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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 4. Partial Truth. Newton C. A. Da Costa and Steven French’s Conception

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Chapter 4 Partial Truth. Newton C. A. Da Costa and Steven French’s Conception

This chapter is devoted to the partial truth theory propounded by Newton C. A. da Costa and Steven French in the Science and Partial Truth. A Unitary Approach to Models and Scientific Reasoning.83 I start with a review of Charles Sanders Peirce’s views on the matter, as they were what inspired both philosophers to their own partial truth conception.

4.1  Between the Pragmatistic and Correspondence Approaches to Truth

Approximation truth concepts which are based on the belief that the development of scientific knowledge is convergent carry a general thesis about the series of approximation theories in which each new theory is closer to absolute truth than its predecessor. In other words, the path of scientific development is a path to absolute truth which leads through truths that are incomplete, imperfect and non-absolute but come closer and closer to the absolute truth. The intuitional idea of knowledge converging to absolute truth has been variously interpreted, also in pragmatism which holds the correspondence-opposing point of view. Absolute truth is the limit of a series of real cognitive processes, and an ideal which science strives after but never attains. The path to truth is infinite but not in vain, as science is gradually getting closer to it — each new phase in the development of scientific knowledge lies closer to absolute truth than the one it follows. These are the most...

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