[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Correspondence Theory Of Truth

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Inquiry <inquiry@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 23:20:29 -0400
Message-id: <46BFCDFD.8040609@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Jon,    (01)

For a man as intelligent as Kant, that statement is horribly
confused and confusing.  Many philosophers ranging Aristotle
to Peirce to Tarski and many others had far better statements
that avoided any possible confusions of psychologism:    (02)

| 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.    (03)

The first step to avoid the psychological issues is just to write
down the statement instead of keeping it in the head of the person
who is making the observation and evaluating its truth at the
same time.  The next step is to separate the three roles:  the
person who writes the statement, the one who makes the observation
(or experiment), and the one who evaluates the correspondence.
That is elementary scientific method, which was well documented
by Aristotle.  (See, for example, his _Generation of Animals_.)    (04)

Even better than writing the statement in a natural language is to
draw it in a diagram (i.e., a version of geometry) or some other
version of mathematics.  Kant certainly should have known better,
since he had not only studied Newtonian mechanics, he had taught
it for many years, and he had worked out and published the
mathematical principles for the now widely accepted theory of
how the solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust.    (05)

Peirce, by the way, had stated some excellent formulations of
the correspondence principle in connection with his discussions
of diagrammatic reasoning.  As I said before, Peirce had assumed
the correspondence principle, and he noted that the main issues
of scientific method involved the observing, testing, and
evaluating the correspondence by a community of scientists.    (06)

John    (07)

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    (08)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>