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Truth and Categories

Tom Hopkins at Usable Interfaces deepens the discussion from categorization to truth. Isn’t truth what’s really at stake, he asks.

Certainly, traditionally the two are tied, since truth was taken to apply to propositions, and the canonical form of a proposition is X is Y. The Y, one way or another, is likely to be or imply a categorization. We’ve always been happy to say both that Socrates is a human and Socrates is hungry, without thinking there’s a contradiction between those two, because Socrates can have more than attribute (i.e., belong in more than one category). Classically, though, we’ve wanted to be able to assign one category as fundamental, or “essential”…

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3 Responses to “Truth and Categories”

  1. Things change.

    Knowledge changes.

    Knowledge is a social construct of consensus. It’s bound to change.

    The truth is therefore elusive and transitory, being observable only momentarily.

    The truth today is that:

    • Socrates is not hungry.
    • Socrates is not human.
  2. I still bridle at the idea that K is a “social construct of consensus.” Having everyone say it’s so doesn’t make it so. OTOH, there is certainly a social element to K.

    I trust that clarifies the issue ;)

  3. The One, which alone is wise, does not want and yet does want to be called by the name Zzzz.

    Heracratylus

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