So much has been written about these three concepts. Obviously too much and, obviously, that makes me a late offender. But I’m not publishing this for a profit or lustre. I’m just ranting in the end, you know.
So, they – in the high temples of philosophy – go about this triptych with endless statements that are hard enough to read in one go, let alone to wrap your noddle around. Epistemological and ontological are the main categories.
I care naught. They’re all bollocks. Empty words.
Incidentally, as always, we wanna start by crafting good questions. Not leading questions. And then – along the way – we might find even better questions. And questions, usually, is all we have. But the realisation that these are the important questions, along with the realisation that – in most cases – any answer is bollocks, is philosophy. And the effect of that is not going to be making you want to update your Facebook page.
So, bottom line is, it all boils down to how you decide answer the question:
What does it mean for a statement to be true?
And put that way, alas, that’s bad philosophy.
What does it mean that this mathematical statement is true?
It can be demonstrated.
What does it mean that the defendant is found to be truly guilty?
Well, the defendant will get the conviction. Whether they actually did it or not. Maybe they pleaded guilty out of love, despite the true facts…
What does it mean that the general relativity theory is true?
It works to the best degree that we’ve so far come up with.
Since the truth of a statement will – one way or another – depend on the relation between language and world, “true” and “false” will always be in the hands of the dominant view of – at the very least – the world.
Yes, I’m saying that not even in mathematics there is such thing as a universally agreeable idea of what makes a statement true. Yes, there are simple cases, where you can derive the theorem as the last deduction from given axioms. That’s easy. But there are techniques of mathematical demonstration that are not universally accepted. And that’s the key. Universally. Or widely enough, let’s say.
So, just like only the winners enjoy the privilege of writing history, so the masses decide what is true and what is false. Masses of mathematicians, masses of physicists, the unanimous verdict of a jury at a trial.
Is there any way out of language?
Oh dear, I made the same mistake I was ranting about at the beginning, didn’t I?