File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1998/bhaskar.9810, message 9

Date: Fri, 02 Oct 1998 15:27:44 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: truth again

Hi again,

Just very quick this time.

>So, you know, I'm sympathetic to the alethia idea...)

Perhaps, given your recourse to it in your everyday life you need to
rethink your theory of truth and get around your theory/practice
inconsistency :-).

 I'm pretty well convinced that causal structures in
>the natural world just are what they are, neither true nor false. 

But you can only say this Ruth if you, (i) accept alethia (the just what
they are), then reject this "just as they are" as their being in an sense
true. But what then is this just what they are? Alethia?

>While maybe you and I know that when you say "H20 is the truth of water"
>what you really mean is "There are good reasons to think that `H2O' is a
>good re-description of the term `water'," (though on pain of circularity I'm
>not sure exactly what the reasons would be for you, or how you would go
>about weighting them -- since the criteria for theory choice in your view is
>the alethia of the object of investigation; 

I don't think I have ever said that alethia were the ONLY grounds for
theory choice, did I? I explicitly pointed out the social dimensions.
Anyway, iif water is composed of H20, then this seems to me to be perfectly
valid to appeal to this in issues of theory choice.

but this is a side point) --
>while you and I may know that all you *really* mean is that water has some
>determinate structure and not another, most English speakers probably
>wouldn't get that from the word "truth" in this context -- unless they
knew that really it was being used metaphorically.  But it's way too
important a point to have this much slippage in the meaning of the term, in
my view.

But we aren't having a *most* english speakers discussion. Most english
speakers I talk to have enough trouble getting their heads around
epistemology (that is what it means) let alone the concept of alethic truth.

>Plus, I think we do, actually, disagree about criteria for theory choice
and >the role of alethia therein.  But given that I am far more certain
about what I *don't* agree with than I am about what I do hold, I probably
can't >elaborate very satisfactorily here.

Plus, also, I have to say. I think you may be reading me as saying that
alethia are the only grounds. THIS IS NOT MY POSITION. Nonetheless, I would
be interested to hear you outline your grounds for theory choice; grounds
that is that did not *in some way* appeal to the way things are (the
alethia of those things).

>To shift gears for a second, has anyone else noticed that, so far anyway, it
>seems to be the women on the list who have been most exercised about the
>idea that truth inheres in natural (I personally am now willing to think
>more about the social case) mechanisms -- and that this fact alone provides,
>or ought to provide, the criteria for theory choice?  

Well, again this is not my position, nor anybodies I would have thought. I
don't have access to my last reply, But I am sure I didn't say the way
things are is the ONLY criteria for theory choice.


This has been written very quickly BTW sorry for the tone Im in a hurry.


Dr. Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales
telephone: +44 (0)1970-621769
fax      : +44 (0)1970-622709

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