A Mammalian Theory of Truth.

Posted on April 11, 2011

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I’ve noticed: when people like each other, we tend to call attention to our similarities. “You and I, we’re the same” seems to be the most important and highest compliment and it is closely followed by, “we have the same friends in common.”

It occurred to me yesterday that correspondence theories of truth are a very mammalian way to make sense of our relationships with the non-human world. If similarities matter most in our human relationships, it makes sense that we would also tend to think similarities matter most in our non-human relationships. Thus, a true belief, for many people, is a lot like a true friend — it corresponds to and mirrors who we are.

If I’m right about this, the idea that our most important beliefs are those that correspond to or mirror the world isn’t rooted in a poor but entrancing metaphor; instead, it is rooted in our very humanness.

Posted in: Philosophy