File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1998/bhaskar.9810, message 22

Date: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 23:50:28 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: truth again

Instead of going through all the points Colin so
beautifully puts forward concerning 'truth', let me just
pose three questions. These questions are based on the
suspicion that it might not be enough to declare that
the other person presupposes the claim of his/her
opponent. If A declines to be convinced by B, it is
usually a call for further reasons and evidence. Strong
attacks imply always the burden of proof. Thus, it
must be also shown HOW and WHY is alethia presupposed:

1. Exactly in what sense is the notion of alethia
   presupposed by me or Ruth? And what exactly is meant by
   it? To me it is not enough to say that without it realism
   becomes thin and useless. For me, it does not. Why, and in
   what sense, should it?

2. It is exactly the distinction between ontological
   realism and truth and truth-judgments belonging
   to the transitive dimension that makes it possible
   for truth-judgments being wrong about something. We can
   NOT project "our truths" on them, because the world is
   independent of our theories of them (in the social world
   however, only with qualifications). Hence the endless
   openness to further ideas, reasons and, last but not
   least, EVIDENCE. A model/theory claimed to be true should
   not mistake truth as a predicate of the world. Would not
   you need to show HOW and WHY is *alethia* (truth as a
   predicate of world; what kind of predicate?)
   presupposed in any of these claims here?

3. Since many formulations seemingly support the view that
   'alethia' = ontological realism, we would need to know
   why and how exectly are they different.

To make the point as clearly as possible: I am NOT making
a conventionalist argument, and the demand for ground
and evidence should NEVER be to ask anybody to "shut up".
I am only saying that the conventionalist does have a point.
It is easy to argue against straw men, and it is easy to
claim that the other persons presuppose your claim. It is
more difficult to take into account nuances and qualifications,
and particularly to show what exactly is presupposed and why
(we are not dealing with self-evident deductive-logical
relations here). More elaborated arguments are
hence called for...

To Ruth: She says:

>"Somehow the theory you have starts to reflect the way things *really*
>are...," as though this were a bad thing.  I wouldn't go along with that,
>but I'm not sure that Heikki meant it the way it came out.

Yes, perhaps the emphasis should have been on the term "reflect".
Reflection is a subject-independent relation, and thereby
this (leninist) notion opens up the possibilty of thinking that
*our* theory is THE true one, that is, it is beyond dispute.

Models and explanations that are not beyond dispute can
nonetheless be highly critical of any established truths.
They claim to CORRESPOND to the way things really are.
But they are quite not as "strong" and unchanging as THE truths;
that is, they are non-violent.



Heikki Patom=E4ki,
Network Institute of Global Democratisation (NIGD)
Helsinki & Nottingham
tel: 	+358 -(0)40  - 558 2916 (GSM)
	+44 - (0)802 - 598 332  (GSM)


Department of International Studies
Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Lane
Nottingham NG11 8NS
The United Kingdom
tel:	+44 - (0)115 - 948 6610
fax: 	+44 - (0)115 - 948 6385

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