>Does such a thing as ‘truth’ exist? If so how do we know what is true?

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In Tarski’s undefinability theorem, 1936, Alfred Tarski said that arithmetical truth cannot be defined in arithmetic.

Yet the subject of truth expands throughout all subjects, and has had a lot of literature published on the subject in anthropology, sociology, theory, Post-Modernism and many other fields.

So is the truth subjective? Can one truth only apply for so many people? Or are there objective truths that will be no less true from any perspective? And if there is a truth is it possible for us to find it and define it?

2 comments

  • >I find this question quite difficult. It almost depends how you define the word 'truth'. Yet even the dictionary struggles to define what it is. The Collins version says that 'truth' is "something that is true", while to be "true" is to be "in accordance with the truth". I don't know about you but I find those definitions somewhat inadequate.I would say the answer depends on what you're talking about. If you say "the Sun is hot" then that is truth to us, but is it true to a hotter star? Does this make truth subjective? What if we added conditions onto the phrase, saying "the Sun is hot to a human being"? Even then though someone could say it is not hot if he/she is on the side of Earth pointing away from the Sun.In other words, if we kept adding conditionals and lengthening our sentence we would probably gain an objective truth at some point, but most truth is subjectively defined.Is truth difficult to find and evaluate? Do we need brains in order to find truth? I would say we do not need to calculate the truth in order for it to be so, because despite the fact that a log cannot think, it is still true that is soon to be split into two by an axe. However for us, knowing what is true is generally quite difficult. It's very unlikely that if you were to chop a log into two it would fall precisely into two neat pieces, even if it seemed thus to the naked eye. In reality small slithers of wood will have sprung free from either side of the log, and it will not have become 2, but many. Calculating how many pieces it had become would be virtually impossible if you went right down to the molecular level. So I agree that the 'whole' cannot be given for all things.

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