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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Inquiry <inquiry@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 17:48:38 +0200
Message-id: <46C32056.2010905@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Jon Awbrey schrieb:
> Pat,
> 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.
> 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.
>       (01)

1. I did not try to evade any lesson to be learnt from the theory of 
special relativity. I tried to point out the following. We learn (both 
as children and as adults) many concepts (everyday as well as 
scientific) by means of meeting protypical examples or performing 
prototypical actions.  In case of understanding the concept of 'the 
correspondence theory of truth' there is a prototypcial example 
available: the correspondence or non-correspondence between ordinary 
perceptions on the one hand and statements in ordinary language on the 
other.    (02)

2. I think it is fair to say that "older common sense" implicitly had a 
Newtonian notion of absolute space and time, and that the special theory 
of relativity (SR) proved this notion to be obsolete. But this does does 
mean that SR proved either that *epistemological relativism* is true or 
that  *operationalism*  in the philosophy of science is true. What SR 
does mean, among other things, is (i) that each inertial frame of 
reference is just like the absolute space of Newtonian mechanics, and 
(ii) that there is a special formula (the Lorentz transformations) by 
means of which measurement values obtained in one inertial frame of 
reference can be translated into the values that would be obtained in 
another such frame. This story is neither a threat to a fallibilist 
epistemology nor to the correspondence theory of truth.    (03)

Best wishes,
Ingvar    (04)

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