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Ethics and Truth

Can someone help me answer the following questions:

What are examples of numerous views of the truth for the same reality situation?
Why should we understand the transition from the personal values to group values?
What are examples of a system of inquiry used to evaluate ethical behavior for individuals or groups?
Why does the same reality situation have numerous views of the truth, resulting in a diverse understanding?

Solution Preview

1. What are examples of numerous views of the truth for the same reality situation?

and

Why does the same reality situation have numerous views of the truth, resulting in a diverse understanding?

These questions can be answered together, since they both address the same epistemological question about the displacement of classical views of truth/reality by more recent developments in philosophy.

To figure this out, I suggest that you go to

http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/ppecorino/INTRO_TEXT/Chapter%205%20Epistemology/Truth.htm

Read this page, and as many links as you can follow.

Pay special attention to Section III. PRAGMATIC THEORY, which claims that "TRUTH is whatever has met a society's criteria for justification." Explaining this claim answers the second part of the question. The point is that the correspondence theory of truth is insufficient for practical purposes; you could explain why this is so (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-correspondence/ , look at section 9.2; be sure to credit Kant for his genius!) You can explain that ...

Solution Summary

Most people understand that 'truth' is an idea (a belief) that corresponds to reality, but this definition breaks down when we attempt to define 'reality.' Since we can't observe everything, there will always be questions about the fundamental bases of the things that we know. Rather than insisting on the correspondence of ideas with reality, it may be more useful to think in terms of coherency, which is concerned with the qualities of the justifications for our beliefs. In social situations, we need to develop perspectives (sets of ideas or beliefs) that are consistent with consensual social values, including respect for the rights of others. Questions about ethical guidelines and ethical behaviour may be resolved through examination by groups of people who are experienced in making moral judgments in accordance with accepted social standards.

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