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For Poppet & Philosophically Minded
Wed Nov 8, 2017 11:52am

Real World Epistemology

In real world, empirical statements (and sets of such statements), there are always more than two possible truth values possible in principle.

Here is my current list. Note the use of the word "current(ly)", meaning that such values change as new data and reasoning become available. Does anyone have more to add?

True = currently heavily supported by objective evidence and careful reasoning as in "the Earth is spherical"

False = currently heavily contradicted by objective evidence and careful reasoning as in "the Earth is flat"

Meaningless = devoid of empirical meaning, like "the photon went through slit #1 (in an interference experiment)"

Vague = might be amended into a meaningful statement, but needs clarification as in "the Earth is very old", here "old" could be more than 70 years (applied to a person), more than 2000 years (applied to history), etc

Unknown = can not be determined based upon current knowledge and reasoning but might someday be determined as in "the third planet orbiting Alpha Centauri bears life"

Unknowable = can not be ever determined by any conceivable application of evidence and reasoning as in "there is life after death"

Self-contradictory = statement that disagrees with itself (possibly considered a subset of False or Meaningless) as in "there are married bachelors in New York"

Absurd = so stupid that it defies categorization as in "the largest number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin is 7"


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