[lit-ideas] Re: Malt, Coffee & Chuck Taylor

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 01:34:29 -0700 (PDT)

--- wokshevs@xxxxxx wrote:

> "Tennis is difficult." A statement that is both true
> and false? Or: "True to
> some extent"? 

*You may note that I was giving this as the opinion of
the college sophomore. (Fictional, but I have
empirical reasons to believe that this is how lots of
college sophomores react.) Personally, I would prefer
a somewhat different formulation, such as a "statement
that hasn't got a definite truth value."

(Gimme a break. Truth, along with
> logical validity, is like
> pregnancy: no such thing as being "just a little bit
> pregnant.") Where are the
> Aristotelian philosophers when you need them?

*It might help here to recall the Aristotelian
distinction between contraries and opposites. Some
terms, such black and white, or square and circle, are
opposites, i.e. they are mutually exclusive. Others,
like large and small, heavy and light, hot and cold
etc. are merely contraries, they admit of degrees.
Thus a statement like "the coffee is hot" is true or
not depending on your subjective criteria of hotness.
Now, some fields such as maths allow for making
statements that are absolutely true or absolutely
false, but many every-day statements are just a matter
of opinion or subjective impression or preference. It
is naive to expect them to have a definite truth


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