[ExI] What can be said to be "wrong", and what is "Truth"?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Oct 2 16:13:52 UTC 2008

Stefano writes

> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:10 PM, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
>> We really should try to banish all sorts of capitalized "Truths"
> ... and this ifs [is] not so difficult. It could even be contended that the
> opposite is the "normal" human way of thinking, save for the continued
> influence of judeochristian rereading of platonism both in popular
> cultural and at an epistemological level.

Interesting point. Yet some eagerness towards abstraction may
ultimately greatly assisted the west in its pursuance and discovery
of general laws of nature? I'm asking.

> In fact, in the ancient Greek of Democritos and Archimedes, and of
> Homer before them, the word for truth is "aletheia", which means
> simply "what has been unveiled", "what used to be hidden and is no
> more", as in "I thought I had two amphoras of oil, but in truth I only
> had one",

I really like that kind of talk! "What has been unveiled" is another
good one to add to our list of alternate phrases when we discuss
the nature of truth. (And please forgive me *right there* for jumping
a level of abstraction, as if truth could be reified and had a "nature".
But you know what I mean, I hope. And *that* is the important

"What used to be hidden and is no more" is another wonderful
substitution to recall whenever we (rightly) start to feel that 
we are depending on some certain word, (in this case "truth")
a little too much.

> far from hinting at any supposed ultimate, metaphysical,
> objective and context-independent essence of reality.

Yet, when we, especially in the west, do stumble upon certain
kinds of "things which had been veiled", e.g., the speed of light,
should we really be blamed for claiming that we have advanced,
that we now have better maps, that the accuracy of our beliefs
is improved?

When used cautiously, this is what people should mean when
they say that we're getting closer to the truth. Even one of your
examples, "I thought I had two amphoras of oil, but in truth
I only had one" dares to speak of truth.


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