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A Path to a Conception of Symbolic Truth

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Małgorzata Czarnocka

This book deals with correspondence truth, and offers an explanation of correspondence as a symbolization of reality. The author analyses those basic elements of known correspondence truth theories which are the cause of their inadequacy. She focuses on the theories which try to modify the strongest classical theories and shows that these theories are unable to free themselves from seeing correspondence as copying (mirroring). The book presents a «symbolic» correspondence truth theory claiming that correspondence is a specific kind of symbolisation in a Cassirer-close sense, and correspondence truth is neither a copy, nor any other imitation of reality, but its symbol.

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Chapter 3. Verisimilitude. The Problem of Metaphysical Nature of Correspondence Truth

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Chapter 3 Verisimilitude. The Problem of Metaphysical Nature of Correspondence Truth

3.1  Karl Popper’s Resolution of the Truth Issue in Science

One of the pioneers in expanding the correspondence truth theory to include it in the general debate on the development of science was Karl R. Popper with his verisimilitude (or, as it is sometimes called, truthlikeness) theory. Verisimilitude supporters not only frequently discuss the concept but also strive to specify, modify, and expand it, weeding out some of the drawbacks of the original Popperian version in the process. Unfortunately, these efforts have not managed to eliminate some major failings of the verisimilitude idea.

In my reflections on the main ideas underlying Popper’s verisimilitude theory I will bypass its relatively well known critique by among others Pavel Tichý and David Miller,54 mainly because it does not address these main ideas but only strives to uncover and correct certain technical drawbacks. It is generally — and in my opinion too optimistically — believed that the removal of such technical problems is enough to make Popper’s verisimilitude conception a worthwhile theory which breaks with the orthodoxy of the standard, classical views of correspondence truth, especially those which negate the absolute character of truth. This was indeed why Popper developed the verisimilitude conception, and this is how it is viewed by two of its main “constructive” supporters, Illkka Niinniluoto and Theo Kuipers,55 who have built upon the basic ideas underlying verisimilitude. Both maintain...

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