PHIL: Truth, rationality, science (Was: Truth RELIGION: The

Max More (
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 11:26:58 -0800

At 01:44 AM 2/13/97 -0600, Gregory Houston wrote:
>> [...] nothing is *provable* in science, only
>> refutable. [More]
>If science cannot prove something as true or false, then science cannot
>attain truth.

Truth is not the same idea as proof. Science can attain truth but may be
unable to prove it. That's why pancritical rationalism is so important. No
matter how well confirmed a theory is, not matter how it may seem to be the
truth, it may only be a close approximation too the truth.

>The concept of "truth" is not even compatible with Pancritical
>Rationalism. Truth is truth, its either true or false. Truth cannot
>sorta be truth ... thus the concept of truth is not open to criticism.

Truth is the goal we seek in science and rationality in general. In one
sense, yes, either something is true or not. However, in another sense
there can be degrees of truth (are you familiar with fuzzy logic?), and we
can come closer to the truth. In moving from Newtonian absolute mass to
relativistic mass I think we have moved closer to the truth, perhaps even
have attained it. While there is literally no intrinsic mass, Newton's
views is subsumed as an approximation in the superceding theory.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute, Editor, Extropy,
(310) 398-0375