The Theories of Truth

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Truth is often something people take for granted. We believe that because we witness or experience something then it’s true. A color-blind person may see a red table as grey and say the table is grey, contending that’s the truth even when everyone else states the table is red. As humans, we have the tendency to base truth off personal experience even if we’re wrong. Indeed, even the majority of people within a community have mistaken the truth. A few centuries ago it was believed the world was flat and, if one sailed far enough, one would quite literally fall off the edge of the Earth. As absurd as it sounds now, in the past it was espoused as undeniable truth.

Interestingly, this occurs with less material truths as well. Take, for example, the moral concepts of slavery. In recent history our supposed truth on the subject has taken a dramatic shift. Whereas previously slavery was seen as the norm, even as a right (based off believed superiority), it’s vehemently rejected now. Because of this, human’s idea of truth has been on constant flux. It may be contended that we do not know what is true and what isn’t. Indeed, our history supports such a claim considering how often we contradict our own beliefs we presume are truth.

What, then, is the most acceptable theory of truth? Perhaps it’s none of the four: correspondence, coherence, pragmatist, and deflationary. Each has undeniably gaping flaws which cause the theory to fail in giving an explanation of the truth. Take, for example, the correspondence theory which states a truth must correspond to a fact. First, we must define what fact is. Perhaps one definition is something that can be physically verified and always be the case. What, then, of moral truths? The correspondence theo...

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...ll, or is the pragmatist theory correct? Perhaps, then, the pragmatist theory is closest to how humans behave, even if how we behave is not always in accordance with an ultimate truth.

In the end, no current definition of truth satisfies me. I even fail to convince myself of my own beliefs on truth; there’s always a contradiction and flaw. Perhaps the question for everyday use is not of truths, but of good. That is to say, we should focus on providing good for ourselves, others, humanity, and the world. Of course, there’s the insatiable curiosity resting in humans and, especially so, philosophers. We seek the truth even as it effortlessly eludes us and because of this we cannot so easily dismiss it. It’s an integral part of our life; after all, if we find the truth then we also are able to answer many other philosophical inquiries, even on the meaning of humanity.

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