On 12/30/2013 3:39 AM, 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
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.
I'm not sure this is right. If our mental model includes our best and most fundamental
scientific theories, then we don't *know* they are very different from reality. And we
only say we know this about our naive, inbuilt model of the world (which is more
Newtonian) because we compare it with the scientific models; yet the latter is derived
from the former. "Science is just common sense writ large."
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.)
3. External reality is a consistent logical structure. It is computed, 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
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
This is the Consistency Theory of Knowledge. Consistency over maximum scope IS truth,
the only truth possible to know.
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.
OK, except I think your terminology is confusing because you use "truth" as a noun, and
write thins like "truth of our mental model is the thing itself". If you would stick to
"true" as an adjective applying to sentences the above could be a lot cleaner.
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