Infinite Truth

1600 WordsNov 30, 20057 Pages
Infinite Truth Since the dawn of philosophical thought there has been a desire to find truth. Now exactly what truth is depends upon whom you ask. Philosophers have been searching for truth in various forms for at least as far back as Aristotle in the first century B.C. all the way up to Carl Hempel in the 20th century A.D. To Aristotle and Plato truth was reality; To Descartes truth was found in God; To Hempel truth was found in explanation. None of these are accurate and yet all of them point toward the same truth. Reality, as defined by Plato and Aristotle, God, as proved be Descartes and ideal explanation as modeled by Hempel, all allude to the same thing. They point out that mankind is a finite being and that truth is only…show more content…
Descartes states in the beginning of his proof that all things clear and distinct are true. That is no more accurate than saying that all ideas that are ambiguous to someone are unconditionally untrue. He also states, the existence of God depends on the clarity and distinctness with which we perceive the idea of God. Therefore, if to me, it was not clear and distinct then it would not necessarily be true. But the clarity and distinctness of our thoughts depends on the existence of God. This seems to be a very circular argument and is dependent on the existence of God to prove the existence of God. Again human perception falls short of truth. Do people understand truth more in more modern settings? Over the course of the 20th century Carl Hempel came up with two models of human explanation that he organized as ideals. Bas Van Fraassen puts forth a few problems with the models. The problems he states are; asymmetry, relevance, low probability, and legality. These are not the problems with the models. The real problems come from, as Hempel puts it, "the universal laws invoked… can have only been established on the basis of a finite body of evidence, which surely affords no exhaustive verification". (Balashov, pg. 51) He also says that because of this all the laws used in the deductive-nomological method of explanation are all only probabilistic. This means that the only method that Hempel actually explains is his probabilistic method. Since all
Open Document