I meant to write more last time but got waylaid by an onslaught of weather and progress on this topic is likely to be glacial for now. But I have been mulling over Tom Gollier’s comments all the while and the best I can do so far by way of getting our minds on the same page is simply to assemble our words on this one.
- There are many conceptions of truth — linguistic, model-theoretic, proof-theoretic — for the moment I’m focused on cybernetics, systems, and experimental sciences and this is where the pragmatic conception of truth fits what we naturally do in those sciences remarkably well.
- The main thing in those activities is the relationship among symbol systems, the world, and our actions, whether in thought, among ourselves, or between ourselves and the world.
- So the notion of truth we want here is predicated on three dimensions: the patch of the world we are dealing with in a given application, the systems of signs we are using to describe that domain, and the transformations of signs we find of good service in bearing information about that piece of the world.
- First, assuming that “symbol systems” are more or less consistent and complete a priori structures of Thirdness and “the world” is existential Secondness, the question of “truth” seems to be just what “actions” will bridge the abyss between them. “Thought” alone doesn’t, but thought “among ourselves” (the a priori method) might have a shot at it. Scientific experimentation seems to be pretty good at it, but …
- Secondly, assuming those systems of Thirdness are finite while the world of Secondness is both interconnected and infinite, any claim to truth must be made in the face of leaving something, a lot, out of it.
There is much about “the relationship among symbol systems, the world, and our actions, whether in thought, among ourselves, or between ourselves and the world” to mull over here. (Suddenly I have a craving for cider …)