The truth is absolute

Absolute Truth - Myth?

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Objective and Subjective Truth Theories
2.1 Subjective theories of truth
2.2 Objective Truth Theory
2.2.1 Correspondence Theory
2.2.2 Trivial and Complex Views of Truth

3 Trivial View of Truth
3.1 Reality in the trivial view of truth

4 Complex View of Truth
4.1 Semantic Truth Theory - A Partial Definition of Truth
4.2 Approach to Truth

5 conclusion



1 Introduction

"‘ Truth ‘is an extraordinary and perhaps even a very unique term."[1]. The attempt to define it was already firmly anchored in ancient times. Over the next centuries of philosophical and scientific history, more and more theorists have grappled with the concept and the search for a perfect, absolute truth. With articles that were constantly being published, new denotations and connotations were assigned to her on the level of meaning, which make the concept of truth appear ever more complex. Janich wrote: “The difficulty in discussing the question of the truth is by no means that there are no answers; it is rather that there are far too many answers. "[2].

In order to work scientifically with the concept of truth, one must first clearly explain the context in which it has already been used by other researchers. Tarski put it this way: "In the works and discussions of the philosophers we encounter very different conceptions of truth and falsehood, and we have to indicate which should be the basis of our discussion."[3]. Therefore, in my work here, I will present the classifications of truth elaborated by different theorists. On the basis of the correspondence theory of truth, I will try to design a classification of truth that has as a criterion the inclusion or exclusion of the human view. The classification should make the complexity of the concept of truth, which has to be considered in relation to human perception, language and reality, appear more clearly. In the following I will also give examples that show how the philosophers Karl Raimund Popper and Alfred Tarski dealt with this complexity.

What follows in the first chapter of the main part is the division into objective and subjective theories of truth, which are known in the philosophical discourse. I will explain why I will not take the subjective theories of truth into account in my further procedure.

2 Objective and Subjective Truth Theories

The first distinction that can be made between the many theories of truth is the one that was explicitly described by Popper in particular. It is the juxtaposition of objective and subjective theories of truth[4].

2.1 Subjective theories of truth

The subjective theories include the self-evidence theory, the indubitable theory, the theory of clear and distinct perception, the coherence theory, the pragmatic theory, the verifiability theory and the consensus theory[5]. "They are subjective in the sense that they all proceed from the fundamentally subjectivist position, which knowledge can only grasp as a special kind of mental state, as a disposition or a special kind of belief [...]."[6].

The definition of the subjective theories of truth summarized by Popper implies that they cannot be considered absolute. "Another objection to subjective truth theories is that they all lead to relativism"[7] and accordingly "[...] are irrefutable (in the sense that they can all too easily evade criticism)."[8]. That's why you can, according to Popper's philosophy of science[9]to count among the theories of pseudoscience. For these reasons, the subjective theories of truth have no potential for improvement and therefore I will not take them into account in my further considerations.

2.2 Objective Truth Theory

With the objective theory of truth Popper means the classical theory of truth, i.e. the correspondence theory. It goes back to Aristotle, who was the first to write it. After him, it has found numerous followers, by whom it has been permanently reformulated, re-explained and brought into new contexts. The most influential modification of correspondence theory was the linguistic theories that I will cover in my paper. First I explain the correspondence theory itself.

2.2.1 Correspondence Theory

Many formulations of correspondence theory can be found in the literature. One of them is:

Truth = correspondence between knowledge and reality[10]

This equation is at the same time a formula in which the truth depends on two quantities: 'knowledge' and 'reality'. Here, 'knowledge' is one variablebecause it changes with every human view. It is different with “reality”. Based on the questions that Musgrave dealt with[11], can 'reality' on the one hand constant stay if they are viewed as “the world-in-itself” (in other words, “the world-as-it-is-independent-of-our-linguistic-or-conceptual-schema”). On the other hand, it can do one variable if it were to be introduced as "the world-as-we-put-it-in-categories".


[1] Franzen (1982): 14.

[2] Janich (1996): 15.

[3] Tarski (1972): 57.

[4] See Popper (1994): 332.

[5] See Musgrave (1993): 253-254.

[6] Popper (1994): 328.

[7] Musgrave (1993): 257.

[8] Popper (1994): p. 331.

[9] See Popper (1998).

[10] See Franzen (1982): 35.

[11] “Is it really the world that we succeed in talking about, the world-in-itself, the world-as-it-is-independent-of-our-linguistic-or-conceptual-schema? Or is it not rather the world-as-it-is-fasted-by-us-in-categories? "Musgrave (1993): p.269.

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