Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 24, number 71, agosto 1992
Verdad como correspondencia con los hechos
Julián Garrido Garrido
Universidad de Granada

Abstract: The idea of truth as a correspondence between statements and facts which can be proved by observation, although intuitively plausiblebased on examples such as "this chalk is white"-, is vague-because the relation between statements and facts can be neither strictly physical as the relations between facts, nor argumentative as the relations between statements. This is an idea hard to give up in everyday practice, but also difficult to accept theoretically. It may however, be asumed as an hypothesis, so that its vagueness could be diminished with a critical analysis.

Truth as a correspondence concems only to empirical truth and not to the remaining kinds of truth (logical, definitional and mathematical) that scientific knowledge implies. The correspondence between empirical truths and facts can be direct or undirect. Theoretical principles, experimentallaws and data are undirectly related to facts through predictions of observable evidences. The latteratomic statements which relate objects to observable properties-are the only ones which can adequately be directly related to facts, as their demonstration calls only for observation.

The correspondence between true observable evidences and facts is not bijective. The expresive contents of observable evidences are in a sense defective and in another sense excessive with regard to the observed situations or to the facts which allow its verification. First of all, the observable evidences tell us about partial aspects of facts or observed situations. The same situation which confirms the statement: "This is white", could confirm many other observable evidences as: "this is a chalk", "this chalk is white", "this chalk stains", "this chalk is heavy", "this chalk is opaque" or "this chalk is smooth". Secondly, the observable evidences tell us about common aspects between the fact or the observed situation and many other different facts or situations. When we stated "this is white" we are saying "this belongs to the set of white things", set whose extension is not unitary. In sum, the observable evidences are at the same time partial and general in relation with the facts, which are regarding the former complex and singular. Partiality and generality of observable evidences are interrelated as they are aspects of the abstract quality of the statements. Statements (abstract) and facts (concrete) are therefore completely heterogeneous.

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