Concepts Regarding Truth And Falsehood Philosophy Essay

1738 words (7 pages) essay in Philosophy

5/12/16 Philosophy Reference this

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The concepts regarding truth and falsehood are essential for valuing each situation that occur in life of any human being. All experiences of practice in everyday life are being constantly evaluated by perception resulting in ordering of the reality. Distinction between true and false allows for formation of statements and beliefs concerning not only individual but also general opinion developed in a certain culture. How do we know that something is true? Determination of false claims is far easier as they are simply defined as contradiction of truth. In my opinion there are no absolute distinctions between what is true and false exclusively regarding arts. In the remaining areas of knowledge the border between the truth and falsehood is more visible since the concept of truth can be proved in a variety of ways. Relating to major theories of truth it can be evaluated using basic tests such as pragmatic, coherence and correspondence test. [1] Socrates’, Plato’s and Aristotle’s ideas about truth are consistent with correspondence theory. [2] According to Aristotle: “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true”. [3] “The correspondence test demands that the statements correspond to what we observe in the world. To test, scientist examine the world and find evidence either directly through sense perception or via technological extensions of the senses.” [4] One striking example illustrating this approach to the truth is the discovery of Gregor Mendel who has become famous for his study of the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants which substantially inflected the field of genetics. [5] His study was based on the sense perception and reasoning as he could have seen with his own eyes that the ratio of purple to white flowers of the pea plant was as he had expected. Consequently, using logics he has formulated the Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment which have been preserved in the modern biological science without major modifications.

The basis of coherence test is consistency of the statements we make. “To test, scientist look not at the world but at the knowledge claims themselves and, as mathematics does, examine them for consistency, freedom and contradiction.” [6] On that ground mathematicians make assumptions which are based on earlier proves and thereafter test their reliability in practise. Therefore, the process of assignment of the truth in this area of knowledge relies on both coherence and pragmatics test. “Pragmatics test demands that the statement work in practical terms. We accept certain assumptions without empirical proof, like axioms, because they happen to work. For example, we assume that nature is regular and understandable.” [7] By and large, a fundamental unit that builds up mathematics as a science is reasoning due to which the statements considered as true have a very high validity. A complex approach to the truth mostly make use of the basic tools of logics such as deduction, induction or implication.

Regarding the topic it must be examined in what ways the concept of truth can be approached in all areas of knowledge. It is a fact that using an equal pattern in order to distinguish between truth and falsity is impossible. An example illustrating this concern is the fact that it is popularly believed that the transfer in arts relies on a subjective perception of the perceiver. Nonetheless, regarding prominent creative power of William Shakespear most people feel that the intergenerational transfer of his dramas possess universal value being considered as immutable over centuries. With respect to the general understanding of truth which is assumed to be universal and eternal the phenomenon of Shakespear’s splendour can be explained. With reference to “Hamlet”, the creation of the protagonist contributed to formation of an image of a certain philosophical character which attitude towards life is associated with relativism and skepticism. On the whole, the problem raised in the drama is reckoned as universal since it concerns basic existential values experienced by any human being. One of the most famous citation in the world literature “to be or not to be” refers to the most frequent question undertaken by philosophers, yet impossible to resolve.

The issue of uncertain ability to distinguish between what is true and false has a substantial value for me personally as in the recent time I have experienced this concern very sorely. The problem becomes far more elaborate when the only way of knowing responsible for the process of recognition of the validity of a claim are emotions. I started to deliberate to what extent should we base our belief that something is true on emotions when my intimate friend delivered me a message which included a quotation of my boyfriend’s statement which was characterised negatively towards me. Regarding unlimited trust toward the person I assessed this information as undoubtedly true. As a result, I mindlessly refused my boyfriend’s firm denial as I based my belief on the rule of women’s solidarity. Nevertheless, too late have I realised that the major problem is that my assumption was stated using simplified schemas recorded by my sense perception and primary emotional confidence. On that account, supported by the coherence theory I summarised analogous situations that occurred conducting on them detailed analysis. As expected, the test revealed that my friend lied to me consistently which was not detected by me due to having neglected reasoning which I consider the best way of knowing in terms of establishing the distinction between truth and falsehood. The question is how can we use reason to know whether information provided by intimate people is reliable or not. This can be briefly summarized reciting Steven Robiner who once said: “What is absolutely true is always correct, everywhere, all the time, under any condition. An entity’s ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth.” [8] 

As far as I am concerned, there is a vague border between true and untrue in law. How can we verify whether a proposition of law is true? To my mind, regarding this field of science what is true equals what is approved and what is false means what is disapproved. Hence, the truth is generated by a certain group of people called lawyers. Does the fact of having graduated the law faculty mean that a person is capable of determination of true statements? The model of truth presented in law corresponds to the concept undertaken in one of Nietzsche’s essay [9] being a ground of his thinking in which he denies the concept of universal constants stating that “what we call truth is only a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms.” [10] This issue constitutes a dominant of Franz Kafka’s novel “The Process” which highlights the problem of suffering of human being as a consequence of absurd legal procedures.

Finally, taking into consideration poetry we should examine why there is usually one interpretation notwithstanding the fact that everybody is individual and so is the way of perceiving the world. Irrespective of this, at school we are presented a complex interpretation formed by authorities which is believed to be true and valid. The analysis of the literature bases on rhetorical devices which constitute actual advice how to understand the text. Nevertheless, it is still possible that some devices can be apprehended in multiple dimensions which may alter the general interpretation thus, to some extent undermine the authority. In spite of that possibility if I am received a poem during my finals I will be expected to deliver a concrete interpretation with the aid of concrete resources of language. Consequently, if I outline a proper rendition I will be awarded, but otherwise, if I develop my own version I will not be given points. In my opinion, in such a situation the image of truth created by Nietzsche [11] is right. According to him, “truth is nothing more than the invention of fixed conventions for merely practical purposes, especially those of repose, security and consistence.” [12] To conclude, the truth in poetry might be considered two-tailed, being either absolute as the official interpretation established by experts or relativistic which refers to subjective version generated by an individual. Settlement of the border between those to contrastive directions of analysis of the truth is very difficult as there is a conflict between universal truth which is approved by the majority and the opposing theory of Albert Einstein according to which everything is relative.

Taking everything into account, the establishment of the universal border between truth and falsehood is not a simple task as the concern can be regarded in a variety of ways depending on the context. The difficulty is a result of the abstract nature of those concepts due to which there will always be some margin of error in the judgment. Even though my hypothesis was rather strict having considered several situations it should be restated. For the above mentioned reasons, I think that to a large extent there are no explicit distinctions between what is true and what is false as the only limits derive from theories which are a product of human reasoning which is not flawless likewise anything in the world.

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