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Thread: Ontology: is it possible for trueness to exist?

  1. #1 Ontology: is it possible for trueness to exist? 
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    Let's do a proof by contradiction.

    Suppose that trueness does not exist. Then proposition A, "Trueness exists", is untrue. In that case, falseness must exist, as a property describing the negative status of proposition A. However, this implies that a proposition B, "The statement 'trueness exists' is false", must now be true. This directly contradicts proposition A.

    Therefore, trueness must necessarily exist, for even to conclude that it does not exist immediately verifies its existence.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Jörmungandr


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    Meaning ouroboros- care to elaborate?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    the logic encircles the subject much as Jörmungandr(aka ouroboros) encircled the earth, swallowing his own tail
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Is "trueness" the same thing as "truth"? Or "truthiness"?

    Is this the sort of thing that gives philosophy a bad name?
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    Is this just another way of murdering analytical philosophy?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Is this the sort of thing that gives philosophy a bad name?
    Perhaps;
    more logic than philosophy?
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  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by androidbleepboop View Post
    Let's do a proof by contradiction.

    Suppose that trueness does not exist. Then proposition A, "Trueness exists", is untrue. In that case, falseness must exist, as a property describing the negative status of proposition A. However, this implies that a proposition B, "The statement 'trueness exists' is false", must now be true. This directly contradicts proposition A.

    Therefore, trueness must necessarily exist, for even to conclude that it does not exist immediately verifies its existence.

    I cannot get rid of the feeling that there is a mistake somewhere in your reasoning, but I am incapable of pointing it out.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    I never tell the truth
    what I just said is a lie

    I never lie
    what I just said was a lie

    ..............
    this uroboros has been around longer than I've been alive
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    Cogito- In thinking about it, my argument sort of begs the question, because it has to presume that falseness is possible in order to challenge the existence of truth; truth and falseness are two sides of the same coin, so it is pretty much impossible to imagine that either could not exist. It's sort of a way of identifying the overriding fact that trueness and falseness are fundamental to existence, and that if things exist, then trueness and falseness exist (i.e. if things exist, it is necessarily true that those things exist, and therefore trueness as a property exists). I think this points to something quite telling about ontology, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
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    trivium- haha murdering in a good or a bad way?
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    strange- trueness in this discussion is the same thing as truth, the property which true things have. It is not the same thing as truthiness, a concept in modern (satirical) rhetoric.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by androidbleepboop View Post
    Let's do a proof by contradiction.

    Suppose that trueness does not exist. Then proposition A, "Trueness exists", is untrue. In that case, falseness must exist, as a property describing the negative status of proposition A. However, this implies that a proposition B, "The statement 'trueness exists' is false", must now be true. This directly contradicts proposition A.

    Therefore, trueness must necessarily exist, for even to conclude that it does not exist immediately verifies its existence.

    I cannot get rid of the feeling that there is a mistake somewhere in your reasoning, but I am incapable of pointing it out.
    Thanks I thought I was nuts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by androidbleepboop View Post
    Cogito- In thinking about it, my argument sort of begs the question
    Damn! You beat me to it!

    because it has to presume that falseness is possible
    It is worse than that. By using predicate logic, you assume that both true and false exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by androidbleepboop View Post
    Cogito- In thinking about it, my argument sort of begs the question
    Damn! You beat me to it!

    because it has to presume that falseness is possible
    It is worse than that. By using predicate logic, you assume that both true and false exist.
    So, Sir Strange, don't true and false exist? What am I not understanding?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    So, Sir Strange, don't true and false exist?
    It depends what you mean by "exist".

    They certainly exist as concepts in logic (as used in the OP). Do they exist in an absolute sense, as in "what we know about the world"? I'm not sure. Possibly not. There are few, if any, real-world statements that are unambiguously true in any absolute way.

    "Barak Obama is President of the USA" is true.
    But "Bill Clinton is President of the USA" is not true. But it used to be.

    So truth is not immutable and changes over time.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    So, Sir Strange, don't true and false exist?
    It depends what you mean by "exist".

    They certainly exist as concepts in logic (as used in the OP). Do they exist in an absolute sense, as in "what we know about the world"? I'm not sure. Possibly not. There are few, if any, real-world statements that are unambiguously true in any absolute way.

    "Barak Obama is President of the USA" is true.
    But "Bill Clinton is President of the USA" is not true. But it used to be.

    So truth is not immutable and changes over time.
    So, Sir Strange you are referring to them in absolute's? Yes? This I understand. Mahalo!!
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    What is your definition of trueness (and who/what does it apply to) and where is your evidence of your assumption that trueness doesn't exist (once you've defined what it is of course)? If you are referring to solid verifiable truths about the world such as water is wet then surely for humans that is true and so a trueness exists. But what is water to fish? Is it still wet or is it something else? In which case its not a universal truth.

    A definition of trueness is required first I think.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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  20. #19  
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    how about accuracy?
    When leveling a wall, and the bubble rests equidistant between the lines, we proclaim... "SHE'S TRUE"
    or
    truth is beauty
    beauty is truth

    or
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    So, Sir Strange, don't true and false exist?
    It depends what you mean by "exist".

    They certainly exist as concepts in logic (as used in the OP). Do they exist in an absolute sense, as in "what we know about the world"? I'm not sure. Possibly not. There are few, if any, real-world statements that are unambiguously true in any absolute way.

    "Barak Obama is President of the USA" is true.
    But "Bill Clinton is President of the USA" is not true. But it used to be.

    So truth is not immutable and changes over time.
    However, wouldn't "Bill Clinton was a president of the USA" be unequivocal eternally?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    However, wouldn't "Bill Clinton was a president of the USA" be unequivocal eternally?
    It wasn't true when I was young.
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  23. #22  
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    You have made trueness an objective characteristic of something that is true. Truth/true is the quality or state of being true. You have made a jump making trueness = truth then treating the two very differently. I might be missing something, tried to make it a lot shorter than I was going to ramble about.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    So, Sir Strange, don't true and false exist?
    It depends what you mean by "exist".

    They certainly exist as concepts in logic (as used in the OP). Do they exist in an absolute sense, as in "what we know about the world"? I'm not sure. Possibly not. There are few, if any, real-world statements that are unambiguously true in any absolute way.

    "Barak Obama is President of the USA" is true.
    But "Bill Clinton is President of the USA" is not true. But it used to be.

    So truth is not immutable and changes over time.
    However, wouldn't "Bill Clinton was a president of the USA" be unequivocal eternally?
    Valid point!
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    ive been considering recently that "truth" may be subjective.

    so in the case of ontology, one can ask what something "is" - or assert that something "is" - what "is" water? water "is" H20.

    however the word used to describe the thing in question, is not the thing itself.

    "water" is a symbol for the thing - not the thing itself.

    or consider something more abstract. someone might say "that was fun" - but the word "fun" is not the actual experience they had.

    so saying "that was fun" is in a sense untrue because fun is just a word, whereas the actual "truth" of the experience is untransmitable.

    it seems to be a problem of subjectivity vs objectivity.
    i dont remember which philosopher it was who used the example of "what it was like to be a bat" but the idea was to point out that only a bat can know what it is like to be a bat - whereas a person can only consider what it is like to be a person imagining themselves to be a bat.... we are limited by our first person perspective.

    are truth and objectivity related? or is subjective truth a reasonable concept?

    on a side note, i had someone assert mathmatical truth as an example of "objective" truth. (2+2=4) is an "objective" assertion.
    i objected that such a case was an arbitrary assertion and so it was essentially meaningless. since it would be possible to redefine 2 or 4 making them empty terms.

    -two ducks
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    Quote Originally Posted by c0sm View Post
    on a side note, i had someone assert mathmatical truth as an example of "objective" truth. (2+2=4) is an "objective" assertion.
    i objected that such a case was an arbitrary assertion and so it was essentially meaningless. since it would be possible to redefine 2 or 4 making them empty terms.
    Yes, but given the definitions of "2", "+", "4" and "=" then the statement is an absolute, objective truth.

    You are saying that "Obama is US President" is not true because "Obama" could mean "cheese sandwich" and "president" could mean "pulchritude". That is just silly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You are saying that "Obama is US President" is not true because "Obama" could mean "cheese sandwich" and "president" could mean "pulchritude". That is just silly.
    im questioning the value(s) of the statement.
    if the values "obama" and "us president" are arbitrary, does the accuracy of the statement "obama is US president" have any meaning? - if the values of the units are dynamic, how can the statement be reliable in any way?
    and what good is truth if it is not reliable or valuable in some way?

    - it is, for instance, argued by certain groups that the "united states" is a fictional entity, and that the president has no "real" power.... (im not arguing this is true or not - merely showing that it is debatable)

    it just seems like an empty statement to me.
    i could assert that ("wiggzly" = "wogzly") - and it would be true in a sense - because i just made up terms/definitions and asserted them equivocal.
    that proves nothing accept of my ability to make arbitrary assertions...

    -two ducks
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by c0sm View Post
    im questioning the value(s) of the statement.
    if the values "obama" and "us president" are arbitrary, does the accuracy of the statement "obama is US president" have any meaning? - if the values of the units are dynamic, how can the statement be reliable in any way?
    I am pointing out that in the "2 + 2 = 4" example the meanings of the symbols are not arbitrary. They are well defined; they are formally defined. Therefore the statement IS true.
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    sure. i'll accept that 2+2 is 4.

    and you can accept that "wiggzly is wogzly"

    and those statements have equal values - it is just as intellectually important to know the first, as it is to know the second. they "contain" equal amounts of information.

    also, things can be "formally well defined" and arbitrary at the same time. an "inch" is an arbitrary length. and yet it is certainly carefully defined.

    "an inch" is = to "an inch" is just as true as 2+2=4 ... but how does that enrich our understanding of ontology?

    these types of truth are only true because we say they are. i think what this post is getting at is truth which is true of its own accord - in some kind of "objective" way.

    the "meat" of my initial assertion was that such "objectivity" may not "exist" - it certainly may not be possible to "prove" its existence - since the lens through which we view the world, is a subjective one.

    -two ducks
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  30. #29  
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    And we are back to the sort of thing that gives philosophy a bad name.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    And we are back to the sort of thing that gives philosophy a bad name.
    yep...

    I think what he is getting at is 'truth' is a human concept that only exists within formal systems (truth doesn't exist in the external world things are or they are not it is human beings who create logic and language), our understanding of truth is limited on the basis of perception and our description of such perception so what we deem true is really just our current description of the world (probably some sort of sceptical argument).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    I think what he is getting at is 'truth' is a human concept that only exists within formal systems ...
    Well, if he had said that, I would have to agree. That is exactly the point I was trying to make.
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    I love it when you guys bond!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    I never tell the truth
    what I just said is a lie

    I never lie
    what I just said was a lie

    ..............
    this uroboros has been around longer than I've been alive
    you are a liar... whatever you say
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    However, wouldn't "Bill Clinton was a president of the USA" be unequivocal eternally?
    It wasn't true when I was young.
    This is a funny thread

    I'll try one:
    The Universe exists.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by van erst View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    However, wouldn't "Bill Clinton was a president of the USA" be unequivocal eternally?
    It wasn't true when I was young.
    This is a funny thread

    I'll try one:
    The Universe exists.
    Are you sure?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Are you sure?
    About this thread being funny?
    Nope, that would be subjective.

    About the Universe existing?
    Yes. The Universe exists by definition, it equals the totality of all existence. How the Universe exists is a whole other matter.

    Quickly derived: my thoughts exist, therefore the Universe exists at least in the form of my thoughts.
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