when understood as intended,
> that we can have a high degree of confidence in their "truth".
> PS. Many contemporary philosophers do (I am sad to report) have
> the view
> that truth is a monadic quality of statements (propositions).
> I don't specifically know what you're referring to, but it's hard to
> imagine how a statement could have a truth value without considering
> that it itself is an expression of a mental construct (thought) for
> which the truth depends on its status with respect to the thing it's
> referring to. Even if it's an assumption for heuristic purposes, it's
> still relational - it's declared to correspond to a manufactured
> reality (mental model) being considered. The referent, as far as I can
> see, must be something separate from the statement or model it
> expresses, which could include (as some have pointed out) people's
> mental models or other statements about reality. (07)
I have the same "imagination problems". However, here is a list of
philosophers that I had in mind:
1. Michael Dummett and his followers, who argue that a "fact" should be
*defined* as "a true proposition", i.e., when a proposition has the
monadic property of being true, then there is a fact.
2. The so-called "identity theory of truth" (J. Hornsby, J. Dodd),
according to which truthberarer (proposition) and truthmaker are
3. Jonathan Lowe, "The Four-Category Ontology" (2006), in a way that
differs from both of those mentioned above. (08)
> Kenneth Cliffer, Ph.D.
> See what's free at AOL.com
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