Diversity of Truth Claims Instead of Heterogeneity of Truth Conditions

My previous use of the phrase “heterogeneity of truth conditions” expressed a philosophical error. Since I already accepted what I called “opacity of truth conditions.” To say that truth conditions are opaque is to claim that we cannot specify what they are like apart from our ways of representing. If truth conditions are opaque, I cannot even specify them as one or many apart from our ways of representing them. Consequently, I cannot specify them as many, by claiming they are heterogeneous. My concerns in the previous post about whether I was expressing pluralism over monism was not only wasted labor. It also expressed a philosophical error by proposing inconsistent theses.

What I now propose, using a popular term of 2021, is “diversity of truth claims.” This really is a corollary of the philosophical thesis that any logically consistent truth claim can be true. Although I, as earlier in ,Almost all religious truth claims can be true, emphasized most are false. Truth claim diversity is also a corollary of the dismissal of an ideal language. We cannot set limits on what people say to express the truth. We cannot, for instance, rule out truth claims that cannot be tested by the methods of science, viz., we cannot be logical positivists. Generalizing the standard critique of logical positivism as inconsistent with its own standards for being a truth claim, we realize that we cannot consistently rule out as possibly true -cognitively meaningful- truth claims which cannot be verified by any specified method.

Dismissal of an ideal language, i.e., accepting diversity of truth claims sets aside a belief, implicitly held by me, that some reduction to one way of speaking was crucial for accurate expression of the truth. It is a mistake to think that we can only accurately express the truth if we speak only of physical objects and processes; let alone speak only of individual objects as nominalists require. Of course, for particular purposes we may choose to consider only truth claims of restricted types. For instance, in physics it is proper to set aside all truth claims about so-called secondary qualities

I think that dismissal of an ideal language implies that we cannot select a subset of truth claims as those which are factually true while others are true only as inferences from them. I will call this thesis “epistemic equality of truth claims.” There is no fundamental distinction between theoretical truth and factual truth. We are in no position to hold that there are some basic facts to make some basic factual claims true and other truth claims are inferences to explain the basic facts. To paraphrase Kronecker about mathematics, the thesis I am rejecting holds: The basic facts are made by God while all the other claims are human work. If a fact is whatever makes a truth claim true, there is no reason for denying that a claim such as one expressing the law of gravity or species evolution is a statement of fact.

I have written nothing about the epistemology of truth. I have only been reminding myself that the problem of discovering truth is not primarily a verbal problem which can be solved by somehow having the right language.