Presented by Dr. Darcy Otto, Arts and Humanities/Math Tutor (Ancient Philosophy, Logic, Metaphysics, Quantum Computing, Machine Learning)

What is Truth?

What is truth? If no one asks me, I know. But if I wish to explain it, I do not know.

Truth is a concept that we employ frequently. For example, we may hold that fake news is news that is not true; that social media creates only contingent truths; that cultural truth means we are suspended in webs of significance that we ourselves have spun; or that knowledge is justified true belief. But what does “truth” mean in each of these claims? We might be forgiven for suspecting that “truth” is used so nebulously and so broadly it actually has little meaning.

In this talk, we shall argue that “truth” actually has a definite meaning, and we shall present a definition. Furthermore, we shall argue the phrases “true for me,” “true for you,” or “true for a group” have little to contribute to clear thought on the nature of truth. Finally, we shall consider our definition of truth in the context of a definition of knowledge: what does it mean to know something that is true?

The event takes place in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Services Building.

About Dr. Otto
Dr Darcy Otto has been a tutor at Quest since 2011. His research is in the area of ancient philosophy, modern metaphysics, and the limits of computation (including quantum computing and machine learning). He was on sabbatical as a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University for 2017–8.

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