25 October 2011
The correspondence theory
The coherence theory
The pragmatic theory
13. The Correspondence Theory of Truth
(October 25, 2011)
0. Historical and Biographical Matters.
- Bertand Russell (1872-1970), British
- easy reader
1. Our question: not what is true? but: in what does truth consist?
- Notice here:
we're not talking about truth in the sense of giving a list of which beliefs are true--we are
asking what is for a belief to be true, in what does truth consist?
2. The simple answer: correspondence. But correspondence between what and
- what is it for a belief to be true?
- for a belief to be true is for it to correspond to reality
- well, what a stupid question
- my belief that the 'monkey is on the carpet' is true if and only if the monkey is on the
carpet - that is, my belief is true if and only if it corresponds to the state of things in the outside
- outside world = extra-notice, extra-linguistic
- i.e. outside mind and language
Russell thinks this through:
- idea of a monkey
- idea of carpet
- idea of spatial relationship between money and carpet outside world:
- no ideas, what is real
- what exactly is it that is true or false here?
- we've been talking about 'my belief' being true of false
- but of course 'my belief' is true (or false)
- my belief is a private, internal thing, belonging to me, one of the contents of my mind
- but that private thing is true only if a public thing -- the belief -- is true
Let's get on top of some technical language here:
- the simian is on the mat
- the monkey is on the carpet
- le singe est sur le tapis
- der affe sitzt auf dem teppich (they all mean the same thing)
- they all express one and the same proposition
- ultimately it is the proposition that is true or false
- your sentence or my sentence, your