LKY was notorious as a pragmatist; he went with whatever idea proved useful, whatever idea worked, to advance Singapore’s interests, never mind if it came from the political Left or from the political Right. It is the practitioner’s epistemology. And both were effective men. Cloudflare Ray ID: 613b16df9fad4a67 I find LKY a fascinating leader with a fascinating set of contemporaries (the most interesting of which to me is Goh Keng Swee, who, amongst other things, moved Singapore to a monetary policy based on a managed float of its currency, giving up all control of its domestic interest rate), mostly because so many of them were such excellent systems thinkers. logic is grounded in axioms, that originates in a kind of pragmatic theory of truth. And just with the theory of coherence, we won’t find out. READ: Theory, its variations and criticisms of it. I think it is an example of what systems thinking can do if applied to a nation-state, carefully adapted to its unique history, iterated over by three generations of sharp thinkers, and given a half century of care. In other words: ‘if it works for you, why not?’. If your standard of truth is “does this work?”, and you know that smart people may come up with sophisticated arguments that sound right but don't work, then an obvious next step is to filter arguments based on the credibility of the person making them. The answer is no to both (although there have been many compelling arguments for and against mask-wearing in the months since the pandemic began). As a result, the coherence theory takes a different approach and argues that a proposition (truth-bearer) is true if it ‘fits’ or coheres with a specific set of beliefs (truth-maker). So instead we trust in the system of science itself — the consensus of scientists, shaped by the incentive systems of research — to come to a tentative conclusion on what is true and known about the world. (Doing this is often a forcing function for becoming good at reading scientific papers). I could also have attacked the examples she gave in the original interview. Should I check what the experts say? 1-18. 33-68, and Ralph C. S. Walker, ‘Spinoza and the Coherence Theory of Truth’, Mind, 94 (1985), pp. • Long-term readers of this blog would not find this surprising — I’ve long argued that if you need swimming advice, you do not go to a non-swimmer for it, and if a non-swimmer spends an hour telling you how to swim, the correct response isn’t to argue with him; the correct response is to tell him to go learn swimming, and to discount everything he says. Whenever you see a commenter pointing out ‘oh, that’s a fallacious argument’, they are drawing on the coherence theory in order to reject an argument or claim out of hand. When writing, ask yourself: Of the four theories of truth, I find pragmatism the most interesting, if not the most counter-intuitive. I’ve found that really smart people are able to make arguments that are consistently compelling and highly plausible; whether or not they turn out to be true in practice is another thing entirely. So, it is invalid for a theory of truth. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two. Ad hominem attacks seemed like a cheap shot, but they were consistent with what I knew of the man. For more on the correspondence theory, see David (1994, 2018) and the entry on the correspondance theory of truth. The coherence theory of truth has several versions. What is the sense of coherence theory? https://healthresearchfunding.org/coherence-theory-of-truth-explained A sharp observer would say that if we dug deeper to understand the chemical interactions at play with that ingredient, we would be able to come up with better, more innovative recipes. One is the coherence theory of truth; the other, the coherence theory of justification. This approach is more useful because it takes practitioners at their word — and sometimes the tricks that practitioners use to help themselves perform make no sense, but might be useful anyway. Lee Kuan Yew was violating the rules of logic by questioning the credibility of his intellectual opponents. The coherence theory of truth is the idea that arguments must make sense — that is, arguments must flow logically from premises and intermediate propositions. Is there consensus on my position? In the history of philosophy Spinoza was the first to elaborate the coherence theory of truth. For instance, the question “is it true?” can often be substituted with “does it work?” or “is it useful with regard to my goals?” This is a very different bar for truth compared to the previous three theories. For example, Marissa Mayer is famous for saying that ‘burnout is about resentment’, and that the trick to avoid burning out is to ‘find one thing that you’re giving up that makes you resentful, and then go do that’. For example, the statement "Hard work pays off" is an abstract assertion that would be true in the event a student performs well on a test after studying with focus and intensity. logical test for the truth or acceptability of any proposition is whether it coheres with some of the other propositions For example, on the one hand, correspondence theorists hold that the truth of a proposition is a matter of the proposition’s standing in a relation to something else which is not a proposition, such as a fact. So far, these theories of truth might seem trite to you. And so Singapore continues to confound foreigners; as Ha-Joon Chang puts it in Economics: The User’s Guide: Such an odd mix of policies could only come from repeatedly asking ‘what is useful for our goals?’ and ‘what has worked elsewhere?’, persistently, pragmatically, over five decades of trial and error, as LKY and his colleagues (and eventually their successors) did. The correspondence theory is one way to suss out bad thinkers. Instead, truth consists of coherence between a belief and other beliefs” (Velasquez, p. 439, 2017). The most obvious application of this theory is in science: whenever we conduct an experiment to verify (or disprove) a hypothesis, we are using the correspondence theory, for we assume that what we observe in the experiment is what is true. I think coherence is what many thinkers fall back on, after correspondence. And if I am believable, should I write up my accomplishments in this area. It’s basically that truth (of any proposition) is a property of its context. According to some early versions of the coherence theory, thecoherence relation is simply consistency. But at no point did he stop to ask: is there a test I can use to evaluate the broader claims in the piece? e.g., Mathematics Science. Correspondence Theory Best known, most widely used conception of truth Maintains there is a relationship (correspondence) between people’s internal beliefs and realities in the external world (truth means agreement between thought and reality) Belief is true if it agrees with fact or coincides with the physical world or objective reality Truth claims should be checked… To determine if this is true, the child screens the idea through the belief system that he already has in place: he believes his teacher is honest, and he believes his experience is trustworthy—every time his teacher adds two blocks to the two already on the table, he counts four. 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