Thursday, November 17, 2011

There was no eclipse yesterday

There was in fact no eclipse yesterday, as I predicted two days ago.  Hence my prediction was right.

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6 Comments:

Blogger J said...

So...who is the Truthmaker in this case?? It's you, Ock! (and anyone who called it correctly, whether JPL-Cal Tech astro-boys, or the custodians at JPL who might have an interest in eclipse-tech). The object/state of affairs/event doesn't itself "make" a truth. Humans perceiving, and capable of writing do. One reason the Bolsheviks took issue with naive Darwinians--before humans capable of language were around...truth didn't exist

Which is to say, if humans had no eyes (and associated neurology, and language)....truthmakin' would be far more problematic.

5:59 pm  
Blogger Anthony said...

"There was in fact no eclipse yesterday". I'm just as certain of that as I was about the initial claim. But assuming you're telling the truth and not mistaken....

What's the truthmaker/falsemaker for *that*?

I don't think there is one...

2:26 am  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>I'm just as certain of that as I was about the initial claim.

I thought you said that future tense statements are not capable of truth or falsity? (Apologies if I misunderstood).

8:18 am  
Blogger Anthony said...

>> I thought you said that future tense statements are not capable of truth or falsity?

I'm pretty sure I didn't. In the other thread you assign that position to me unfairly (and self-contradictorily).

The only sense that future tense statements are incapable of truth or falsity is the sense that no statements are capable of truth or falsity. Which is to say, I prefer to use the term proposition. A statement, so far as I can tell, is just a type of sentence - a group of words - and the words themselves do not have a truth value. This is really obvious in the case of the sentence "There was in fact no eclipse yesterday". That group of words can be used to express both a true proposition and a false proposition, depending on when it is uttered.

So, for me, the "that" that I am talking about in "I'm just as certain of that" is the proposition expressed by the statement, not the statement itself. But as you insist on continually mixing sentences and statements and propositions, I sometimes accidentally capitulate and just follow along with the confusion.

12:09 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>A statement, so far as I can tell, is just a type of sentence - a group of words - and the words themselves do not have a truth value.
<<

It is perfectly standard, in mathematical logic, e.g., to assign a truth value for sentences. Each individual word does not have a truth value. But a group of words do, so long as they form a declarative sentence.

3:12 pm  
Blogger Anthony said...

"You are right." is a declarative sentence. What's its truth value?

"I like applesauce." is a declarative sentence. What's its truth value?

3:54 pm  

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