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Re: [ontolog-forum] Correspondence Theory Of Truth -- Discussion

To: Inquiry <inquiry@xxxxxxxxxx>, Ontolog <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 14:32:02 -0400
Message-id: <46C1F522.A5451371@xxxxxxx>
o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o    (01)

IJ = Ingvar Johansson
JA = Jon Awbrey
PH = Pat Hayes    (02)

JA: I think it is fair to say that key, active ingredients of
    truth are missing from the correspondence theory recipe.    (03)

IJ: I agree, more needs to be said;  and I think it can be said.  However,
    I will here just rest content with pointing out a seemingly neglected
    thing.  As long as epistemological questions about the veridicality of
    everyday perception are bracketed, then everyday life supplies us with
    very good examples of the essence the correspondence theory of truth.
    We simply check statmentents such as 'the cat is on the mat', 'it is
    raining', 'there's beer in the fridge', etc. against what we perceive.
    If what we pereceive *corresponds* to the statement, we regard the
    statement as true -- otherwise not.  Don't mix semantic questions
    such as 'what is the correspondence theory of truth saying?' with
    epistemological questions such as 'how do we know that a certain
    statement is true?'.    (04)

JA: One can of course ''pose'' a distinction between epistemological
    and semantic, but is that distinction real or merely a pose --
    a nominal or verbal distinction without a difference?  There
    has been a lot of discussion of physics lately, so let me
    try to recall some lesson of physics that got engrained
    in my brain in times now dim.    (05)

JA: Can we really and truly dissociate the semantics of terms like
    "duration", "length", and "mass" from the epistemological stance
    of a particular frame of reference, or the operational resources
    of the apparatus that we use to measure them?  I don't think so.    (06)

PH: I do.  In fact, we must.  How would we talk about accuracy of a
    measuring apparatus, if there were not a meaningful distinction
    between a real magnitude and a measurement?  To even discuss a
    measuring apparatus, we need to have a theory of the physical
    magnitudes which they are designed to measure.    (07)

PH: More fundamentally, however, these are clearly distinct concepts.
    Magnitude is not an epistemic notion, but measurement is.  And truth,
    perhaps unlike knowledge of truth, does not require verification or
    measurement to be meaningfully spoken of.    (08)

Pat,    (09)

In what "frame of reference" shall I evaluate your objection?
I tried to follow fashion by invoking analogies from physics.
Relative to that frame of reference, I can only iterate what
all my physics professors dinned into my skull, to wit, that
older common sense notions of magnitude had simply ceased to
make sense any more lacking reference to an observer's frame
and the specified operations commonly known as "measurements"
that are an absolute, er, relative "must" to pin operational
definitions to the given magnitudes.  That's how they taught,
but I will refrain from echoing all the ridicule they heaped
on former generations of deluded philosophers, prescientists,
and especially common sense normal folks who ever languished
in the dissociative styles of thought that dreamed otherwise.    (010)

Ingvar sought to evade the point of that analogy by shifting
the frame of reference to everyday epistemology and ordinary
language acceptability.  The very attempt to change the fact
by shifting the frame of reference has just proved the point.    (011)

Jon Awbrey    (012)

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o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o    (013)

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