virus: accurate statements vs The Abosulute Truth (was KMO quotes Plato)

Kevin M O'Connor (
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 02:35:24 EST

On Wed, 30 Oct 96 19:05:10 MST "Jason McVean" <>

>To use your example, I don't mean to say that an apple is
>true. Rather that the truth of an apple (type T) is that it (on
>average) has a concentration of fructose=C, a diameter=D,
>contains N seeds, and so on.

That might constitute a true statement (notice the article; "a") about an
apple, but it really only confuses things to call that statement THE
truth of the apple, especially if my interest in the apple is its color
or the brand name that is stickered to it's surface. This notion of THE
truth has just got to go.

The distinction between propositions and the things they describe is a
useful distinction. It keeps us from mistaking the map for the
territory. The territory is what it is. We can refine our maps to make
them better representations of the territory, but there will never be one
perfect map, no Absolute Truth, becuase the utility of the map,
regardless of its degree of accuracy, varies according to our needs and
interests. Jason, I'm confused by your seeming determination to paper
over this very useful distinction.

Take care. -KMO