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[ontolog-forum] Correspondence Theory Of Truth

To: Inquiry <inquiry@xxxxxxxxxx>, Ontolog <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 22:10:15 -0400
Message-id: <46BFBD87.3CBC3A75@xxxxxxx>
o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o    (01)

Here is the passage from Kant that I had in mind, plus a few
explanatory remarks that I had written up last year for the
Wikipedia article "Truth", but most of it got deleted and
the rest of it moved to "Correspondence theory of truth",
so what you see here is a reconstructed excerpt from
the Centiare article on that subject:    (02)

Cf: http://www.centiare.com/Correspondence_theory_of_truth     (03)

Immanuel Kant discussed the correspondence theory of truth in the following 
manner:    (04)

| Truth is said to consist in the agreement of knowledge with the object.
| According to this mere verbal definition, then, my knowledge, in order
| to be true, must agree with the object.  Now, I can only compare the
| object with my knowledge by this means, namely, ''by taking knowledge
| of it''.  My knowledge, then, is to be verified by itself, which is far
| from being sufficient for truth.  For as the object is external to me,
| and the knowledge is in me, I can only judge whether my knowledge of
| the object agrees with my knowledge of the object.  Such a circle
| in explanation was called by the ancients ''Diallelos''.  And the
| logicians were accused of this fallacy by the sceptics, who remarked
| that this account of truth was as if a man before a judicial tribunal
| should make a statement, and appeal in support of it to a witness whom
| no one knows, but who defends his own credibility by saying that the man
| who had called him as a witness is an honourable man.  (Kant, 45).
| Kant, Immanuel (1800), ''Introduction to Logic''.  Reprinted,
| Thomas Kingsmill Abbott (trans.), Dennis Sweet (intro.),
| Barnes and Noble, New York, NY, 2005.    (05)

According to Kant, the definition of truth as correspondence
is a "mere verbal definition", here making use of Aristotle's
distinction between a ''nominal definition'', a definition in
name only, and a ''real definition'', a definition that shows
the ''true cause'' or essence of the thing whose term is being
defined.  From Kant's account of the history, the definition of
truth as correspondence was already in dispute from classical
times, the "skeptics" criticizing the "logicians" for a form of
circular reasoning, though the extent to which the "logicians"
actually held such a theory is not evaluated in this account.    (06)

A careful analysis of what Kant is saying here can help to explain
why there are so many theories of truth on the contemporary scene.
In other words, why would thinkers who examine the question of truth
not be satisfied to rest with this very first theory that usually
comes to mind?    (07)

Jon Awbrey    (08)

CC: Inquiry List, Ontolog Forum    (09)

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o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o    (010)

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