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From: Seth Russell <seth@robustai.net>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 14:41:00 -0400
Message-ID: <00f001c0f049$f04f94c0$b17ba8c0@c1457248a.sttls1.wa.home.com>
To: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
248a.sttls1.wa.home.com> <v04210173b746bfe8d1d2@[205.160.76.219]>
Subject: Re: Absolute Truth -vs- relative truth
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 11:36:19 -0700
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From: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>

> >[1] Any agent can interpret a sentence.
> >[2] Such an agent can also model reality.
> >[3] The match between the interpretation of the sentence by the agent and
> >that agent's model of reality is this thing we have been calling "truth".
>
> Not me. I was referring to the match between the sentence and the
> reality, as when someone says "your fly is undone" and I look *at my
> pants* (to see if what he said is *true*). I don't go into a trance
> and look at a mental model of my pants.

Oh, i see, I wan't aware that you could see things without use of mental
models.  Were you born that way, or did it just come about by some kind of
divine intervention?  Can I always come to you for these rulings as to the
facts in a matter?

> >[4] My only point is that there is no preferred agent.
>
> True. (I also don't pray to God to tell me if my fly is undone.)
>
> >How can you possibly factor the agent out of that description without
making
> >erronious assumptions ?

I would like to ammend the wording of that question:

How can you possibly factor the agent out of that description without making
assumptions based on faith?

> Of course I might make errors. We might all make errors; Im not
> saying anything about arriving at ultimate certainty.

Well at least we agree there.  However my interpertatin of your words
implies otherwise.

> >How can you possibly get any information from any earstwhile preferred
> >agent?
>
> Look, Im not talking about agents. Saying a sentence is 'true' doesnt
> mean the source is reliable; it means the sentence accurately
> describes the world.

Well since we cannot know the ~accurate~ description of the world, then all
of your sentences denote an unknown.  But that is absurb.  So, NO!  You,
saying a sentence is true, means the sentence accurately describes the world
according to your interpertation of the world.

>Now, of course, you might want to reason about
> the veracity or otherwise of the source, and you might conclude that
> the sentence wasn't true, or that, salve verite, whenever source A
> contradicts source B on matters pertaining to topic D, you will take
> A's word for it, or whatever. But the upshot of all this reasoning
> is, in the end, that you will have chosen some sentences to accept,
> ie to take *as being true*. Without that final understanding of a
> sentence as saying something *about the world*, it remains just a
> sentence, a piece of mere syntax.

Hey!  I would agree that a sentence says something about the world, if I
agree that it is a true sentence.   Factor me out of that equation and you
are talking only to your God.

> > >If we all take a relativistic view of truth in
> > > this sense we will rapidly get to the point where we are trying to
> > > walk through walls.
> >
> >Not at all.  Rather I think that if people understand that there is no
> >absolute interpretation of things, then they will be more tolerant of
> >others.
>
> Truth doesnt mean absolute interpretation, it means correspondence to
reality.

Where do we go to get the official rulings on that correspondance ?

Could you please provide the URL ?

> >Don't forget .... survival still rules !
> Right. So be careful not to walk into any walls.

I, will, thanks for reminding me :)

Seth
Received on Friday, 8 June 2001 14:42:29 GMT

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