Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's in your head...

I have been thinking and pondering lately about the definition of truth… that which corresponds to reality.  There is reality- that which is… or perhaps that which exists or maybe that which is real. The thing which corresponds to reality is an idea. It may exist on paper as a book, an essay or even just a note. It could be a movie or a song. It is something that refers to something outside itself. It is judged to be true if it accurately lines up with the reality that it describes or speaks of. A simple example would be the a book describing the earth as flat.. The earth is not flat- it is round. The flat earth book would be false. The round earth book would be true.  

But what about an idea or a thought?  Imagine that there is nothing written or recorded- there is just a thought.  The thought itself is real. It is a real thought. The thing which is thought, however, may or may not correspond to reality. It gets a bit confusing or at least it does to me. It is true that the thought is in your head, but the thought is your (or my) head may not be true.

Sometimes the thought in your head may be more accurately be described as an idea. It may not be true- that is it may not accurately describe reality, but perhaps it could… Think of an inventor. Many people imagined that people could fly. In Greek mythology, Icarus was said to have used wings created from feathers and wax made for him by his father which allowed him to  fly. Other unnamed people dreamed and thought of flying. In 1783 the first flight of man via a hot air balloon took place in France. Later in 1903 the Wright brothers took their idea of a flying machine and made it more than an idea in their heads.

So it seems that sometimes there are true thoughts or ideas which exist in your head, but are not yet manifested outside your head. Back to the definition of truth… that which corresponds to reality, sometimes our thoughts and ideas correspond to reality, but that reality has not yet manifested itself. Orville Wright said “If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.”  

So the truth and reality thing gets just a little messy. Truth corresponds to reality. Reality is that which is. But sometimes reality is out there to be discovered or invented.

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