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cousin_it comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: cousin_it 27 December 2011 01:13:42PM *  11 points [-]

Because, in the end, there is no absolute truth, only facts and opinions.

Eliezer's essay The Simple Truth is a nice argument for the opposite. The technical name for his view is correspondence theory. A short summary is "truth is the correspondence between map and territory" or "the sentence 'snow is white' is true if and only if snow is white".

Comment author: rv77ax 28 December 2011 06:53:36AM 3 points [-]

Actually, The Simple Truth is one of my favorite essay, and it's not the opposite of my statement. Autrey is the one who work with facts (reality) and Mark is the one who work with opinion (belief). Who jump at the cliff at the end ?

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 31 December 2011 06:44:04AM *  0 points [-]

I interpreted your comment about no absolute truth to mean something like the objects in the universe having no inherent properties (or at least less inherent properties than most might think). Was that what you meant?

Comment author: rv77ax 03 January 2012 06:06:35PM 0 points [-]

I am not sure I'm fully understand about Mind Projection Fallacy, but I answered it with: Yes.

The point is the word "truth" that we, English language, use today is not truth in the sense of everything is true and everyone accept it as true; but only part of it is true, I called in facts, and the rest of the part is just an opinions.

Comment author: thomblake 27 December 2011 04:42:37PM *  1 point [-]

The technical name for his view is correspondence theory.

If you really want to be technical, I think it would be hard to say whether this view is supposed to be a correspondence or deflationary theory of truth, and some (including the linked article) would regard them as currently at odds.

Personally, I think the distinction is not very important (which is also hinted at in the linked article) and it makes sense to use the language of both. The Simple Truth in particular casts it as deflationary; the shepherd doesn't even know what 'truth' is, and thinks questions about it are silly - he just knows that the pebbles work.

ETA: To be slightly more helpful to readers, here's a relevant section of the SEP article that intends to illustrate the difference:

A correspondence-type formulation like

(5) “Snow is white” is true iff it corresponds to the fact that snow is white,

is to be deflated to

(6) “Snow is white” is true iff snow is white,

Comment author: TheOtherDave 27 December 2011 05:23:43PM 1 point [-]

One can, of course, get arbitrarily wrapped around the axle of reference here. "The man with a quarter in his shoe is about to die," said by George, who has a quarter in his shoe, shortly before his own death, is true... but most intuitive notions of truth leave a bad taste in my mouth if it turns out that George, when he said it, had not known about the quarter in his shoe and was asserting his intention to kill Sam, whom George mistakenly believed to have a quarter in his shoe. Which is unsurprising, since many intuitive notions of truth are primarily about evaluating the credibility and reliability of the speaker; when I divorce the speaker's credibility from the actual properties of the environment, my intuitions start to break down.