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What is Wrong With Truth

Updated: May 26, 2023

“All areas of research and study are concerned with uncovering truths about the world,” a scholar declares. Incorrect to say that.

“So different subjects have different ways of accessing truth,” the scholar adds. More. “Scientific truth is determined using the scientific method which is a clearly defined framework for deciding how likely something is to be correct.”

Gestalt Psychology itself points out, however, that no experience comes in isolation of other experiences. Means observation of x is observation of x in the context of some past or prior experience. Means whatever is observed, therefore investigated by science, is never neutral.

Gestalt Principles of Composition. Photo by Akermariano, Wikimedia Commons

In addition, history of science itself indicates that research in science occasionally moves forward by way of accidents. The discovery of the laws of buoyancy, the discovery of X-ray, and the discovery of the benzene ring configuration are good examples.

More. The scientific method itself has yet to be mathematicised. The scientific method “does not have a specific mathematical formula as it is more of a general approach to conducting research, rather than a specific formula or equation.” Means some level of ambiguity involving the method.

More. Sampling what gets to be observed is highly problematic. Samples are measured according to some generalization. Yet generalizations are themselves based on samples. This circularity is inescapable. Whatever generalization, meaning theory, that gets to be declared cannot but be tentative.

More. No scientific statement can be taken in isolation. The contrary means whatever statement that is considered and is assumed independent of the entire body of scientific knowledge cannot be "scientific." This body of scientific knowledge itself is constantly up for upgrade, sometimes downgrade, every time some new scientific discovery is made. Science as a body of knowledge is dynamically constantly evolving. Means scientific statements, on account of connection with other statements, are constantly being revised in value or form.

More. "There are many formal languages used in mathematics, logic and computer science that do not use these terms ("true," false," or "truth"). These languages rely on logical connectives and symbols to convey information and make deductions."

All these, among other reasons, indicate that the products of the scientific method, meaning the generalizations or theories that everyone gets to use thanks to science, cannot be described as some form of truth. Scientific generalizations are expected to be either revised or rejected in favor of more useful ones. Ergo, can only be referred to as theories. Not truths.

As I tell my students, if you want to know the truth, go to church. Do not expect universities to give that to you.

We use the scientific method to end up with tools we can use to be able to predict. Predicting gives us more control over our lives. Gives us more chances of surviving the demands of entropy. All there is to it, prediction.

The desire for truth in science brings with it incoherence. Not advisable.

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