Truth: What is it? Rationalism and Empiricism

Theories of Truth

  • Correspondence Theory
    • G. E. Moore
    • Correspondence between an idea and reality
    • Ideas must be in agreement with the reality
  • Coherence Theory
    • F.H.Bradley, Rudolf Carnap
    • A proposition is true if it coheres with a network of symbols by semantic rules
    • Ideas must complement one another orderly and consistently without contradictions
  • Pragmatism
    • William James, John Dewey
    • The hypothesis that works is the true one.
    • Truth has the power to change the world and make the progress in human society.
  • Existentialistic Theory
    • Heidegger
    • Truth us not an impersonal object, but a freely chosen act.
    • Freedom is an indivisual’s inner rightness, which enables him to receive the truth
  • Adequation Theory

Nature of Truth

  • Absolutism
    • Plato
    • Truth is objective and absolute
  • Relativism
    • Sophists
    • Truth is subjective and a personal opinion
  • Nihilism
    • There is no truth
  • Skepticism
    • Gorgias, Pyrrho, Hume
    • There is not certainty, so we cannot judge
  • Agnosticism
    • T. H. Huxley
    • Truth is unknowable.

Empiricism vs. Rationalism

  • Empiricism
    • Locke, Berkeley, Hume
    • Knowledge is derived from experiences
    • Locke
      • The mind at birth is a blank tablet (tabula rasa)
    • Berkeley
      • To be is to be perceived
      • Objects exist only in our experiences
    • Hume
      • Phenomenalism: Valid knowledge is limited to phenomena (objects of senses only)
      • Skepticism: We experience only impressions, not reality
  • Rationalism
    • Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza
    • Truth is derived from reason

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