Re: virus: Maxims: the universe and truth

Joe E. Dees (
Thu, 20 May 1999 15:21:42 -0500

Date sent:      	Thu, 20 May 1999 12:59:25 -0700
From:           	Dan Plante <>
Subject:        	Re: virus: Maxims: the universe and truth
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> At 09:11 AM 20/05/99 -0600, David McFadzean wrote:
> >The truth of a representation is a measure of how well it does
> >its job as a model (correspondence theory). How well does the
> >map describe the territory? How well does the portrait capture
> >the essence of the subject? This is a metaphysical definition of
> >truth. However we can only judge the truth of a representation
> >by how well it fits with other representations we believe to be true
> >(coherence theory). Does the assertion contradict anything else we
> >think is true? What if our interpretation of the purpose and intent
> >of the representation is mistaken? This is the epistemological
> >definition truth. I hope I have shown that the correspondence
> >theory and coherence theory are orthogonal, and in fact,
> >complementary.
> I might as well chime in with my $0.02 worth on this topic. I agree in
> essence and detail, with David's remarks above. As a matter of fact, when I
> analyse how I think, and why I think of certain things, I find that my mind
> uses coherence and correspondence as tools. Coherence makes me "notice"
> certain things, and I then use correspondence to evaluate the thought for
> validity. So, from my point of view, the definition of truth as stated
> above is also a description of how my brain is wired to work (now _that_
> could be taken a number of different ways, couldn't it ;-)
> Dan
I think that internal consistency and external coherence are complementary ways to evaluate the truth-value of a contention. Unless they both inhere, one should be wary of accepting the assertion in question.