On 30 Dec 2013, at 12:39, Edgar L. Owen wrote:


In response to the discussion of the possibility of a "Final Theory" I'm starting a new topic on the Nature of Truth since this is an important and separate issue from previous discussions.

1, it is impossible to directly know the external fundamental reality, we know external reality only filtered through the structures of our own minds. What we really know is only our own mental model of external reality which is provably very very different than actual external reality.

2, However we can easily prove that we do know external fundamental reality to an extent sufficient for us to function reasonably effectively within it. If we didn't have some actual true knowledge of external reality we could not even function within it and thus could not exist. So our very existence in actual reality demonstrates we do have some true knowledge of it. (This true knowledge consists of snippets of logical structure rather than the physical world we believe it to be.)

That are belief, not knowledge.

Standard theories of knowledge accepts the axiom Know(p) -> p. (If I know p, then it is the case that p).

3. External reality is a consistent logical structure.

What do you mean by reality and external reality. You make a strong assumption here.

It is computed,

That is so strong that it is inconsistent.

and for it to be computed it must follow consistent logical rules.

4. Therefore the only real test of truth is its internal logical consistency over the entire scope of knowledge. We can not directly compare our knowledge to the external world because it is filtered through the structures of our own senses and minds, but we do know that our knowledge is truth to the extent it is internally self- consistent over maximum scope.

Knowledge needs correctness ([]p -> p), but consistency is much weaker ([]f -> f). Correct implies consistent, but consistent does not imply correct.

5. In fact this is the actual working basis of scientific method, forensics, our successful functioning in daily life and in all human endeavors that seek truth. Namely is the body of knowledge in question internally consistent. If it is not then something is UNtrue.

This is the Consistency Theory of Knowledge. Consistency over maximum scope IS truth, the only truth possible to know.

You are not using those terms with the usual meaning. I guess you mean "belief" when you say "knowledge".
Machine's knowledge is not definable by machine.
Machine's consistency is definable by machine, but not provable by consistent machine.

There is and can be no direct knowledge of truth, there is only consistency.

This applies to all types of truth, from the logical structures in daily life moment to moment, as well as to knowledge of a "Final Theory".

There is however one important exception. Our mental model of reality is part of the actual external reality, and we do have direct knowledge of that. The truth of that is the thing itself. But its truth is an internal mental model of external reality, not the external reality it pretends to be.

The truth of that is consciousness, which is undoubtable and incorrigible, but that does not say much on the nature of the "external reality", if that exists.



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