Overview of the Conceptual Approach
So Truth is an assertion (e.g. a pointing thought, mental picture, experience, understanding, hypothetical expectation, or meaning through words) corresponding to reality. The very concept of reality is all inclusive, that means it includes my pointers, pointing, assertions, all my subjective phenomena, even my meanings of truth and knowledge. Because this subjective realm overlaps part of, if not all of, reality, the only pointers that I am ever aware of their corresponding to reality are those pointers where the subjective phenomena are identified with themselves as a part of reality and do not point to a realm of reality beyond the present subjective itself. Therefore, I can only know an assertion is true when the pointer and the pointed at are both present and identical, that they are the same thing.
This means that I can only know what is subjectively present. And all that is subjectively present is phenomena. So all I can ever know is phenomena. I cannot know anything beyond the subjective. I cannot know the subjective past. I cannot know things objectively.2nd attempt
So Truth is an assertion (e.g. a pointing thought, mental picture, experience, understanding, hypothetical expectation, or meaning through words, etc.) corresponding to reality. Note that the very idea of truth has metaphysical presuppositions. The very idea of truth presupposes a dualism of the subjective and the real. It presupposes a connection in reality between an assertion and the things in reality the assertion is trying to point at.
The very concept of reality is all-inclusive, that means it includes my pointers, pointing, assertions, all my subjective phenomena, even my meanings of truth and knowledge. Because this subjective realm overlaps at least part of, if not all of, reality, the only pointers that I am ever aware of their corresponding to reality are those pointers where the subjective phenomena are identified with themselves as a part of reality, and do not point to a realm of reality beyond the present subjective itself. Therefore, I can only know an assertion is true when the pointer and the pointed at are both present and identical, that they are the same thing. This is the only conclusion about truth, reality, and knowledge that can be thought.
This means that I can only know what is subjectively present. All that is subjectively present is present phenomena. So all I can ever know is present phenomena. I cannot know anything beyond the subjective. I cannot know the subjective past or future. I cannot know things objectively. The only part of reality I can know is the present subjective. I can't even know if there is more to reality than the present subjective.
Each instance when I think this through I see the limits of what I can know. I will now look to the subjective present to see which assertions are true. From these truths I will draw deductive logical conclusions, the only conclusions that can be thought. Because it does not logically follow that the rules of my thought correspond to the rules of reality, I cannot logically conclude a conclusion of logic necessarily corresponds to reality. All I can deal with is what the rules of thought will make me think. So I can't know the conclusions I will draw from present phenomena are true, but I can't even think of these conclusions being false. In other words, I can't know they are true, but I necessarily have to think of them as true.
I have to change a lot of my writing now because logic says I dont' have to think of them as true, I just can't think of anything else being true. I don't have to assert a conclusion. I don't have to believe a conclusion. So I don't have to hold a conclusion as true. It is just the only conclusion I can think of at the same time as the things I know are true. I don't even have to hold present phenomena as true, but I can prove they are true and know they are true.
Developing an entire philosophical system is an immense undertaking. A natural question is why do I do this? What drives the creation of the system? One guiding principle is a desire to know the truth. But this alone would put knowing the truth of a particular rock on the other side of the galaxy on an equivalent value level with knowing the truth about human nature when I have to interact with them througout my life. It is clear that my system was not developed with merely a desire to know, for I discount the former in preference for the latter. What is more important to me is using knowledge to build a coherent, true world view. This latter value is of greater priority than the first value, but both are guiding principles in my developing the system. I believe that everyone is guided by their values, so I think its important to investigate values further.
Some values are relative to a context of beliefs, only arising within a system of beliefs. I will call these contextual values. Values that are not solely arising from a system of beliefs I will call noncontextual values. This latter is an umbrella term to include values I can't even think of as well as values that are innate like value for food, self-preservation, etc. It is conceivable that the organization of our material constituents provides us with some of these noncontextual values. Since different world-views consist of different beliefs, and different beliefs result in different contextual values. Different world-views might have different contextual values. Since we change our beliefs each person can also change their contextual values, and each person can hold different values to be worth a greater or lesser degree and can these can shift in importance.
A value that seeks only its own realization for its own sake is called a primary value. A value that is sought for the sake of something else is called a secondary value. Some values are both primary and secondary. I don't know if primary values arise from contextual beliefs or not, but some noncontextual values, like some innate ones, are primary. However, an individual might value each value to different degrees, and they might value secondary values more than primary ones. I can find no rational guidance for determining primary values or any values' degress of importance apart from a maximizing utility of secondary values. Preservation of one's life would seem to be an innate primary and secondary value that leads to more fulfillment of other values than almost anything else, but if one values the end acheived in sacrificing one's life more than all those other values combined, then I don't know that there is anything left that rationality can say.
It seems to me that rationality as a thought system deals with the objects of our own worlds themselves. Thought methodologies moving beyond the things themselves have also transcended the given into the nongiven. Rationally I don't see what inductive inferences are corresponding to in reality. "Probably true" doesn't seem to be an actual state of reality, unless one includes it in some variant ontology. So inductive inferences an phrases like "most likely true" seem to be language applied post hoc of some correlation or association and seems to be referring to the inference's working out well as opposed to correspondence to reality. Seeking why it works out well can only ever by conjectural metaphysics. I prefer rational metaphysics.
There are infinite possible world-views, and if we take it as given that there are more truths than I can ever know, then I can never achieve the perfect world-view. It requires exhausting all reality with truth, that every truth be known, and for every structure to be logically sound. (Even this doesn't guarantee coherence, reality can still be a contradictory mess). This perfect world view would seem to give rise to an exact number of specific objective contextual values, but perhaps contextual values have particular noncontextual as a necessary condition, and so contextual values are contingent upon the contextual beliefs and one or more noncontextual values (perhaps there is even some other cause besides this or instead of this). So if there is a limitation to the size of reality my world view can cover, and there are different truths that can be focused on in different world views, we could think of world views as being along a continuum of truth. But even some would be the same amount of truth structure but dealing with different parts of reality, and so some could be world views that don't encompass or build off of our innate values, and so the world view itself would be less important in respect of those innate values. These other world-views might create brand new contextual values, but they would seem to remain disconnected from the innate values which are noncontextual and so present before the context is built up. None of these conclusions are purely rational, and there are many fallacies here.
Rationality would not put reasonable or moral or wise limits on its investigation of truth. Other values demand other methods and minimal use of rationality. Valuing truth only demands use of rationality. Rationality can't realize values other than truth so if one values other values than truth one must limit rationality and use other methods. From my rational position it would seem that other people don't value truth as much or they are ignorant of how to acquire it. But that is the conclusion of my rationality about other methods and it is possible, though beyond my understanding, that other methods may come to a rationally transcendent level and yield more knowledge than rationality. I must always remember that my view is known for me but I don't know for anybody else, but I should be open to learning their methods in their own terms because it may be that my rationality is always poisoning the well in considering other methods. I could be right, but I could be wrong too. So therefore rationality does not give me knowledge of the truth and I see nothing that can. Perhaps there is some other method that can pull everything and itself up by the boot straps, and since some other methods presuppose certain things they will be able to talk of "truth". I can define the outcomes of my Magic Eight Ball as truth.Back To Top