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Correspondence Theory of Truth

Here is what i take from _Objective Knowledge_ ch 8 and 9 regarding the correspondence theory of truth.

the correspondence theory of truth says a statement is true if it corresponds to the facts

people have trouble with this. what can that possibly mean? Popper used to have trouble with it, and wonder about that question.

i think it is straightforward. English already handles it very naturally. it means:

The statement 'there is a door there' is true if there is a door there.

well, it turns out that's basically what Tarski figured out. here is Tarski's breakthrough that Popper is impressed by. (I thought of my solution before reading Tarski's.)

Tarski's version is more complicated. he figured out you can do it using multiple languages. you say this:

yo hablo espanol is true if i speak spanish.

the advantage of the foreign language is you don't necessarily have to quote it. and you can give an explanation kinda like this: we use a meta-language which contains both spanish statements, and english facts, so we can talk about statements and facts together in one language, so we can discuss their correspondence.

then he noticed you can do it just as easily in one language using quotes. just say:

'i speak spanish' is true if i speak spanish.

that's the same as my example. English is a powerful language that can already discuss both facts and statements without any outside help.

Elliot Temple on March 8, 2009


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