Defending Truth


When Pilate asked Jesus Christ “What is truth?” (John 18:38), he seems to have meant it rhetorically and Jesus gave him no reply. Philosophers have given several, however. Rather than views such as coherence or pragmatism, the one I think works best (pun intended) is the Correspondence View: that “truth” is the correspondence of a statement to reality. Because reality is singular and shared by all, truth is absolute and objective – but these are traits, not definitions.

Although philosophically sophisticated treatments of this view exist, even young children intuitively understand it. If I tell my 4 year old son that we are having pancakes for dinner and I serve him broccoli, he knows I did not speak the truth!

There are basically three ways to attack this definition:

  1. Attack “correspondence” by arguing that truth is not actually correspondence but something else.
  2. Attack “statement” with those whose truth value does not seem to be universal.
  3. Attack “reality” by arguing that we do not know reality.

Below I will briefly treat each one.

See the rest here!