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Truth, Reality, and Philosophy

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  • Exist List Moderator
    I wanted to respond to this thread to explain why I have an issue with the discussion. There are specific definitions used in academic philosophy so we do not
    Message 1 of 53 , Jan 26, 2004
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      I wanted to respond to this thread to explain why I have an issue with
      the discussion. There are specific definitions used in academic
      philosophy so we do not trip constantly on semantic issues. While the
      lexicons vary within schools of philosophy, some terms are used in all
      studies -- and for good reason. Much as mathematicians or musicians
      must agree on symbols, so must philosophers.

      I say symbols because academic philosophy uses "propositional calculus"
      to express concepts of truth, reality, and ethical evaluations.

      Truth, as a term, refers to a universal -- *never* a personal --
      situation. Some schools of thought consider it possible to locate
      "truths" that are metaphysical, while existentialism, phenomenology,
      and other schools hold that "truth" is limited to issues of science,
      not human existence.

      From the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: A truth of a number of
      propositions or sentences is a function of them that has a definite
      truth value, depending only on the truth values of the constituents.
      (p. 381/2) The truth condition of a statement is the condition the
      world must meet if the statement is to be true. Analytics allow for
      truth, rhetoric allows for belief.

      There is a matrix of "truth" that is used in philosophy. Logical
      calculus is a definite way for philosophers to express ideas without
      language. Husserl and Heidegger made extensive use of this, evidence of
      the mathematical background of Husserl.

      I would recreate the matrix, but the symbols are outside of ASCII/HTML.
      I'll do my best to illustrate some of the notations: &, v, ! or -|, ->,

      In computer programming, this is referred to as Boolean Calculus, which
      limits the math to: and, or, exclusive or (xor), and/or (nor), shift
      left, shift right, less than, greater than, unequal, equal value, pure

      Every time I read about "personal truth" I want to correct the use
      immediately. (It's the editor in me.) A personal truth is a "personal
      belief" or "insight" into your nature.

      According to the APA manual: Anything personal is a "belief" while
      anything scientific is a "truth" or "law" of nature. The metaphysics
      allows for a "truth" of ideals (Plato believed in such truths) but
      modern philosophy limits conditional and logical calculus to nature.
      Social sciences also use this calculus to predict likely group "truths"
      of human dynamics, but always use the clause "under current conditions"
      and "within current knowledge" to indicate uncertainty.

      Reality, in both the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries of philosophy,
      is defined as: That which there is. Reality is that which can be
      materially measured by material devices apart from human bias.
      Interpretation of reality is perception. (see perception) [I'll
      restrain at this point.]

      We are "cursed" to use language and symbols for advanced concepts.
      Academic texts try to adhere to editorial standards for this reason.
      (AP Style, MLA Style, APA Style, Chicago Style, et cetera for word
      usages and formats.) Yes, you can create your own language and
      definitions. Most philosophers created a number of words for their
      theories. However, it is always easiest when we use a standard language.

      Hope this adds some light into how the "experts" use the words. I know
      in common language and usage we would never adhere to a lexicon.

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
    • louise
      ... your neurons ... when this ... else -- but ... Existentialist ... Neurons, if ... do and that ... kind -- ... in knowing that ... neurons.
      Message 53 of 53 , Feb 2, 2005
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        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Mattlzpf@a... wrote:
        > >>>>>>>Yes it is a metaphor. But in a way, it is true. Keeping
        your neurons
        > happy means having happy thoughts. Of course there are occasions
        when this
        > is not possible. I often go into depression -- just like everyone
        else -- but
        > the trick is to look on the good side of things. That's our
        > choice.
        > eduard
        > ... neurons is all you got, so keep them happy ...>>>>>>>>>>>>.
        > You needn't worry nor ask us anymore about our neurons.
        Neurons, if
        > capable of happiness are happy when they do what they are meant to
        do and that
        > is, fire. Therefore, they are happy when we have thoughts of any
        kind --
        > happy or sad and everthing in between. You should take great joy
        in knowing that
        > all who respond to your posts and all other posts have happy
        > --MATT_C
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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