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Ratzinger again!![edit]

Here is what he says about knowledge & truth at Regensburg Address. There is no mention of terrorism or ecological disaster here. IF it is in some other text, please specify --JimWae (talk) 06:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

... the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by "science", so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective "conscience" becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter.

... This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it.

The online citations do NOT support the "explanation" presented in the article.

  1. Please provide citation that shows HOW he links uncertainty to religious absolutism & terrorism. I have not heard of religious terrorists who are uncertain about their values. So far, I have found this "connection" discussed only on blog sites
  2. Online citations do not mention ecological disasters NOR destruction of humans
  3. Online sources talks of pathologies of REASON not of science. Online sources do not *allude to* science as demonstrating that knowledge of God is possible. Science is NOT held up as in any way opposing this limitation
  4. dishonor" does not appear in online source, nor does "acclaim". "Contradict" appears, but not in this context.

This appears to be a serious misreading of the source

I have commented out the following. It MIGHT not be off-topic if it were in the Tolerance article (his main purpose in his writing is to reconclie tolerance with holding firmly to dogma/doctrine)

For Ratzinger, truth and love are identical. And if well understood, according to him, this is "the surest guarantee of tolerance."[1]

--JimWae (talk) 07:30, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jim, Please take note of my post of May 6 above which I am re-posting here: As regards the issue raised by Jim on how self-limitation of reason leads to pathologies of religion and science: First, before directly replying to this, let me repeat what I have said twice before: Wikipedia is interested in verifiability more than truth. I can assure you that I read this part in Truth and Tolerance and therefore this is verifiable and thus I would highly recommend that you read the book. :) As to the logic behind Ratzinger's ideas, I would say this: the self-limitation of reason is a sort of prohibition for the human intelligence to delve into the rational basis for ethics and discussion on religious issues. This leads therefore to irrational pursuit of what religious scriptures might say to the believer, as what happens to terrorists or to a moslem prohibiting Christians to have churches in moslem lands, thus infringing on rational idea of respecting the basic human right of exercising one's religious beliefs. It can also lead to lack of rational reasoning on ethical issues surrounding the use of science (eg what the Soviet Union did in Chernobyl) because ethics is not in the realm of empirical sciences. I also hope this helps to settle this issue. Marax (talk) 09:20, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I will re-read Truth and Tolerance and if my time permits I will post here some of the relevant statements. I believe there is another source but I still have to locate it. Marax (talk) 06:59, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jim, I have once more reverted your edits on this topic, as per the discussion here and the discussion in the previous section on ratzinger and the issue on section consistency. Pius IX and Vatican I are all pre-ratzinger and thus following the historical treatment of these views and the separation of ideas, these ideas should be treated elsewhere.
As a compromise I have removed the point regarding terrorism, since this appears in another text and not in Truth and Tolerance. Also I have re-read the book Truth and Tolerance and all the points that are presently in this article are clearly there. I have brought back the point on love and tolerance because he equates truth with love and as an ineluctible and inseparable consequence, he equates truth with tolerance, or said in another way truth can be defined as tolerance. A surprising and modern idea which would be highly interesting for Wikipedia readers. :) Marax (talk) 00:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I will not soon be reading the entire book to see if your interpretation is correct. The appropriate procedure is for you to provide direct quotes supporting your interpretation. Preceding that, your reversions are premature, and removal of other material is hostile. Little if anything R says is original & it is misleading to have the article appear to say otherwise --JimWae (talk) 03:28, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for this opportunity Jim. :) I apologize again for reverting your work, but I can assure you there is no hostility on my part, but only an assurance that my contributions are verifiable. I believe that it would truly be a sad day for Wikipedia if only those the resources online can be deemed verifiable and would be the sole basis for decision and that direct quotation of sources at talk pages would become a requirement for inclusion. I believe this "self-limitation" or "self-amputation" (please excuse the play of words) is destructive of Wikipedia.
Here are some quotes which I place here because they are also interesting: The title of the article within Truth and Tolerance is "Truth of Christianity?" And the section title on page 156 is: "Seeking How to Make Truth Readily Acceptable". On page 157-158 it states:"All our ideas about natural science and all practical applications are based on the assumption that the world is ordered according to rational, spiritual laws, is imbued with rationality that can be traced out and copied by reason." Ratzinger attributes these former ideas to Plato.
He continues: "Any thinking that goes beyond this connection, that tries to look at reason in itself or to see it as preceding the present world, is contrary to the discipline of the scientific method and is therefore utterly rejected as being prescientific... Within the specific path followed by natural science, this limitation is necessary and right. If, however, it is declared to be the absolute and unsurpassable form of human thought, then the basis of science itself becomes contradictory; for it is both proclaiming and denying the power of reason. But above all, a self-limiting reason of that kind is an amputated reason. If man cannot use his reason to ask about the essential things in his life, where he comes from and where he is going... but has to leave these decisive questions to feelings, divorced from reason, then he is not elevating reason but dishonoring it. The disintegration of man, thus brought about, results equally in a pathological form of religion and a pathological form of science. It is obvious today that with the detachment of religion from its responsibility to reason, pathological forms of religion are constantly increasing. But when we think of scientific projects that set no real value on man, such as cloning... or ...produce ever more frightful means for the destruction of men and of the world, then it is obvious that there is such a thing as science that has taken a pathological form...
On page 159: "The strict application of methodological discipline should not mean just the pursuit of success; it should mean the pursuit of truth and the readiness to find it... Ecological disasters could serve as a warning to us that we may see where science is no longer at the service of truth but is destructive of the world and of man. The ability to hear such warnings, the will to let oneself be purified by truth, is essential."
I only quoted what is relevant to the summary I made, but all the rest of what he said is worth every sentence. Jim, I believe Ratzinger's work is original. But even if it is not, there is no policy in Wikipedia that prohibits putting his ideas. In fact we are encouraged to find people who are generally considered to be authoritative about a topic. There are billions of people worldwide who think Ratzinger is authoritative, especially Christians for whom the topic of truth is important, because for them Jesus is Truth itself because he himself said so. It should also be added that there are many ideas from the modern philosophers which are mere regurgitations of what have been said by the Greek and Roman philosophers, but again let me say that the idea of ecological disasters and pathologies of science are quite new ideas.
Again, thanks Jim for the opportunity you have given me to quote these words of a great modern thinker. Marax (talk) 06:04, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems that the content immediately under the sub-heading “Minimalist (deflationary) theories” overlaps a bit with the content immediately under the sub-heading “Redundancy and related theories.” —Preceding unsigned comment added by WriteNcomm (talkcontribs) 16:09, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Correspondence theory and section consistency[edit]

I have just brought back Aquinas in the corresponding theory because this theory has to be described much more. I also refer to an old post now in the archives:

I also find the two paragraph criticism of correspondence theory within its own section unusual in the whole article. It is, I believe, one of the few instances, if not the only one, where there is a disproportionately big amount of criticism found in the same section. I believe that this has to resolved, for it shows an inconsistency in the article.

It seems to me strange as well, that Alfred Tarski's theory is mentioned here with this special phrase: "whose semantic theory is summarized further below in this article."

The move which took away Aquinas, placing him in the history section, might have been prompted by the fact that it seems only Aquinas holds on to this idea. So I have added other philosophers who follow the correspondence theory. Marax (talk) 07:25, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. Problem is not that Aquinas wasn't a correspondence theorist, because he was, but that it's extremely misleading to place Aquinas' apologetic theology at the head of a discussion of correspondence theory. Placing it there runs very heavily against Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Undue_weight. There is a place in the article for Medieval philosophers, and room for a separate subsection on Aquinas if there's enough material, along with another separate subsection on Avicenna. Although Aquinas was definitely a correspondence theorist, he neither invented the theory nor is regarded as its most prominent practitioner. Indeed, Aquinas is only one of a long long list of correspondence theorists running up to today. Etienne Gilson has a special place for me personally, and it's a great one. But he most certainly is not prominent enough to dominate the list in the summary section on correspondence theory. Remember there's also an article on correspondence theory that still needs a lot of work. And Wojtyla (Pope John-Paul II) doesn't even belong on the list, except perhaps on an extremely long list including religious perspectives. He's simply not recognized as a philosopher outside a very limited sphere of theology.
Therefore, I'm bringing the section back into line as a summary of the theory with no emphasis on the particular slant of any one of the many correspondence theorists, which was in place from late 2006 though April 2008, along with the earlier last paragraph about its limitations in the minds of its critics (which include Kant and other major figures). We simply do not have space in this one section to give due weight to all the major correspondence theorists. There are at least three very reasonable places to summarize Aquinas' particular correspondence theory, which are in a subsection on Truth#Aquinas under Medieval Philosophers, in Correspondence theory of truth, and in a separate section in Truth (religious).
Although the section on correspondence theory could still be written many different ways, I trust this will be found to be reasonable for the present. ... Kenosis (talk) 15:56, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Kenosis, for explaining your side. :) Glad to hear your comments.

Please allow me to reply to your points one by one so we can have a clear dialogue. I believe your points can be summarized basically into these points: I) Not right to put Aquinas to explain corresponding theory because (1) his is an “apologetic theory”, and therefore not neutral, and (2) he has a place elsewhere, (3) he is not the most prominent theorist, nor its inventor. II) the old version is better and has been there longer.

Before I actually write about these points let me also say that there are no counter-arguments yet against what I wrote above: a) it is not neutral to have one theory discussed mainly through the criticisms against it, b) we have to have consistency in dealing with sections: sections should only contain expositions of the theory and not criticisms of the theory, c) Tarski does not seem to have the right to be in the forefront of all discussions, unless it can be argued that he is more famous than Aquinas, which does not seem to follow even with a Google search (1.3 M for tarski; 85,900 for Alfred Tarski; 5.3 M for Aquinas, 3.1. M for Thomas Aquinas)

Aside from these reasons, which I believe are quite strong and have not been rebutted, let me now expound on the two points you raised: I.1. I do not believe that the statements of Aquinas as presented are apologetic, since they are not made to defend anything (apologia = Gk defense), but to state a philosophy of truth. The very fact that it is one of the earliest theory (Plato, etc.) means it is not a defensive theory. Also, the main attack against correspondence theory came from Kant, and Kant is after Aquinas. Although, if you mean by apologetics that his theory seems to be the most rationally well-built of all, then I would agree with you, although perhaps I am unjustifiably guessing too much into your ideas. ;) As to this addition creating neutrality problems, let me stress my points (a) and (b) above. The first time I saw this page, it showed antagonism to correspondence theory, even use of WP:WTA like "claim". So the addition has in fact balanced off the problems of neutrality. I.2. By putting Aquinas elsewhere, i.e. in the history or religion section, we will not be doing justice to the philosophical strength of the correspondence theory, by implying it is a dated concept, even a medieval idea, or a faith-based, non-rational explanation. I.3. I would disagree that Aquinas is not a prominent practitioner; it could be debatable that he is the most prominent, but there is great basis for saying so: for that you can read the Wikipedia article on Aquinas even just the intro. Also, google speaks for the prominence of Etienne Gilson (255,000) and Jacques Maritain ( 378,000). II. An argument for an old version sounds like a violation of WP:OWN. I think the Wikipedia community wants all articles to undergo kaizen, as talkpages like this one asserts.

I am trying to understand your position well. I have tweaked a bit what I did. For example, if the problem is the phrase "major proponent", then I deleted it. But it is a fact that he has influenced a number of philosophers. Many universities around the world are named after him. In fact he cannot be not overemphasized. Be that as it may, what I have done as a form of compromise is to put together all the Thomists, whose “google worth”, to coin a phrase, is worth millions. As another compromise, I have deleted Karol Wojtyla.

Please also take note that the origin of this contribution came from a discussion with User:JimWae here. We saw that it would be interesting for Wikipedia readers that the correspondence theory be discussed more lengthily, and I believe that the philosophers who have written much about this and have developed it fully are the Thomists.

Anyway, thanks again for explaining your points, Kenosis. Marax (talk) 06:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Some killerchic teaches-- Christian philosophy is apologetics / dogma / theosophy, not actually philosophy per se - Sounds funny- Philosophy written by Christian is still philosophy. Wrong?? Right!! Of course!! Christians are not human? They cant think? They cant philosophize? Do they float in midd-air? Que burrada es esta? Funny! When an secular thinking bloke mentions God in a sentence he is a dogmatist? Wow watta a jump in logic!! Watta a dogmatic thingy-- chrstian philo is dogma- theosophy -apologetic??? Liberatedto (talk) 14:39, 27 August 2008 (UTC) Liberatedto (talk) 14:39, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia's interest will be best served by an exposition of St. Thomas Aquinas' philosophy regarding correspondence theory. I heartily support the inclusion of the ideas of Gilson, Maritain, and other Thomistic epistemologies on truth, intelligence, intelligibility, and so forth. I support Marax's view above. With all due respect to Liberatedto, I have reservations as to his manner of discussion although I essentially support the concept of Christian philosophy as a proper philosophy. The exposition as presented is universally acceptable: by Moslems, Neo-Platonists, and so forth. Therefore, the exposition should remain under correspondence theory.
Please stop edit warring until all the reasons put forth by Marax, Liberatedto, and myself have been addressed. Walter Ching (talk) 03:43, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I've already pointed out a number of the main reasons why featuring Aquinas in the short summary section on Correspondence theory is inappropriate and quite inconsistent with WP:NPOV. There are additional reasons, but I'm a bit short of time to fully address them right now -- I'll be willing to discuss any relevant issues in greater detail later, as time permits.
... In a nutshell, Aquinas didn't invent correspondence theory, nor was he the only one who followed Plato and Aristotle on it. Indeed he's one of an extremely long list of theorists who follow Plato and Aristotle on the idea of "correspondence". The injection of Aquinas' arguments and the Catholic thread running through Etienne Gilson and Karol Wojtyla (and/or Jacques Maritain) into this summary section of correspondence theory misrepresents this class of theory of truth, because it implies that the modern direction went through the Catholic Church. This simply isn't true. Fact is, Avicenna (the 11th Century Muslim philosopher) was a correspondence theorist too. Aquinas followed him in many important respects including theory of truth, and since then there have existed countless other published philosophers who are correspondence theorists as regards their philosophy of truth. So emphasizing and describing Aquinas' and the RCC's particular theological perspective in the brief summary section on correspondence theory is simply erroneous, and does not reasonably reflect how correspondence theory is interpreted in any of the major encyclopedias of philosophy, or by any of the reliable secular texts which discuss theory of truth.
... The fact that the error went unnoticed for several months doesn't justify keeping it. ... Kenosis (talk) 13:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to those who have supported me, especially Walter. We need your help to improve this article. Also, thanks, Kenosis, for clarifying your point of view. Now I understand where we differ: article structure and interpretation of Wikipedia policy of neutrality. :)

From Kenosis’ support of the pre-April 2008 version and his statements it seems that a particular theory should be described mainly by (1) the modern interpretation of that theory (Kenosis has said: “The injection of Aquinas' arguments and the Catholic thread … misrepresents this class of theory of truth, because it implies that the modern direction went through the Catholic Church.”) and (2) how the theory is “interpreted in any of the major encyclopedias of philosophy, or by any of the reliable secular texts which discuss theory of truth.”

As regards (1), I believe that this particular article deals with theories in a different way than merely stressing the modern interpretation. I believe this article divides its way of dealing with ideas on truth by separating theories and a historical presentation of ideas. To be consistent with the article, each theory should be described by the ideas of its most prominent proponents, or what Wikipedia calls significant views, no matter how old it is.

As regards (2), I believe that Wikipedia has a different principle in handling content. Typically, Wikipedia’s “neutrality principle” is thought to mean “secular principle” (the reference to “major encyclopedias of philosophy” amounts to the same since the modern graduate world is dominated by secular philosophers). Wikipedia is maverick in a sense that it wants “all significant views that have been published by reliable sources”, i.e. Wikipedia is in favor of multiple views and these include Thomist views, unless Wikipedia sustains a systemic anti-Catholic bias, which it does not, and avoids doing.

I have given proof above that the Thomist view is significant (among others: its google worth and the universities named after Thomas). The placing of Thomist view is consistent I repeat with the rest of the article. I believe it is now up to those defending the “countless other published philosophers who are correspondence theorists as regards their philosophy of truth” to write down their names and prove their significance as philosophers. If they are as prominent as all the Thomists put together then they should have the same prominence as the Thomists. (For your information this interpretation on the meaning of neutrality as applied to philosophical articles was the consensus after a long discussion at Talk:Agnosticism with User:Masterpiece2000, User:Ds13, User:Lafem, User:JimWae, etc.)

As another compromise, in view of the point that Aquinas followed Avicenna in important respects, I am willing to put the term “Moslem and Christian philosophers, especially Thomists”.

Still, I firmly believe my points (a) and (b) above are quite strong and have not been disputed until now, and these in fact show that undue weight has been given to criticisms of correspondence theory. Lastly, let me reiterate the need to show proof on the significance of other correspondence theories: a proof and significance that must be both strong enough to warrant a displacement of the Moslem and Christian philosophers, especially Thomists. Thanks, Kenosis, for this nice continuing discussion. Marax (talk) 04:06, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

You're welcome. Several things here.
(1) Read the archives. Most of this has been hashed through before fairly thoroughly, except not specifically with respect to Thomas Aquinas, until now.
(2) This is not an article on a religious topic. Please look through the archives and read them. In July, 2007, Truth (religious) became a separate article as a vehicle to allow Wikipedia editors to express the notion of truth that is not justified by reason, but instead justified by faith and/or scripture and/or other religious authority.
(3) As to the notion that the section on "Correspondence theory" is overly devoted to criticism: I recognize that it does devote about half of its length to a brief summary of its limitations in the minds of some of the leading philosophers in the entire history of philosophy. Please note that about half of the section on "Coherence theory" also is devoted to a summary of its limitations in the minds of some of the leading philosophers as well. (Apparently the complaint about correspondence theory and Aquinas didn't include the fact that the same proportion of that section also discusses limitations and criticisms according to a number of leading commentators.) The section on "consensus theory", as can be seen, only briefly mentions its most proponent proponent and its most prominent detractor, and at present the sections on constructivist and pragmatic theory do not discuss criticisms. It is not, however, the case, as Marax says in support of his POV, that it is a requirement not to discuss criticisms and limitations of correspondence and coherence theory in their summary sections.
(4) As to the point Marax labeled "(1)" above, it is the case that "... each theory should be described by the ideas of its most prominent proponents", which is what the article presently does. And that is the primary point w.r.t. Aquinas and the Thomistic school of thought, which is that he is only one of many published philosophers who have held some form of "correspondence theory" as their principal view of truth, though Aquinas did make a most famous statement about it which he self-admittedly drew from another Medieval philosopher.
(5) As to the point Marax labeled "(2)" above, the statement by Marax that "Wikipedia’s 'neutrality principle' is thought to mean 'secular principle' (the reference to 'major encyclopedias of philosophy' amounts to the same since the modern graduate world is dominated by secular philosophers)": IMO, what this statement by Marax actually argues is that Wikipedia should give equal weight to POVs that are justified by "faith", "scripture", "religious authority" or other similar supernaturally based justifications rather than to secularly educated reliable sources. In general Wikipedia does not, by its core content policies, expect a balance between religious and secular, or between religion and rationality, unless the topic is explicitly a religious one.
(6)Marax also asserts that "Wikipedia is maverick in a sense that it wants 'all significant views that have been published by reliable sources' i.e. Wikipedia is in favor of multiple views and these include Thomist views, unless Wikipedia sustains a systemic anti-Catholic bias, which it does not, and avoids doing." Wikipedia's core content policies were initiated by WP's founder and further developed by the WP community in general, so they are self standing, i.e., not dependent on other standards for how to publish. Whether it is "maverick" or not is irrelevant.
(7) WP:Verifiability#Reliable_sources is a separate standard from WP:Notability The latter is often argued to be determinable by the Google-hit standard, though it is not the only criterion used by Wikipedia community to establish notability. WP:Verifiability#Reliable_sources states right at the outset that: "Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." The Stanford and Macmillan Encyclopedias of Philosophy are examples of sources that meet this standard very effectively w.r.t. philosophy-related topics. So is the Catholic Encyclopedia, except that that encyclopedia deals with both the religious and secular philosophical and historical issues, and this is not explicitly a religious topic. That is, it is already agreed by prior participants to have a separate article on truth as justified by faith, religious scripture or other religious authority, which is Truth (religious).
I hope this reasonably answers most of your questions and statements. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:39, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Even the major and secular encyclopedias -- such as Stanford (here)-- acknowledge the significance and popularity of the Thomistic version of correspondence theory (even for modern philosophers): "The best known is the metaphysical version presented by Thomas Aquinas..."; "Due to the influence of Thomism, metaphysical versions of the theory are more popular with the moderns than semantic versions."; "The correspondence theory of truth is often associated with metaphysical realism". Remember also that Wikipedia NPOV stresses that we represent views "in proportion to the prominence of each" and "not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views." Marax (talk) 00:37, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this is the case insofar as the basic statement about "correspondence" goes. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states: "The best known is the metaphysical version presented by Thomas Aquinas: “Veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus”—Truth is the equation of thing and intellect—which he restates as: “A judgment is said to be true when it conforms to the external reality” (De Veritate Q.1, A.1&3; cf. Summa Theologiae Q.16)." The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on "Correspondence Theory of Truth" states that Aquinas preferred "the definition of truth which he attributed to the Ninth Century Neoplatonist Isaac Israeli: Veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus ('Truth is the adequation of thing and intellect")". (The two translations mean more or less the same thing in this context.)
I fully support the inclusion of this quote in the text of the article, without the extraneous theology by Aquinas and without deletion of the summary of the limitations of correspondence theory according to many of its more recent commentators. ... Kenosis (talk) 10:08, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Kenosis. Just as an initial reaction (I don't have much time now): I believe I have never said "equal weight". I only used "all significant viewpoints" and "in proportion to the prominence of each". These are all Wikipedia policy statements which were drawn up the community. It would be great for this article to follow these Wikipedia community policies very closely: the more prominent the more space and more explanation. That I believe is the way to follow "in proportion to the prominence of each" viewpoint. Marax (talk) 02:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Understood, I think. I hope your questions w.r.t. the issue of roughly where Aquinas fits in the history of the philosophy of truth have been resolved. ... Kenosis (talk) 04:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe that things are far from being resolved until we have followed Wikipedia NPOV's "in proportion to the prominence of each view point".
I will get back to this later but clearly the prominent Thomist viewpoint is hardly described and has been relegated to a history section. Its prominence in the correspondence theory, proven by Stanford Encyclopedia, is not being given due weight. Marax (talk) 06:50, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
You're actually asserting that quoting Aquinas twice, indeed at present quoting only Aquinas in the summary section on "Correspondence theory", is giving him short shrift? I must disagree strenuously.
Perhaps you did not actually read the sources. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for instance, describes and quotes Aristotle, mentions Plato's similarity, then goes on to say: "In medieval authors we find a division between “metaphysical” and “semantic” versions of the correspondence theory. The former are indebted to the truth-as-likeness theme suggested by Aristotle's overall views, the latter are modeled on Aristotle's more austere definition. The best known is the metaphysical version presented by Thomas Aquinas... " [1] After which, the Stanford proceeds to discuss other formulations by other major philosophers. See also, e.g.: [2] and [3]. ... Kenosis (talk) 13:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)



Please do not remove the NPOV tag until all issues are resolved.

Marax is correct -- neutrality means inclusiveness of all major POVs. Given that St. Thomas Aquinas and his followers did not invent correspondence does not preclude the fact that they have developed the theory into a serious system. Their major POV should be included in order that neutrality exists in treating correspondence theory. Other philosophers mentioned in other theories were neither their inventors. Walter Ching (talk) 03:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

RE your last sentence ("Other philosophers mentioned in other theories were neither their inventors."): True that. I've inserted the famous Aquinas quote in the section on Correspondence theory, along with another Aquinas quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia. I also deleted the sentence about knowing the "true distance" to the moon in order to successfully get there, as it was more an example of pragmatic theory than correspondence theory. Thanks. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:15, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I've moved the template to the relevant section on Truth#Correspondence_theory. It is now quite plain that this recent discussion has revolved solely around the section on "Correspondence theory" w.r.t how much attention Aquinas should get in that section. ... Kenosis (talk) 04:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Truth vs Fact[edit]

I think a clearer distinction should be made between truth and fact as the two (at least in a metaphysical/philosophical sense) don't always go hand in hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

You may be right, but I do not know of any generally accepted distinction between the two. "Truth" kind of sounds deeper than "fact", but I'm not sure there is a rational distinction. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:01, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I think some writers make a distinction according to which a "fact" is something actively constructed, rather than just true because it's true. Etymologically a "fact" is something that has been "made" or "done" (factum). This distinction may be more felt in neo-Latin languages than in English.

The other point is that a fact, in some contexts, doesn't even have to be true. It's reasonably idiomatic English to say that someone's facts are wrong, rather than that they aren't facts at all.

Whether either of these distinctions is worthy of being treated here is unclear to me. I'd want to see some solid sources before the point were even touched in the article. --Trovatore (talk) 21:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

The article should not assume that the terms are synonymous/used synonymously. If any authors argue that fact and truth are synonmymous then they should be cited (none spring to my mind). It is not satisfactory to rely on common usage or ordinary dictionairies since the terms are made use of in philosophy and logic in ways which may differ significantly from common usage. This would make an interesting article/paragragraph and the matter should not be treated glibly, lesr we lead the reader astray. I do not know of any generally accepted synonimty between the two. I am not convinced that Truth tables and truth-value would sound "deeper" than fact-tables/fact value. I don't think depth has anything to do with it--Philogo 12:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Example usages: In his intro to Wittgensteins's TLP Russell writes:

The world consists of facts: facts cannot strictly speaking be defined, but we can explain what we mean by saying that facts are what makes propositions true, or false.

Thus distinguishing facts and truths (a "proposition" expresses a truth if it is true and theya re made thuis by facts.--Philogo 13:10, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Wittgenstein himself (TLP) uses fact and truth as technical terms (or theses English words are used to transalte his technical terms):

The world is everything that is the case.
The world is the totality of facts, not of things.
The world divides into facts.
The world is everything that is the case.
A proposition presents the existence and non-existence of atomic facts.
The sense of a proposition is its agreement and disagreement with the possibilities of the existence and non-existence of the atomic facts.
The truth-possibilities of the elementary propositions mean the possibilities of the existence and non-existence of the atomic facts.

--Philogo 13:22, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid that, to a mathematician, this version of Wittgenstein sounds like "every biffle is a boffle". If he defines the world to be not things but statements about things, then he needs to distinguish between what "exists" and what "is". It seems to me that this use of perfectly ordinary words to mean things that they don't ordinarily mean accomplishes nothing. But, then, I'm a mathematician not a philosopher, and I suppose mathematicians can be faulted for using words like "regular" and "normal" in specialized ways. We should have stayed with "biffle" and "boffle". Rick Norwood (talk) 14:43, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Ok I'll admit I'm no philosophy but any of you heard of Lying With Facts? Take for example-Someone decides to form a survey to find out who will win an upcoming presidential election. He goes to several different locations across the country and ask 100 different people in each location whether they will vote for candidate A or B. All collecting all the data (or, if you will, FACTS) he finds that 65% of the people he's surveyed will vote for candidate A. He now therefore believes Candidate A will win the election. However as it turns out it is Candidate B that wins the election, despite whats his FACTS showed. Therefore, while the man had collected FACTS, they had NOT shown the TRUTH; that candidate B would win the election. There fore in this case, THE FACTS WERE NOT TRUE. This is just my theory, and since as I said before I'm not a Philosopher/Metaphysicist, but that's my reason for believe Fact and Truth are not always the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Distinguisher = impact: The nature of truth is change. A fact like 'earth is not flat' has no impact on modern world people and it does not have the property of truth therefore. As far as I understand the concept of truth originates from religion. It is related to information content in the sense that is describes the capacity of teaching, for instance, my capability of telling and explaining you the truth, in such beautiful way that you do not reject it, but instead believe in what I say. As no-one can really prove that this particular piece of text of mine has had an ineradicable effect on someone's life, might explain you the relativity of the truth, namely, truth is a personal experience of an individual. -- (talk) 08:00, 8 January 2009 (UTC) Martti R.

Facts, in themselves, cannot be true or false. They are just facts. So in real life, 'facts' and 'Truth' are in seperate domains. For example, what a magician shows to his audience are facts but the true and complete story of these facts have to be found elsewhere and not on the show stage. Another example, lately what we see on our TV screens are facts but, as most of us know, good engineers/programmers can let us see even dead people moving, talking and perhaps singing anything and in ways that these scientists may like. And when an event/accident is called 'natural', an ordinary observer has to believe it so, since many others have also decided to do the same (as a religious belief is based on the majority). Therefore, the best way to deceive the masses in a region or the world is by planning/creating some so called 'natural' facts since most people around the world are proud to say: "We believe what we see and hear only"... while I don't and you know why, now. MKAKJBF (talk) 09:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

So far as I can tell, "fact" simply means "true proposition." So naturally fact would not be synonymous with truth because truth is a property of some propositions, whereas a fact is a species of proposition where truth is the differentia . Likewise, it's meaningless to talk about "true facts" (or worse, "false facts") because "true" is necessarily contained within "fact"--saying "true fact" amounts to "true true proposition." T of Locri (talk) 12:08, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Kenosis's edits[edit]

Kenosis made revisions that seem to me to be completely wrong.

He said that Hegel's definition of truth was not the polar opposite of Schopenhauer's. As the article states "For Schopenhauer, a judgment is a combination or separation of two or more concepts. If a judgment is to be an expression of knowledge, it must have a sufficient reason or ground by which the judgment could be called true. Truth is the reference of a judgment to something different from itself which is it sufficient reason (ground)." Then, the article quotes Hegel in saying: "…the manner of stating a proposition, of bringing forward grounds (reasons) for it, and likewise of refuting its opposite through grounds (reasons), is not the form in which truth can appear" Schopenhauer said that truth is shown when a ground or reason for a judgment is stated. Hegel said that truth is not shown when a ground or reason for a judgment is stated. Therefore, the assertions of the two philosophers are polar opposites. One uses "is." The other uses "is not."

Kenosis then claimed that the examples for Schopenhauer's transcendental and metalogical truths are incorrect. (1) Schopenhauer wrote that a judgment has transcendental truth when it is based on the forms of intuitive, empirical knowledge. These forms are space, time, and causality. An example from pure mathematics is "two straight lines do not enclose a space." (Schopenhauer, himself, used this example in § 32 of his book On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.) This judgment is based solely on the form of pure, geometrical space and therefore has transcendental truth. An example from pure science is "matter cannot be created or destroyed." (Schopenhauer, himself, also used this example in § 32 of his book On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.) This judgment is based solely on the form of causality and therefore has transcendental truth. The law of causality requires a permanent matter whose forms can be changed in a succession of causes. (2) Schopenhauer wrote that a judgment has metalogical truth when it is based on the forms of thought. These four forms are: "a is a"; "a is not not–a"; "a is either a or not–a"; and "if a then b." An example of a true judgment based on the form "a is a" is "a circle is a circle." An example of a true judgment based on the form "a is not not–a" is "a circle is not a square."

Kenosis, do you agree with the above? If so, then you were wrong to edit the article in the way that you edited it. If you disagree, then how and why do you disagree? (You should note that Schopenhauer used two of the examples that you said were not correct examples. Have you read the book?)Lestrade (talk) 21:05, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade


There is no real reason to include paintings just because their name contains the title of the article. It would seem that those pictures were tacked just to have pictures in the article. Please reconsider the usefulness of those images. Hello, My Name Is SithMAN8 (talk) 23:21, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

definition is possible[edit]

Referring to my recent post about how to distinguish between the words truth and fact, The nature of truth is change, I would claim that a commonly agreeable definition for the word truth is possible. Considering the following as the first draft, what would be the correct forum to discuss the topic?

Apart from the various theories and claims about truth, the word truth is generally being used in context with forcefulness and change, purpose. Facts and true statements, close counterparts for the word truth, tend to avoid the said future related aspect as the future is characterized by uncertainty. As science tries to minimize uncertainties about topics studied, the word truth is generally not present in the scientific publications unless the truth itself is being considered. For instance, the concept of scientific truth is highly questionable and probably has its origins in religious debate, just as the word truth has the etymology that is closely related to words such as belief. The word truth is also adopted into mathematics and logic, in terms such as truth tables, obviously giving way to 'true' becoming misinterpreted as 'truth' the opposite for which would be lie instead of false. As the future aspect in relation with truth, it can be noticed that false is quite neutral term while as a lie has consequences.

--Marttir (talk) 00:11, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but unless you have a reference, that's OR. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I would hope my post would be considered as a call for research. Namely, I think it is not a very good idea to try categorize any part of the history of philosophy with this one single word, when the etymology clearly speaks for religious origins, and the semantic meaning of truth is more or less obviously related to opposite of lie, containing the value of good. Keep it simple, that is what I mean. I am sure that the philosophers' opinions about truth would find appropriate categories elsewhere that in the main page for the word truth in wikipedia. --Marttir (talk) 11:35, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

You misunderstand the purpose of Wikipedia, which is not to call for or promote research -- that is done mostly in universities and 'think tanks' -- but to report what researchers have published. A newspaper (in theory) should not try to make the news, only report the news. Similarly, an encyclopedia compiles what is known, but does not promote new discoveries.

Rick Norwood (talk) 13:49, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Ok, put it this way: The page is missing the everyday (semantic, pragmatic etc.) meaning of the word truth i.e. links to wiki entries to lie and good at minimum. The organization of the pragmatic sections of the page could follow that of page Lie for instance, different types of truth with examples that is. The links could include following: Truth as understood in association with Religion, Philosophy, Science etc. --Marttir (talk) 10:21, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

It took a long and bitter fight to get the philosophers working on this page to agree that truth had anything at all to do with reality, even in everyday usage. The current introduction is a compromise. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:03, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I respect the compromise and the long hours before that. I guess I have made my point here, signing out for now about this discussion. Thank you Rick for your prompt responses. --Marttir (talk) 20:03, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

From an individual perspective, a practical definition of 'Truth' may be said as: "Truth is the set of all useful coherent ideas/theories based on ONE logical system". For example, I didn't expect to see what I may call 'god' to discover useful theories based on it, for my life. As I also didn't ask to see/touch the 'Geometrical Dot' exactly as it is defined at school, before I took advantage of any applied ideas in Gemotry based on this dot and which cannot exist other than in my mind in the least. I may add that one of the obvious results of the new definition of 'Truth' is that as long one cannot trust fully his own developed logical reasoning, he has no way but to follow 'by faith' some other's truth. In that respect, I may call myself "an individual christian by reason, not faith" since, to my big surprise, the hints in Jesus sayings were able to find their place in my 'logical' Truth. MKAKJBF (talk) 11:16, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


That editors who contribute to and watch this article check out this Article for Deletion nomination and comment. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:23, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I have read some of the threads, very interesting and showing much effort and scientific approach, my special thanks to disambiguation about meaning. I would like to know what should be the impact here? Most definitely, the efforts the people have made about the truth page, should not become wasted. Should we perhaps call for a project to re-create the Truth page by creating a list of concepts the Truth might relate to, or just a disambiguation page?
Anything such I claim would require a project organization. I personally like the linguistic as the concept on the top which can easily have religion, science etc. as cross-references. Put it in other words, I have 'belief' :-) in this topic, and if there would be a project organization or a kick-off with some relevant (biased and non-biased both accepted) institutions represented, I would like to participate. My first proposal would be truth page publish in January 31th 2012. namely, voluntary projects take time. --Marttir (talk) 11:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposal : rename (move) this article to Truth(philosophy)[edit]

Contrary to the impression given in much of the lede, most of this aricle is an account of the concept of truth in philosophy in particular logic. It would be better, I suggest, to reflect this in the title by renaming the article Truth(philosophy). The article Truth(diambiguation) might then be renamed just Truth, in accordance with Wilki policy as I understand it. Alternative views of truth could then be freely expressed in other articles of different names, perhaps Truth(artistic), Truth(theology) and such like. The disambiguation article Truth would then provide appropriate links directing the reader to the particular sort of truth he or she is seeking. Truth in English is not restricted to the use of the term in philosophy. Philosophy should not hog the whole Truth dish, any more than Physics should hog Gravity, or Mathematics Equality or Music Harmony --Philogo (talk) 21:38, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Where do you get the idea that we need to tag everything as (logic) or (philosophy)? That doesn't help clarify things it just makes people confused. Truth? There is absolutely no reason to "tag" this AT ALL. It just makes people think that the "world of philosophy" or the "world of logic" is something far-away, isolated, and something apart, separate and distinct from our everyday lives --and it is not. One of the things that should be made clear is that there is no such things as concept x (philosophy) in philosophy and plain old concept x. When you portray it otherwise is a big disservice which is going on all over with you. Please relent.
Unconvincing rhetoric--Philogo (talk) 00:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore Proposition (logic and philosophy) is also ridiculous. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 23:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Wrong talk page--Philogo (talk) 00:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Please remember
Be polite ; Assume good faith ; Avoid personal attacks ; Be welcoming --Philogo (talk) 00:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
You have a lot of wonderful contributions. However you absolutely are screwing up on the titles right now. You recommendation on this article demonstrates to me that you need to rethink your meta-philosophy of organizing this thing.
Stop segregating philosophical terms. These are terms we want to encourage people to understand, and use. If you keep portraying these things as some specialized terminology (Truth?!) it will imply to people that these are things 'for other people not me...I'm not a philosopher' . We should be trying to bring people into the fold not be exclusive. Please think about this. I would like to read what others think. I don't think you will get any support for moving truth to truth (philosophy). Perhaps some other views on it could be informative. Be well, Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 01:14, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Please restrict remarks only to this article and in this section to the current proposal. I have given reasons for my proposal; let someone else have a say. --Philogo (talk) 12:54, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I strongly agree that Philogo should not rename articles unilaterally and without discussion. Please restore this article to its original name and if you want to press for a new name, discuss that here. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:17, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

This article has not been renamed.--Philogo (talk) 22:35, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree that page name should not be renamed, before the project that is. All people here have relevant points about the topic, just as I do. Moreover, taking a look at the long history of the talk before the page 'finalized' should convince anyone that there is no real consensus about the content. I would propose that this discussion would continue in some place relevant for Wiki projects. Could you Philogo include a relevant link for the purpose, please. --Marttir (talk) 12:40, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I think Pontiff Greg Bard would know how to set up "some place relevant" better than I. I would have thought this talk page WAS the some place relevant. I can see that there are different points of view on the topic, one reason being that the word truth has more than one meaning, and used in different ways in different disciplines/walks of life. See the ambig page for starters. I rather feel that the article is dominated by the view of the term as used in philosophy and logic and that usage does NOT reflect all uses. (Similarly the terms "intertia" and "force" have a particular meanings in physics and this should be reflected in article titles as force(physics) and force(legal). Thats why I have suggested article truth(philosophy) so that its copious material does not squeeze out truth(literature), truth(theology) or truth(carpentry) &c. An article plain truth could then direct the reader to the article on the sort of truth he or she seeks. (If somebody thinks that all the use of true have something essential in common, well they could write about it somewhere but Wiki is not the place for OR.) Thus room for all, no squabbling. Does that makes sense, even if you disagree?--Philogo (talk) 13:56, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Philogo. Maybe we continue discussion somewhere therein.--Marttir (talk) 23:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
I strongly oppose any move or renaming of this article. To name it Truth (philosophy) is as unnecessary as naming the Calculus article Calculus (mathematics). If Truth doesn't already fall under the category philosophy then nothing does. (Department of Redundancy Department) Rick Norwood (talk) 13:53, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
What would you argue if truth fell under other categories? What would you say if calculus was used with a different meaning in other subjects? BTW as you would know, people usually refer to a particular calculus when they use the term calculus, i.e. Analysis (maths), but it is not the only calculus. There are the sentential and predicate calculii as well, not to mention Calculus (dental) categories [[Category:Oral pathology]] and [[Category:Periodontology]]. --Philogo (talk) 01:26, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

The word "calculus" is used with other meanings. But the usual meaning is so far and away the most common meaning that a search on calculus takes the reader directly to the article. Similarly, a person searching on truth is far more likely to want this article than a disambuation page. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:42, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

There are clearly reasonable, and clearly unreasonable uses of the parenthetical titles. If there is one prevailing use, which is known by people of all stripes (even if they don't know the technicalities) it should stand without parentheses just like calculus. Interestingly, I think Interpretation (logic) is all right, however, the philosophy department could still create a survey type article out of Interpretation. This is for the same reason as Rick mentions above. A person searching may expect some explanation of "Interpretation" in general and there currently is none. Calculus (dental) makes perfect sense also. The "truth" certainly stands up. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 18:46, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Seek out a compromise[edit]

I guess this type of suggestion will keep on coming since there is a tendency in this article to have a bias for professional philosophers. The German version does not seem to have this bias: The Spanish and Italian versions do not also seem to have a disproportionate number of philosophers in their coverage.

Perhaps a starting point is to rename section titles, e.g. to Notable thinkers and scholars rather than Notable philosophers. The lede refers to scholars and so it seems appropriate to follow the lede. Marax (talk) 08:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Philogo that what the lede promises, the article underdelivers. However, I don't think that the bias towards philosophy is bad: once you start wondering about truth, your thoughts will turn philosophical, and the article does cover names such as Aquinas and Fromm. I do think that the lede advertises what is means to be truthful as a person, and then the article is only interested in what it is for a proposition to be truthful. The article would benefit from this being fixed. — Charles Stewart (talk) 09:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Meanings for the word truth extend[edit]

Am I alone in finding the opening words of this article skin-creeping?--Philogo (talk) 01:30, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Actually, participants in this article were previously accused of having a "correspondence theory POV" with "disputed" tags and all that goes with such content disputes. Turns out there are indeed multiple definitions of "truth". Gives me the willies too at times, but "it is what it is", so to speak. Fact is, there are multiple, oftentimes seemingly conflicting views of what the very notion of "truth" is.
..... In the "old days", like back in the early 20th Century, late-19th Century and perhaps earlier, it was actually a bit simpler--back then the philosophy of "truth" tended to be more readily differentiated among philosophers from epistemology, or philosophy of knowledge. Philosophy of truth tended to relate more strictly to differentiating intentional truth from intentional falsehoods as expressed by someone. Somewhere along the line someone or other might perhaps have discovered that some people whose statements were judged false by a prior generation turned out to be telling the truth-- or something like that. Thus at some point the "constructivist" and "pragmatic" theories came to hold sway among substantial scholarly audiences and commentators. The "consensus" theory, actually a subset of "constructivist", tends to be more recent. And in fact, the "correspondence theory", though ancient, actually came to be called that by Bertrand Russell, who around the turn of the Twentieth century was the first to notably identify "correspondence" theory of truth by its present name and who notably differentiated it from "coherence" theory of truth. Thus, today the distinction between epistemology and philosophy of truth has become blurred to the point where there's little practical difference between "theories of knowledge" and "theories of truth". The bottom line seems to be that this article lead expresses things like they in fact are. No doubt this has something to do with the various ways the word "truth" is used in various contexts by various people in the world. Whatever is the reason, the various perspectives are reasonably expressed by the competing theories of truth presented in the article, based on the preponderance of reliable sources such as encyclopedias of philosophy and scholarly books and articles that deal with this topic. The current first sentence, added by DBachmann a couple years ago in approximately the same form in which it currently exists, is a very straightforward summary of the range of meaning of the word "truth". After initially resisting that sentence, which is based on the OED, I presently support it. ... Kenosis (talk) 07:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not the assertion that the word truth has a variety of meanings that makes my skin creep, it's the choice of words Meanings for the word truth extend. Why "for" and not "of"? Why "extend" and not "include" or "vary". This is an important topic and should not open with such an awkward and ungainly words. If they mean The word Truth has a variety of meanings why not say so? --Philogo (talk) 13:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC) PS For records, the shorter OED has

noun (pl. truths /trooths, troo&ulth;z/) 1 the quality or state of being true. 2 (also the truth) that which is true as opposed to false. 3 a fact or belief that is accepted as true.

but this article of course is an encylopedia not a dictionary entry. --Philogo (talk) 13:21, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

In this case, if you have quoted the entire entry, the shorter OED is unhelpful, saying only that "true" means "true" and is the opposite of "false".—Preceding unsigned comment added by Rick Norwood (talkcontribs)
I'd certainly support exchanging "Meanings for the word truth extend [from X through Y to Z]" with a more straightforward replacement like "Meanings for the word truth range [from X through Y to Z]". I suppose I misinterpreted Philogo's point about what his issue was. ... Kenosis (talk) 23:06, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I would suppose that the language about the Mea... is correct, the content however is questionable. Where is the Wiki-Philosophy project to revisit the article page? Linguistically, the opposite of Truth is Lie. True and false are just statements, whileas Truth and Lie are manifestated by their consequences. If there is no verifiable change to be used as a reference, one should not really speak about the truth about something. The truth about word truth is that the related change is taking place, right here, right now, but I still would like to see the project, to carve out the other relevant meanings! Obviously, word truth has been misunderstood and misused just as often as someone has been called a liar instead of just a fool. Mathematical 'truth' tables for instance are like thin air without proper applications, and the truth about 'truth tables' might be that binary logic is the most simple one. Wouldn't the existing computers speak for this? In the advent of artificial intellect, it is best to keep it simple, philosophy also, namely, it should help man and not mislead him/her to tasks of linearizing endless loops. Meaning of life? What the ... philosophy topic is that? Can't they distinquish between religion and philosophy? Maybe that should be the first task about the word Truth also. My claim is, why should any strange concept should be allowed to steal the true meaning of a common word, that really has nothing complex about it? --Marttir (talk) 23:20, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Critical rationalist's view of truth[edit]

The notion of truth of critical rationalists should be also presented (as a starting point look at: [[4]]). --Curiosity F (talk) 09:20, 6 September 2009 (UTC)Curiosity_F

Removal of images of nudes[edit]

To editor To be honest, you raise a good point; however, it is my opinion that any children who may see these images of classic paintings will not only be enriched by them, but also they will probably not see the "nasty" side that some adults might see. When I was a child, I saw great beauty is such works of art. And I also saw great beauty in a Van Gogh, or a Rembrandt or any number of works by great artists. Sculptures of David, Venus de Milo and other nude or scantily clad subjects are a part of this world. And I might add they are some of the better parts of this world.

Since this is an article about "Truth", I would ask you to honestly state your real concerns here. Are you worried that some child will see these nudes and they will cause him to become a pervert? Is it your concern that children will be permanently marred by being exposed to nudity? Children, as you may know, have very short attention spans. They revel in one fascinating thing after another, rarely staying with one thing for any length of time. In any case, it is a violation of Wikipedia's Neutral point of view policy, as well as the content preservation policy to remove works of art such as these for no reason other than it is one person's point of view that the nudes should not be viewed by children. If these images are offensive to you, then by all means use your mouse quickly and click on another article. There are several other articles related to Truth that can be found in the Navbars near the bottom of the article. Best of everything to you and yours!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  20:49, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, first of all, wikipedia is not censored, secondly, I'm pretty sure a child can't become a pervert or permanently marred by seeing some pictures of nude people not having sex. As you said, if you find these images offensive, then you have no obligation to look at them. Or, of course, you could use one of many options to view wikipedia without images.Zer0n888 (talk) 21:08, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Religious truth is delegated to the "main article" Truth (religious)[edit]

Regarding this edit in which User:Lawyeditor reinserted her/his own section on "Truth as a somebody", I'm reverting it.
..... Here's why. Some time ago there was a section on "Truth in religion" in the article, and it turned out to be a pain in the neck to maintain in keeping with Wikipedia policy, notably WP:NPOV, WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOR. I'd been an advocate of that brief section linked to a main article which became [[Truth {religious)]]. Ultimately, as various editors would throw various religious views, and due to the complete conceptual and editorial mess it had repeatedly become despite efforts by multiple editors to keep it reasonably organized and reasonably in keeping with WP:Policies and guidelines, the section was removed without protest by me.
..... Here's just a sampling of additional assertions, found in various WP:RSs, regarding persons other than Jesus who have been asserted to be "Truth as a somebody" (or as the section was first proposed by Lawyeditor, "Truth as not a something"): Aletheia is, in Greek mythology, the truth-- that is, truth as a somebody-- not just someone known for telling the truth, but who is the truth personified. In Roman mythology Veritas is not only the truth, but is truth, that is, truth as a somebody. Then there's Apollo, the God of sun, truth and healing. Shall other "gods who are personifications of truth" now be included? Or are we only referring to the human side of Jesus as "the way, the truth, and the life" as proposed by Lawyeditor? Here's an ancient Egyptian perspective: "In a hymn to Amon-Re, the creator and sustainer of the world, Ma’at equates with truth [emphasis mine: read that as "Ma'at is the truth"]: Thy Mother is Truth, O Amon!" (Cite to: Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt, Cornell University Press, 1982, p74).
..... And another word or two about Jesus, who is, according to John 1:1,14, "is the Word", and of course in John 14:6, "the way, the truth, and the life". In Revelation 3:14, Jesus is said to have called himself the "Amen, the Faithful and True Witness." In Zoroastrian theology, the angel Rashnu, who presides at the "ordeal court", is truth ([5]), another truth-as-somebody. Care to discuss Muslim theology? Here's a bit of Islamic prophecy: "All glory will come after his advent. He will be the personification of Truth and Uprightness, as if Allah had descended from the Heaven." (Tazkira, Page 691)-- yet another truth-as-somebody.
..... Here's a slightly more sweeping assertion from Indian theology: "Truthfulness through the Mother Shiva: [Shiva] said Man has never lied so much as today. To know Her is to be Truthful. To live in Her is to become a personification of Truth." (from Foundations of Indian Spirituality [6]) In other words, you too, if you live in Shiva, can be truth-as-a-somebody. offers several somebodies from an interfaith standpoint: "... visualize brilliant white light emerging from the personification of truth: The Buddha, Padmasambhava, Jesus, or God." Here's another specific truth-as-somebody: "Baghwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, being a personification of Truth and Love is no exception.  In some way or the other, those opposed to the message of Truth try to character assassinate or simply crucify the messengers.  Such is their level of opposition to the Truth.  They just can't handle it with their closed hearts and minds."
..... And, if the assertion is that truth is a somebody, in each case here a particular somebody, according to WP policy there need be some room for counterarguments too. Here's just one of countless such arguments, by Werner Wollshleger: "If someone claims to be the [sole] personification of truth, it makes all others liars. ... Untruth or lies can be told in a manifold way; the truth on the other hand stands all alone, and irrefutable." There are numerous additional such counterarguments from notable WP:RSs. Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, for example, has a few things to say about Jesus as a personification of truth (or if you prefer, as the truth) as do other notable writers and scholars. And I could go on here with more, though I would hope this is an adequate sample of how tangled the issue of truth-as-a-somebody is (in addition to how already complex the issue of Truth already is without personifying the concept onto particular persons or gods, or both).
..... IMO, according to WP policies and guidelines, there is no sustainable, justifiable place in this article for sections such as "Truth as a somebody" that are written essentially as a sermon emphasizing the slant of one Roman Catholic evangelist, or for that matter a commonly but not universally held stance in Christianity. User:Lawyeditor's recently inserted section started here, with the section title "View of truth as not a something", reverted here, then replaced by Lawyeditor here with a new section title "View of truth as somebody", and removed again here and replaced again by Lawyeditor again here. According to this proposed section by Lawyeditor, "Expressing the serious view of Christians, especially the Catholic Church, based on reason and revelation, Father John Corapi repeatedly states and is frequently quoted as stating (with minor variations in wording) that "The Truth is not a something. It is a Somebody. And His Name is Jesus Christ.”
..... As I hope I've made sufficently plain, this material based on religious scripture about who "The truth" is, or who "is the Personification of Truth", etc., is not appropriate for this article. To date at least, this article is about what truth is as a quality capable of description about its rationally arguable qualitative characteristics by notable writers and philosophers (some religious ones already included), but not about personalities claimed to be "the truth", whether religious or not. ... Kenosis (talk) 02:38, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

It is apparent that the only practical way to combat the anti-Catholic bigotry of Kenosis is to create a separate article on Truth As Somebody.Lawyeditor (talk) 02:14, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Personal attacks are an unconvincing form of ad hominem argument, and are unwelcome on Wikipedia. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 04:33, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Badiou and Osho[edit]

A month ago there were sections on Badiou and Osho. I found these useful and would like to put them back. Why has somebody removed them? (They are useful because they are pointers to and brief explanations of other approaches to truth. That someone may not like these approaches or understand them, is for me no reason for not mentioning them since they exists as philosophies of truth) Harx (talk) 11:41, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Someone else removed Osho. I'm responsible for having removed Badiou.
..... As to Osho (formerly Bhagwan Shree Rashneesh), he's not a notable scholar or commentator on the topic of "truth". AFAIK, there's no significant scholarly debate or critical analysis of Osho's contribution to thinking on this topic, as evidenced by the lack of published secondary sources about Osho's viewpoint w.r.t. "truth". And he's one of many mystics and religious thinkers and commentators who hold meditation is a method of seeking and experiencing truth, so there's no notable contribution to the discussion. There is, though, an article entitled Truth (religious) that might be a suitable place for Osho's views, and as always the content should follow the core content policies including WP:V#Reliable_sources and WP:PSTS.
..... As to Badiou, I do think it's notable, but should be cited to one or more reliable sources about Badiou's approach. (When I removed it, it read like hyped gobbledygook and was completely without sources.) A number of critical analyses and summaries of Badiou's philosophy have been published, including commentary on his philosophy of truth. I recognize Badiou's schema is a bit complex and oblique, but it should not read like gobbledygook, as it did before. I'd be willing to spend some time pitching in to help copyediting a Badiou section if it were re-submitted in slightly more coherent form with references to reliable sources. ... Kenosis (talk) 01:42, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

The truth about the Truth.[edit]

'The truth about the Truth is the Truth'. In other words the truth is independent of us and it describes itself without our input. All we can do is to observe it being a part of it. The various truths describing the Truth have the same organizations as the Truth. Each truth within the plurality of truths of the description has its own plurality of truths describing it. With incease in the plurality of the truths of the description the truths grow less and less important while the Truth, which is the synthesis of the description,beomes more and more perfect. The observer of the plurality of truths describing the Truth does not have to observe all the truths of the description. He can observe only some of them. He can also use truths which do not belong to the description. The Truth will then be partial or imperfect. A truth can be accepted by the observer through 'belief' as one static unit, in which case the change is quantitative or through description which is a continuous-quantitative change within the plurality of the truths of the description. Every truth is the duality of a 'body and soul', which means the material and the immaterial parts. 'Body' of the truth is in the material space time and it interacts with us through senses. 'Soul' is in the mind, located in the immaterial world and it is a reflection of the body. A truth is a 'fact' when 'body and soul' as material-immaterial duality, have identical organizations. The truth 'fact' cannot be communicated to another observer even though it can be observed by both of them. The truth can be also observed indirectly, in which case 'body' of the observed truth A is substituted by the body of an independent truth B acting as a 'symbol'. The 'body and soul' of the observed truth A are then immaterial and the duality is the 'meaning' of the 'symbol'. This way the observer interacts with the truth A through an intermediary of the independen truth B connected to the observed truth A by illogicality. This method of observation allows communiction of truths to other observers who use the same symbols. It also allows the observer to see the truths in only the immaterial space time, without using his material senses. The Truth is perfect when the observer knows all the truths describing it. The Truth and the reality of the observer are then self sufficient and static. Description of the perfect Truth contains also the contradictory truths such as 'yes' and at the same time 'no'. Both contradictory truths, in the duality, are correct. For example the statement that the Universe had a beginning and the negation that it did not because it is eternal, are both correct. Every duality is one Whole when the duality is seen from the outside. KK ( (talk) 13:46, 2 March 2010 (UTC))

The "Modern Age" Section[edit]

It strikes me as a bit odd (if not POV) that so many of the philosophers listed in "Modern Age" section represent some form of relativism. This gives the impression that anti-realism is dominant among contemporary thinkers, yet this is anything but the... truth. I mean, where are Frege and Russell? Where is Dummett? Or Searle? Or Lowe? How does someone like Nishida crowd out the whole of the Analytic school? T of Locri (talk) 11:55, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


There needs to be a section on David Hume.--Thinking thinker (talk) 17:09, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

The wish of truth is would change the world surrounds us, the world is the same time that we live in, the live is as the same present that we are rushing to, the present is our consciousness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

the TRUTH[edit]

I am a Taiwanese and did not know the TRUTH until I was 50 years old. I worshiped idols in Taiwan follow the tradition which said many gods came down this world. Now I am sure that only Jesus Christ came down this world is true story of God shown to human being in flesh. God is everybody's spiritual Father. He showed His Way in the Gospel story. He is our Father and Lord. Jn 4:24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jn 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jn 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Jn 8:28

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Jn 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jn 15:26

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Jn 16:7

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Mt 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Mk 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Lk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Jn 5:43

I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

Ex 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Ex 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Jn 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Jn 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

Jn 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Rev 3:12

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name(Jesus).

Jn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? Jn 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God(Bible) came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Mt 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Mk 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

Lk 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.(so that God is everyone's Father.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:09, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

The duality of Truth.[edit]

Every truth is the duality of a symbol and the meaning of that symbol. The symbol defines a ‘sphere’ which contains a limited plurality of truths describing that which is being symbolized. Symbol is not a part of the description, it is ‘outside’ of the sphere and it can be any truth, independent of the description of the truth, but interacting with it. For example the symbol ‘tiger’ selects and limits for the observer a group of truths such as ‘four legged animal, striped and similar to a cat’. This describes the animal but not the symbol ‘tiger’ nor any of the other symbols in the description such as ‘leg’, ‘stripe’ and so on. Each symbol has its own group of truths describing it. A symbol acts as the ‘name’ of the sphere and the synthesis of the limited group of the truths of the description. The sum of the meanings of the symbols used in the description is the ‘meaning’ of the symbol of the observed truth. The meaning cannot be used for communication between observers because meanings are temporal, they are in the mind within the immaterial space time and they do not affect senses of the observer. There is no direct communication between minds. Only by using symbols, acting on the observer’s senses, enables observers to communicate among themselves. Each truth, used in the description of something observed, acts through its symbols, on the senses of the observer while meaning of each symbol acts on the mind. Symbol is a spatial organization while meaning is temporal. Meaning represents difference arising from change from one meaning of the description of the observed unit to another meaning. This is manifested as the organization of the unit. Therefore each truth is the duality of space time. Symbols, being spatial, can be material or immaterial while meanings, being temporal, are always immaterial. Organization of the observed truth represents the laws of nature manifested as the logical relationships of the properties of each truth of the description of the observed truth. Observer of the limited plurality of the truths of the description can either observe the truths in their static state or he can motivate them and cause interactions which transform existence of the truths to non existence and the other way round, using the observer’s memory. Alternatively the interactions can create for the observer entirely new truths. KK ( (talk) 13:03, 29 August 2010 (UTC))

Focussed vs. comprehensive[edit]

An anonymous editor from has made several edits lately. Here is a diff. Truth is not a monolithic ideal— the lead paragraph now covers various meanings appropriately, in my opinion. Comment? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:33, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the revert. I don't see how a statement like '"Truth" is presented to have a variety of meanings by those who try to hide it' is even on-topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:59, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Bill. The lede is appropriate, and I don't think this can be said better. Good job Bill, and Intelligentsium. I think we can work together to keep the lede as it is now. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 00:18, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


The current lede states:

"Truth can have a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with a particular fact or reality, or being in accord with the body of real things, real events, an actuality, or having fidelity to an original, or fidelity to a standard or an ideal. The opposite of truth is falsehood, which can correspondingly take logical, factual or ethical meanings.

The first issue is whether the first sentence is a run-on, or whether it is close enough to a run-on to be confusing to read. The substance of what it says is not in dispute. The second issue is whether or not the introductory phrase "truth can have a variety of meanings" constitutes a vague way of introducing a concept - vague writing which can be replaced with more definitive writing. The fact that there are different meanings is not in dispute. The third issue is whether the phrase "which can correspondingly take logical, factual, or ethical meanings" applies more to the positive concept "truth" than to its inverse "falsehood," such that the above language might be best used to clarify the prime concept. Proposed:

"Truth is a property or quality given to statements as being in accord with reality or fact. By extension "truth" is also a quality of being in fidelity to standards or ideals which embody true knowledge. Truth can correspondingly have logical, factual or ethical meanings, in which it is nominally assigned a positive value. The opposite of truth is falsehood.

-Stevertigo (t | log | c) 21:17, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the "logical, factual or ethical" business reads better in association with "truth" than with its opposite, although it may apply equally to either. Also agree that the proposed first two sentences form a more definitive statement than previously.
I would omit "which embody true knowledge" since that does not always hold. If a plank is said to be true because it is straight, the key issue is the adherence to the ideal of straightness, rather than any embodiment of "true knowledge" in that ideal. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:44, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I am pretty sure we have to stick with "variety of meanings" because that is supported by the sources. However that does not mean "property of", or "qualtiy of" should be excluded. I just think kicking off with "variety of meanings" generally sums up - well the variety of meanings that follows. I think saying something like "truth may also be the property (or quality) is very good, and it is one of the various meanings of "truth". (And, yet, supported by the source). "Varitey of meanings" is accurate, and I really don't see it as vague. "Various meanings, in different contexts", may say the same thing - how about that? Or the "scope of truth includes a number of various meanings" (of course that is very rough draft).
I hope the proposal is not to change the opening statement from "having a varitey of meanings" to straightforwardly saying "truth is (only) a property or quality of this or that". This may unecessarily whittle down the scope that truth actually has. It appears to falsely apply limitations.---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:39, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Also the various meanings that truth has, are delineated, and provides the necessary coverage. It appears that "the state of being in accord with a particular fact or reality, or being in accord with the body of real things, real events, an actuality, or having fidelity to an original, or fidelity to a standard or an ideal" is being left out. If that is the proposed lede then too much is left out. Also trying to connect "fidelity of such and such" to "embody true knowledge" does not seem to work. "Embody true knowledge" seems nebulous, and is not clearly connected to the sources. A much more definitive statement would be needed, connected to the sources. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:59, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
"Logical, factual, or ethical meanings" should probably not be applied to having a value (positive or false), or applied to both in the same sentence. Something like the stand alone "Truth can have logical, factual, or ethical meanings", might be good. Applying this to only falsehood in the current lede is probably a typo, carried over from saving it from the masked, and anonymous, IP vandal. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 00:11, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Truth may refer to:

  1. in accord with reality
  2. in accord with a philosophical ideal
  3. in accord with God.

-Stevertigo (t | log | c) 02:31, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Is that your own synthesis, or do you have a source for it? To me it seems both limited and vague. What is meant by "reality" here? What about "unphilosophical" ideals? Where is "fidelity to an original," among other missing bits?
Whose God do you mean? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 14:36, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Please see current Footnote #1 ( ). The various basic uses set forward in the first paragraph of the article are also set forward in the Webster's entry for the word. Perhaps that footnote should be farther up in the lede, as it was earlier, IIRC. IMO, the rest of the article in turn demonstrates a great deal of fidelity both to the various meanings presented in the dictionary and to scholarly discourse about the issues, with summaries of correspondence theory, coherence theory, and several other theories regarded by the scholarly community as being credible and notable. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Truth may refer to:

  1. statements
  2. ideals

which have the:

  1. state
  2. property
  3. quality

of being:

  1. in accord with reality (singular)
  2. in accord with a philosophical ideal (various)
  3. in accord with God (generic term for an omniscient and omnibenevolent authority).

That MW dicdef covers most of these. -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 02:52, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Is there some agreement that the current lede sentence is a run-on? -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 05:14, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I added some puncuation. That former sentence probably still needs work. So, please go ahead and improve it. It is only copy editing, so I don't think you have to worry about consensus, here, on that matter (imho). Also the last sentence probably needs to be fixed as well, in the way that we discussed above. So, since we already discussed it, feel free to fix it. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 06:40, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
RE "Is there some agreement that the current lede sentence is a run-on?": Here are three revisions from 1 October 2009, 3 October 2008, October 2007. ... Kenosis (talk) 11:29, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Jesus claimed to be the truth[edit]

Plain and simple, Jesus claimed to be the truth. If you found Him, you found the truth; if you knew Him, you knew the truth.

No other thinker has dared to be as bold or as innovative, yet here He does not receive a mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Correct. He won't, without evidence from reliable sources to back this up (see WP:RS). AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Ok... and the Bible is not a reliable source? Or you need a doctorate in theology? Or those and something else? It's a little flaky to suggest that anyone could call themselves the truth, no one did since the beginning of creation to His time and no one has since. You do realize that thousands of witnesses went to their death believing what He said, right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, I very much doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was either the first or the last to claim to be the Truth. Secondly, people have gone to their deaths for all sorts of reasons, philosophies and beliefs, and they can't all have been 'true'. Thirdly, and more to the point, this article is about 'truth' as a philosophical concept, not a theological one. If you are looking for a website that accepts a particular interpretation of a particular religious viewpoint as a valid definition of 'truth', you probably need to look elsewhere. And no, the Bible doesn't qualify as a reliable source, according to Wikipedia policy, sorry. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:33, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I feel sure that asylums are full of people who claim to be The Truth or Napolean or whatever. No such claim however would elucidate what The Truth or Napolean or whatever might be and therefore recording such claims would not be appropriate in articles of the corresponding names. If Jesus was in fact The Truth in some sense it must surely be in a different sense of Truth from that in normal use, since you cannot subtitute "Jesus Christ" for the words "The Truth" salve veritatum. eg He told the Truth does not mean He told Jesus Christ.

Philogo (talk) 01:34, 9 January 2011 (UTC)


The lede says "Truth can have a variety of meanings"; does it mean to say "Truth has a variety of meanings" or something different? Philogo (talk) 20:26, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Random assertion about what the Bible says[edit]

not only did Jesus claim to be the truth or the bible in flesh but the bible states it is impossible for God to lie in the book of titus. jesus had many other names also — Preceding unsigned comment added by Todaystruthwriter (talkcontribs) 20:43, 23 February 2011 (UTC)


If the truth is truly spoken... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

...the Bible doesn't qualify as a reliable source...[edit]

I'm speechless... (talk) 00:15, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

If you are a Christian fundamentalist, you are entitled to believe (or 'know') that it is a reliable source. However, most Christians do not believe it should be taken literally, and this encylopedia isn't written specifically for Christians in any case. So no, it isn't a reliable source, though like most 'holy books', it contains much of interest.
One should also bear in mind that as far as 'reliability' is concerned, for Wikipedia the criteria is verifiability, not truth. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:40, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Could it fit under "Notable views"? There is already a discussion of Hinduism there... Making Wine (talk) 08:50, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Has it had peer review?— Philogos (talk) 16:12, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Types of truths[edit]

The truth is that which exists, as a unit, in the consciousness of the observer. Each truth has personal characteristics defined by other truths and it is logically connected to other, independent truths outside. Truths are experienced by the ‘self’ in the immaterial space time. Every truth is the duality of a symbol and its meaning. The duality is remembered in the memory. In future when a symbol enters memory it combines with identical symbol from the past. This brings into the consciousness of the observer the truth. There are three different groups of truths. They are ‘concrete’ truth, ‘abstract’ truth and ‘emotions'. ‘Concrete’ truth is that which has spatial magnitude containing organized, by the laws of nature, motivation into a limited plurality of parts of the whole truth, each part a separate and different truth. Because of the spatial limitation, ‘concrete’ truth can be copied in the material space time and it can be observed in static or in dynamic state. ‘Abstract’ truth has no spatial limitation and it has no magnitude. For this reason abstract truth cannot be copied in the material world and it cannot interact with either material or immaterial senses. ‘Abstract’ truth is not a spatial organization, but temporal and it cannot form a unit. Observer experiences ‘abstract’ truth as static state of unlimited plurality of identical truths. Emotions cannot be observed because they are motivation. The duality of the truth, with the emotion which it causes, is remembered. In future when the same or similar truth enters memory it combines through identity with the truth already in the memory. The emotion related to the truths is repeated. The type of emotion depends on the external truth which created the emotion in the past. As motivation emotion is the duality of contradictory actions such as positive-negative, pleasant-unpleasant and so on. Emotions are difficult to control because they block reasoning. KK ( (talk) 11:11, 15 June 2011 (UTC))

This is a talk page for discussions related to improving our 'Truth' article. It isn't a forum for general debate about the concept. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:12, 2 July 2011 (UTC)


Do the semi-pornographic Victorian nudes add anything to this article? (talk) 19:33, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I think that 'semi-pornographic' is stretching it a bit. And yes, I do think they add to the article: they both show how 'truth' has been portrayed in art. This issue has been discussed before in any case, and the consensus seems to be that they are appropriate. I'd suggest you read through the archives, and then come out with a clear argument, if you wish to change this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:06, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

J.C.C. McKinsey's definition[edit]

An account of J.C.C. McKinsey's definition of truth in Synthese, vol. 7, 1948-9, pp 428 - 433 should be added, if not here then to some other article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:27, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Reordering words[edit]

Can we switch truth and reality in the first sentence? It creates an endless loop while trying to navigate to philosophy by clicking the first link on any Wiki page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

No. Wikipedia articles aren't designed for playing games with. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:53, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Does it do any real damage to the article to change it though? DavetheAvatar (talk) 12:40, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
It does damage to the Wikipedia project to mess around with article content in order to suit some arbitrary rule. If you want to play games on the internet, there are plenty of other sites that cater for this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:02, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • First, the terms being swapped are "fact" and "reality," not "truth" and "reality." We are writing an encyclopedia here, and little details like that actually matter.
  • It makes sense to give "fact" priority, since facts may be more easily determined than "reality." Cognitive philosophers, while not denying the existence of external reality, assert that we have no privileged access to it, and that everything we "know" is mediated by the bodies we inhabit, which do our thinking and sensing for us. Theories of truth which depend on correspondence with "reality" have been shown to lead to logical inconsistencies.
  • Most importantly, the cited source puts "fact" before "actuality" or "reality."
Yes, playing games with the first sentence of the lead paragraph of any Wikipedia article, for no better reason than to facilitate some loosely defined meta-measurement of distance between pages, has damaged articles, and risks damaging articles in future. Fortunately, the damage can be promptly undone, in most cases with a few clicks. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:15, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Get to Philosophy: Gaming The System addresses this issue. To those who are messing with this article, I strongly suggest reading that section and taking it to heart. Do not make changes to Wikipedia that do not improve Wikipedia. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard regarding recent edits to this page. The thread is "Users playing "Get to Philosophy" game to the detriment of Wikipedia". Comments are welcome. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:16, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Update: another editor removed all gamelike aspects from Wikipedia:Get to Philosophy. I would have preferred more discussion and consensus building first. Guy Macon (talk) 01:34, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Truth vs fact (bis)[edit]

The "philosophy game" stuff is nonsense, of course, but it is at least interesting that the first link in truth is to fact and vice versa. The lead section of fact seems to me, admittedly a non-expert, as very very weak. I have started two new sections in talk:fact about this, and would be particularly interested in soliciting comment at talk:fact#Fact vs truth. --Trovatore (talk) 02:39, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Can we reverse the "reality" and "fact" links so that the "Philosophy Game" still works? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kp1197 (talkcontribs) 23:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

No. See the section immediately above. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:16, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

"It does damage to the Wikipedia project to mess around with article content in order to suit some arbitrary rule. " -- It also does damage to the project to *not* follow some arbitrary rule! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kp1197 (talkcontribs) 21:02, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 27 August 2011[edit]

Philosophy, from philo-sophia - the love of knowledge, encompasses all things. Therefore, it was suitable that by following the first link in every Wiki article inevitably brought one to the page on philosophy. However, a recent update has created a feedback loop, linking truth to fact, and fact to truth. This issue can be resolved without compromising the integrity of the article by switching the words "fact" and "reality" in the first sentence so that it is written as: "Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with reality or fact." (talk) 01:46, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done We are not going to make a change to the article to help a game. GB fan please review my editing 01:49, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes - to be absolutely clear on this. Under no circumstances will any edit be made to this article for any reason other than improving it. Play your idiotic games elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:53, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

very confusing....[edit]

Because of the lack of etymology of the term truth, the article confuses truth with at least all philosophical terms. In many cases there are other terms we can use instead of the term truth but because we have not clarify in our minds etymologically what truth is, we confuse it with all these philosophical terms.Nestanaios 15:02, 6 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nestanaios (talkcontribs)

No mention of Alain Badiou?[edit]

Why is there no section on Alain Badiou among the modern philosophers? Not only is he one of the most important philosophers of the post-war period, but his theory of truth as fidelity-to-the-event has been crucial in helping continental philosophy escape the empty relativism of the postmoderns. I suggest a distillation of the second chapter of Infinite Thought would make a good start. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 23 October 2011 (UTC)


The editor who flagged the topic of this article as "controversial" must have a weird sense of humor or is completely unaware of the implications for today's public discourse. (talk) 19:14, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

android's truth[edit]

"God is triune ..." ... А может быть двуистин? Maybe dvuistin? андроид91.205.25.30 (talk) 14:18, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Unclear para[edit]

The second para of the article (tagged) is unintelligible. Redheylin (talk) 02:21, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I just removed the following text:
In [[religious]] context, truth is regarded as an aspect of [[God]] since the deity is reputed to have knowledge of all things ([[omniscience]]).<ref>[[Catholic Encyclopedia]] "The Nature and Attributes of God"</ref> Thus God may hold the office of [[divine judgment]], by which all people are ultimately judged.<ref>[[Catholic Encyclopedia]], "Particular judgment"</ref>
It is unclear, and does not fit in the lead section. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 13:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The idea of truth and God are not unrelated, and the concept of God as a master of truth needs a mention in the lede. Its not out of place to discuss truth from a theological perspective. If you regard the passage as simply "vague," "unclear" or "unintelligible", this means you may agree with the substance while disagreeing with the written form. Perhaps you can suggest an alternate way of writing a theological treatment. Regards, -Stevertigo (t | c) 07:59, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I do not agree that the concept of God as a master of truth needs a mention in the lead of a general article on Truth. It might be appropriate to mention in the body, near a section such as the one on Aquinas or Ratzinger.
The bit about divine judgement is even further off topic, as far as I can see. Establishing its relevance will take far more verbosity than would be sensible to include in the lead. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 17:59, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you would like to suggest an alternate theological treatment, one which is appropriately short, but still touches on the necessary concepts. -Stevertigo (t | c) 19:40, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I can't see the relevance. That truth is an aspect of some religious views of God is an interesting issue for an article on those concepts of God. However, God is not an aspect of truth, and this article is about what constitutes truth. - Bilby (talk) 10:57, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
"...still touches on the necessary concepts" begs the question that any concepts from Roman Catholic theology are necessary to the lead of this article. How is it not a circular argument to say "RC theologians presume an omniscient deity. Hence, truth is the sum of what is known to that deity."? Why is Catholic theology more deserving of mention in the lead than, for example, akashic records?
I still haven't seen a persuasive argument that the extrapolation from omniscience to divine judgement deserves space in the lead of this article. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 09:37, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Philosophy Easter Egg[edit]

The words "reality" and "truth" need to be switch if the wikipedia philosophy easter egg (that clicking on the first blue word not in parenthesis/italicized etc. will always lead to the Philosophy page). 6/07/12 (talk) 06:13, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not in the Easter Egg business. Satisfying the get to philosophy game is not a requirement, and can in some cases damage the article's accuracy and flow. In this case, the word order comes from the source, and should not be switched without a better reason than "it helps with some silly game." __ Just plain Bill (talk) 13:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

I reverted a couple of good-faith edits that want to begin with philosophy. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:29, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

weasel words and a dubious though referenced definiton[edit]

Do we really need to start out by saying that "Truth has a variety of meanings..." Lots of words have a variety of meanings, and the article mentions several further down the page.

While the claim that "truth" is commonly used to mean "constancy or sincerity" has one reference, I would like to see that claim either dropped (unless another reference can be found) or at least moved further down the page. Do we say a person is telling the truth if he lies constantly? Do we say a person is telling the truth if he is sincerely mistaken? It doesn't seem to me that this usage, even though preferred by Merriam-Webster, is really a common usage. Is there any chance that the "archaic" note on Merriam-Webster definition 1a is also intended to apply to 1b? I know we have to rely on sources, but we can use a little common sense when sources disagree, and I don't know of any other dictionary that makes the claim that "constancy or sincerity" are common meanings of "truth".

I would like the first sentence to say, "Truth is most often used to mean in accord with fact or reality[2] or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal."[2]


Rick Norwood (talk) 12:40, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

proposed change definition[edit]

I think Rick's proposal is fine, a simpler definition is best, unusual or archaic definitions can be discovered by the reader if interested.

Since most of the sources in the article are philosophers, I think we should include a more significant reference to philosophy. But I accept RIck's point that the article shouldn't start with philosophy, my POV unfortunately! TonyClarke (talk) 13:21, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. Hearing no objections, I'll make the change. I agree that philosophy should feature prominently in the lead. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:46, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Turning now to this sentence: "Many human activities depend upon the concept, which is assumed rather than a subject of discussion, including science, law, and everyday life." The clause "assumed rather than a subject of discussion" seems awkward, and its meaning unclear. Any suggestions? Rick Norwood (talk) 11:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
One possible wording:
Many human activities, including science, law, and everyday life, 
depend upon the concept of truth, often as an undiscussed assumption.
__Just plain Bill (talk) 02:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure what sources say that truth is "an undiscussed assumption". Seems frequently discussed to me. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Frequently discussed in the pursuits of science, law, and everyday life? Seriously, how often do you see or hear a discussion of "what is Truth?" in those contexts? Usually the discussion centers around more immediate concerns, relevant to the case or task at hand. That doesn't mean those activities do not "depend" on truth.
I was answering your "seems awkward, and... unclear" comment, by offering a way to recast the sentence more clearly. Although there may be a grain of sense in the statement, I have no interest in defending it with sources, now that you seem to be asking for them. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:43, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Ratzinger section[edit]

To my mind the Ratzinger section is very much displaced and rather belongs under "trivia". First of all - even if it was the case that Ratzinger had a view about truth in the sense that he explained what truth is (which might be the case and I just haven't found it yet)- the current text about Ratzinger's "view" does not at all contain such an explanation or a significant part of it. The only information given in that direction is that truth is the same as love. But this is hardly comprehensible because there is not even the slightest hint about how this could be the case or what could be meant by that. Furthermore, even if the section did actually contain this relevant information, Ratzinger's view - in spite of him being a notable person - is not a notable view. The current paragraphs about Ratzinger's collection of wisdom about truth seems to be a head over heels attempt to get Ratzinger's teachings in this article by all means. I suggest it is either deleted or it is both completed and evidence given why not only the person behind the view but also the view itself is notable. (talk) 16:56, 27 September 2012 (UTC) andi

I'm inclined to agree. Is there any evidence that Ratzinger's views on the subject have been the subject of significant commentary within academia for example? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:27, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
As it seems, there is nobody interested in keeping the Ratzinger section? I guess there are people who have put a lot of work into this article so I don't want to edit it single-handedly. I might just wait three more weeks to see whether there are people who want to keep the section (or how long do you usually wait for this on wikipedia?) and delete it in case nobody is interested. (talk) 13:52, 4 October 2012 (UTC) andi
It might look better if I deleted it - IP's removing large chunks of text sometimes get mistaken for vandals, and if anyone wished for further explanation, I'd be contactable. I'll leave it for a bit longer, and maybe see if I can get someone else to look into it. Meanwhile, there is nothing to actually prevent you removing it - just make sure you mention this talk page discussion in the edit summary. If someone objects, and can come up with a reasonable rationale for its inclusion, it will be easy enough to restore. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:08, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok, thank you Andy, it's better if you delete it. Hopefully, I will remember to check back in a few weeks' time so we won't forget to delete/edit it. 17:18, 11 October 2012 (UTC) andi — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I've looked into this, and can't see any justification for inclusion of the section. At minimum, we need a clearer explanation of what Ratzinger's position is, and in particular, we need evidence that this position is seen as of significance by those who study the issue. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:41, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Leaving Truth[edit]

The book leaving truth, by Keith Sewell, published March 22, 2012 presents an important point of view that I would like to see integrated into this article. I recently wrote a review of the book available at: Because the existing article is extensive and complex, I will leave it to others to integrate these ideas. If, however, you would like me to take the lead on this please let me know. Thanks, --Lbeaumont (talk) 20:57, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Can you provide any evidence from third-party published reliable sources that this book has been described as 'important' by e.g. academics? I can find no evidence of this - and without such evidence, there are no grounds for inclusion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:18, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Philosophy Game Has Become the Truth Game[edit]

Instead of all articles leading to philosophy, they all lead to truth. That's all that's happened. There will always be some page that all links eventually get you to, whether or not it's philosophy. I figured that some point in the track would change at some point, and philosophy would no longer be the end. --Giokutalkuser 20:45, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Actually, this has been changed back to philosophy. I like it better as philosophy anyway.--Zer0n888 (talk) 01:16, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Try Wiki Orality and Oral traditions--compare with today's philosophical understandings---a more direct way to Truth? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 20 May 2013 (UTC)


Orality is truth, <ref>wiki and oral traditions</ref> arnlodg--- more sources to come if talk occures — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arnlodg (talkcontribs) 02:22, 20 May 2013

Vague references to Wikipedia aren't proper citations. If you wish the article to cover the relevance of Orality to the philosophy of truth, you will have to cite specific works, by specific authors that directly discuss the subject, and demonstrate that such works have had the degree of academic recognition to merit inclusion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:39, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

This effort is a side step around the origins of philosophy, in that, Wikipedia's forums about Orality and Oral traditions provide bases necessary for understanding "practice as truth". which is not, in any understandable way, provided at the forum for Truth; citing Socrates life is not helpful because academia only seems to recognize Truth now through theory, Orality is truth in practice not truth in theory; finally this effort is bold to invigorate practice through the oral tradition of "writing". [3] (talk) 18:03, 20 May 2013 (UTC)arnlodg

I have no idea what you are trying to argue, but without properly cited sources, nothing is going to be added to the article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:05, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Truth Forum needs at least two main sections---Theory and Practice---(Orality is Practice) If you have the time---Socrates talk, then for him was truth, through the practice of talk (Orality)) with Plato---our talk, now, is same (Orality) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Again, you have cited precisely nothing. Unless and until you do, there is nothing further to discuss. This is not a forum for general philosophical debate. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:00, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

ok I give up, but---when we are here in the present moment citations are not needed ---that is what it was like for Socrates then and what it could be like for people today---[4] (talk) 19:25, 20 May 2013 (UTC)arnlodg,

Mixing up reality and mind[edit]

I am a bit annoyed seeing an article on truth with pictures interspersed of various allegorical figures that do no make sense with respect to truth, an abstract term or concept. If you claim that truth equals to those representations or embodiments of the idea of truth otherwise explained in detail then you sell rubbish in popcorn cups. You would never find two people who would seriously consider allegories, symbols, etc. as a fact other than an artist's rendering of something that he himself has no idea of how to give a shape of.

As a general remark, why do you (Wikipedia as a whole) not see the difference between the verbs of introspection and the verbs of extrospection?

Genezistan (talk) 04:28, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

I suspect that at least part of the reason we 'represent truth' through allegorical figures in our article is that we assume that our readers aren't idiots, and are therefore capable of distinguishing between an artistic allegory and an abstract concept. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:17, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
By the look of it they never will as there is no such thing as abstract concept

If you know what abstract or abstraction mean, please do not hesitate to start an article on them Genezistan (talk) 14:13, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

See WP:NOTFORUM. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:11, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, as wikipedian editors are crazy about quoting sources, let me show you the problem first.

1. Abstract as defined in Wordnet: Meaning (gloss) - consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically. 2. abstract in (upper) ontology SUMO: Terns and Concepts 18.30 It contrasts physical and abstract, but the distinction is not shown in the structure. The problem will take you to the explanation of three words: term, concept and referent. Are they properly explained in Wikipedia and are they cross-referenced? 3. In here: Also: referent

A load of vague crap. Should you not know how to define a term and a concept, use this - with care Genezistan (talk) 04:35, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).