LIBERTY PHIL 201 - Philosphy Study Guide Lesson 12 (4 pages)

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Philosphy Study Guide Lesson 12



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Philosphy Study Guide Lesson 12

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School:
Liberty University
Course:
Phil 201 - Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas
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PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE LESSON 12 What Is Truth Lesson Overview In this lesson we turn our attention to the issue of truth and ask two basic questions what is truth and how do we find it We discuss whether or not anything is actually true and then look at traditional ways that truth has been defined correspondence coherentism and pragmatism We will examine each of these theories and how each relates to truth Tasks View and take notes of the presentation What is Truth Know the strengths and criticisms of the 3 different truth theories 1 coherence theory strengths First it helps to establish truths in an area where we don t know all the facts many systems and non factual areas work this way ethics politics math They all seem to work with this idea that if it fits in well with our theory then in fact that probably makes it true value claims often cohere together with other sets of values and that s what we mean here Coherence theory weaknesses while coherence is a necessary condition for truthit s not a sufficient condition for truth it simply means it doesn t contradict how does one judge the truthfulness of the systems themselves How does one start a system going the coherence theory is that it s not linked at all with the real world It s only linked with systems of beliefs 2 Correspondence Theory Strengths it accords with our most basic intuitions about truth It is simply what most of us mean when we say a proposition is true or false It corresponds with what is actually real A second strength of this theory is that it links truth with reality which provides us with a reliable check on the truthfulness of propositions We have criteria for determining whether a proposition is true or not We simply check with reality to see if a particular proposition accurately corresponds with the facts If it corresponds with the facts then the proposition is true If it doesn t then the proposition is false Correspondence theory weaknesses Some say we may not see reality equally or accurately We may see it differently Therefore how can we say that truth corresponds with reality there is an important difference between a proposition being true and knowing that a proposition is true truth applies only to factual claims the idea of correspondence is kind of a vague idea What we mean is that propositions are really truth bearers They bear the truth within them They represent the truth in content so that we can place epistemologically what we see metaphysically That s what we mean by correspondence 3 Pragmatic Theory a proposition is true if it is successful in explaining phenomena or in achieving desired consequences Page 1 of 4 PHIL 201 Be able to answer the criticisms of the correspondence theory Read Chapter 4 of How Do We Know An Introduction to Epistemology As you do consider the following questions and points Why do postmodern anti realists reject truth claims o they believe truth claims to be subjective they think it is impossible for a person to view reality as it actually it o they suggest truth claims fail to appreciate the various ways that our live and understnaidng or reality are shaped What is wrong with the postmodern rejection of truth claims o The idea that nothing is really true is actually true about reality is a gross overstatment that leads to absutdity What are the 4 reasons Dew and Foreman give in favor of making truth claims o the statment that nothing is true is contridictory o the position is challenged by the nature of reality itself o each of us has an oversimplified sense of something that is actually true o consider the achievements of modern science What are the differences between a definition of truth and a test for truth o defenition decribes the nature of an object concept or event o Test a means by which we identify or locate Which theory of truth has enjoyed the most historical support o Correspondance theory What is a coherentist theory of truth o a position is true it is coheres with everything else that a person believes o most important claims must relate to each ofther in a cosistent and harmoinious fashion What is wrong with coherentism as a theory of truth o Problem a set of beliefs held by falliable human being may be coherent but false What epistemic value does coherentism have in helping us identify truth What is a pragmatist theory of truth o pragmatism deines truth as a set of beliefs that work for a particular person or group in dealing with reality or accomplishing particular tasks o the truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent of it Truth happends to an idea it becomes tru and is made true by events o if the belief helps someone cope with a hardship it must be true What is the primary concern for pragmatists o just becasue an idea works for a person doesn t mean its true o this view also lead to relativism and implasinility What kinds of epistemological problems does pragmatism face What does the correspondence theory of truth say about the nature of truth o states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes i e corresponds with that world Why is a correspondence theory of truth thought to be pretheoretic Page 2 of 4 PHIL 201 o Because of its common sense approach and pre theoretic in that it is not an idea that results from complex theory but a belief that people bring to their theorizing about truth Its is a basic assumption rooted in experience How is a correspondence theory of truth supported by biblical Christianity o It is the only biblically and logically grounded view of truth available and allowable How does the correspondence theory of truth relate to modern science o Scientific theories must be grounded in the real world they are accountable to the reality they purport to represent What value if any do coherentism and pragmatism have as tests for truth o They are both necessary conditions for truth Truth both works and is consistent Terms Make sure you can explain the following terms and concepts Correspondence Theory A proposition is true if it corresponds to reality Coherence Theory States that a proposition is true if it coheres with other true propositions Pragmatic Theory States that a proposition is true if it is successful in explaining phenomena or in achieving desired consequences Anti Realism States that all truth claims are subjective States that perception is a phenomenon of the mind which is not necessarily connected to the world


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