Truth, Dialogue, and Logic (Part I)

Monday, June 10, 2024
Speaker(s) : Sanjay Modgil (Kings College London)

In the first lecture, I briefly review the main philosophical approaches to truth, by way of then developing an approach inspired by the American pragmatist school of philosophy. Specifically, I suggest that truth amounts to a normative injunction to inquire, so as to resolve uncertainty, in view of the instrumental utility that accrues from resolving uncertainty. Inquiry is to be understood in a broad sense, as norm governed inferential processes that are inherently dialectical, and that offer prescriptions for individual agent reasoning and multiple agents engaged in collaborative, distributed reasoning.
Moreover, I suggest that the truth norm’s injunction to engage in dialectical inquiry, is constitutive of recent predictive processing models of cognition. These essentially Bayesian models provide a unifying account of perception and action. They describe the brain’s main function as effectively resolving uncertainty by seeking to minimise errors between brain-generated predictions as to the sense data it expects at any given moment and conflicting incoming sense data.

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