Does truth matter?

The way a person thinks says a lot about someone. And yet there are a great deal of commonalities between us all in this. We think about outcomes. If someone asks you what they should do my bet is that you probably reply with a question designed to seek their objectives. This is pragmatism in the style of philosophers such as Dewey. But for most of history we thought quite differently. For instance the ancient Greeks and middle ages thinkers would ask which course of action best reflects or discovers the truth. If this was deemed logical for most of human history does it still have logic today? Should truth be a constant aim? Or should we always be pragmatic?

2 comments

  • Yes, good question, and something I’ve been thinking about recently. I will expand more on it in my next post but my initial point is that the truth has little purpose in itself.

    If the truth makes things easier, then the real purpose is to make things easier, not establish the truth.

    If the truth makes us happier, then again, the real purpose is to make ourselves happy, not discover the truth.

    So in this way truth only matters if it assists in achieving an objective.

    If the objective doesn’t need truth in order to be accomplished, then we can say that the truth is irrelevant.

    • Philosophically speaking your answer is very much a product of our age: pragmatic, relativistic and in a way utilitarian. But sorry to disappoint if you wanted a debate, because I completely agree. You could argue that truth is usually what helps most but even then you’d be arguing as a pragmatist. It’d be very hard to avoid your reasoning in making a counterargument.

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