By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Absolute Truth

Absolute Truth

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): 1627
Post Date: 12/01/1561

30 Phil, Chapter 20, Francis Bacon, Touchstone 49: Absolute Truth.

An absolute truth is a description that is universally consistent with objective reality. Objective reality refers to the material world as it is—reality that exists independently of human thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. This is the “split” discussed in the Idea of Ideas, between the Material World and our ideas. The belief in objective reality is the key to science, law, and journalism. And the kicker is that every empirical test performed adds to its validation.

To be clear, absolute truths are not the same as Empirical Ideas. Both objective reality and absolute truths are on the other side of the “split” from our empirical ideas about them. Meaning, absolute truths about objective reality do exist, and our ideas concerning them represent our best descriptions, yet these ideas are still subject to fallibility.

Analysis: This view of absolute truth is extremely similar to Kant’s distinction between phenomena and noumena. Both perspectives recognize an underlying reality beyond human perception. However, while Kant maintains that the noumenal world is ultimately unknowable and only serves as a limiting concept to our understanding, this view asserts that absolute truth exists as the foundation of reality, with our ideas about it being descriptive and subject to continuous refinement.

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