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Defining And Discussing Truth Philosophy Essay

In our real life, we always talk about truth. We try to find the real meaning of truth in every aspects of our life. This is because people want to ensure that they can know the best for their own life. Different people will have different meaning of truth that they apply. Some of the people will define truth that it is must be something that really concrete which that can be prove either by using any ‘formula’ or analytical analysis. Some of them will define truth that something which too abstract to discuss for. Thus this condition will bring these people into some argument in order to determine the real truth is. In dictionary, truth is defined as an idea that is accepted by most people as being true [1] . But in the real world, it does not seems to be like that. Basically we have to understand that different area of knowledge needs us to identify different way to obtain the truth. For example, different student have different ways of learning style in order to understand the subject teach by the teacher. Some student may need to do the practical learning such doing an experiment and some student may prefer to study alone before they can understand the subject. So in this essay we will cover the way that makes the truth is differ in three different area of knowledge (math, arts and ethics). We would also cover how the universal truth can bear in math, arts and ethics.

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Basically, truth in math is all about the proving. Human usually try to solve the formula or getting the axiom before we can solve the math problem. We also need to know that the truth in math does not relate to the real which differ to the arts and ethics. The only thing that can be argue here is about the way that we invent the formula or the axiom itself. Mathematicians who usually involve in inventing this axiom will usually try to find the pattern or the sequence in math. For example is the arimethic and geometric progression. Mathematicians will determine this kind of pattern of the number that they obtain. Given a series of number such as 4, 3, 8/3, 5/2, 12/5, 7/3, and so on. Mathematicians will see that each term is added by two in order to get the next term. From this pattern, the mathematicians can derive a formula which is ‘ ‘ which the ‘n’ represent the number of term that we want to investigate and 4 will be the first term. This will stand the axiom for this kind of series and sequences. At the same time we can see that anything that happen to real world does not have influence on the inventing of the axiom..

In arts, there is no absolute truth. Thus, if we talk about truth, people will define the truth differently in arts. This is because the evaluation of truth and their perception on it rely on their level of senses that they have. Compare to math and ethics, the truth in arts is merely influence by anything that occur to the real world and this may be express through the arts. To explain this, we may refer to the classical art which is the work of Greek and Roman ancient times. But as the Islamic period start to develop and at the same time the glory of Greek and Roman declining, the arts start to shift to the Medieval arts which withstand up to millennium. Then, with the beginning of Renaissance period, this narrative shifts into Early Christian arts. Based on this movement of arts, we can see that there is no absolute one truth. It depends on our perception to the surrounding and how our mind expresses it into the arts. One thing that we all need to know is that there is no only one truth.

Compare to ethics, the truth value in ethics is depends on individual perceptions and what they believe. This truth value usually related to the moral value practice by the person itself and how they set the parameter for the truth to be exists. Absolutely people will set the parameter for the truth to be a truth based on their moral value that they practice in their life. Thus, the truth value in ethics may change as they believe that they use is change. This can be observe through this analogy. Person A say that drinking alcohol may cause him drunk and also put him into a risk to get many disease due to consumption of alcohol. At the same time another person named B believe that he can still drink the alcohol as long as he did not drunk and he still can do his work without affected by the alcohol that he consumed. We can see that how the person A and B set their parameter either to drink the alcohol or not based on their own believe. Thus, different parameter will give us different value of truth. In a simple conclusion, we can say that the truth would be a truth as long as the moral value does not exceed the parameter set by each of us.

Another thing that we need to put into our consideration is about how the universal truth can bear in these three different areas of knowledge. As we can see, everyone accept that ” 1+1=2″. Thus this will bring the universal truth to the people who accept this fact. But how about if we bring the theory that we learnt such as pi (Ï€) to the alien? Are the value that we use is true for them? The answer is that the value of pi , is the universal truth for those people that hold the same concept and understanding on the value of pi, Ï€. So we can see that, the universal truth of the math is come from the basis of the maths itself and how we define the logic in order to stand the axiom that can be use in most area of knowledge. If we understand math differently from the early of its invention, thus we will bring different universal truth in mathematics.

As being stated by the Aristotle, art has an ability to represent the realities of human action and life [2] . The art is more concerned about the human action and what happen to life while in math most of the time is about getting the axiom before getting the truth. At the same time, it does not involve to the reality of human action all the time and any right or wrong action. For instance, in the real world, we have many types of music such as rocks, ballad, traditional music, rap, and so on. Different people will have different choices of music and it is does not to be a wrong action if we are only interested to the ballad music compare to the others. Thus, this will be the universal truth for the people that like to listen to ballad song although they live in the different place in the world. They still can share anything that is related to the ballad music and it is does not to be a wrong action if we like more than one type of music.

If we discuss deeper on ethics, what seems to be right for me does not be the same for the other people. Every people need to set their own parameter in determine whether the action taken is right or wrong for their life. If all people fall into an agreement on ethics, this will bring to the universal truth in ethics. As an example, most of the people agree that it is wrong to pass through a traffic light when it is in red. People that do not in the same line with the people that have set this rule are not involved in this universal truth of ethic. Same goes to the religion where the people share the same believes which set the parameter for the followers (if and only if the follower really hold to the religion that they believe). This will bring to the universal truth in ethics for the people that share the same believes.

As conclusion, different area of knowledge has different way in determine its truth where the math involve logic and a few assumptions in order to stand an axiom and to make the formula that we use every day in our life to be true. Differ to the arts and ethics. In art, it does not have no one real truth for it which in differ on how people value their emotion and understanding to the reality that happens to the real world which involve the human actions. People that share same parameter for their action and there would not never be a truth for the people that have two parameters which contradicts to each other.


Eilenn Dombrowski, Lena Rotenberg, Mimi Bick, Theory of Knowledge Course Companion, 2007, Oxford University Press.

JW Phelan, Philosophy Themes and Thinkers, 2005, University Press, Cambridge.

Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners New Edition, 2007, Macmillan Publisher Limited.

Nicholas Alchin, Theory of Knowledge Second Edition, 2006, Hodder Murray.





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