Lecture Notes.

Module Four: Session Six

Basics of Truth

True or False

  • Every claim is either true or false. It doesn't matter if you agree with a claim and it doesn't matter if you know whether it's true or false. It also doesn't matter if other people disagree about the claim.
  • Truth: A claim is true if and only if it corresponds with reality.
  • "Reality" covers not only the material world, but also the metaphysical, moral, and ideological world. Take for instance "justice." You can't go out to the store and get one, but "justice" is still real. We can make claims that are true about justice. For instance, if an innocent man goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit, while the real criminal got away, we can truthfully say, "Justice wasn't done."
  • It isn't always easy to see whether the claim is true or false. That's what we're trying to discover when we reason. Before we reason we know one thing for sure; the claim that we're reasoning about IS true or false. Not both. Not neither.

The Three Fundamental Laws of Logic

  • Law of Identity: If a claim is true, then it is true.
  • Law of the Excluded Middle: Every claim is either true or false.
  • Law of Non-Contradiction: No claim can be true and false at the same time.
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