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Context is all (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth?

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Introduction

"Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth? No such thing as truth. If "Context is all" does it mean that there is no such thing as truth? I start to wonder in what context Atwood made this statement. However, I do not believe that the context when Atwood made this statement is all, or as a matter of fact of hardly any importance when attempting to answer this question but I believe it would be more beneficial to try to answer it in more general terms. I will do this by discussing truth as a concept in different areas of knowledge and thus in various contexts. When it comes to science I, as a knower, can claim to know whatever I have been taught at school, in class, through experiments and so forth. It has been presented to me as a fact that the whole universe is made up of atoms and thus molecules. I have seen these molecules react when I did some experiment in chemistry class with sugar and some chemical with an odd odour and all of a sudden the whole class smelled like ammonium chloride, the sugar turned a greyish black colour and became a solid substance. So, accordingly I can say that I know that different molecules react to one and other, according to the theories that I have studied, and that is how the world works. The atom models that I have seen in chemistry text books are described as simplified and as theories. However, trough perception and reasoning I have no reason to doubt that those would be true. ...read more.

Middle

Consequently: how can we predict how people will react to different stimuli? That means: can human behaviour be predicted? Human sciences seem to be attempting to do just that. However, can any, for example economic model work completely No such thing as truth. If "Context is all" does it mean that there is no such thing as truth? I start to wonder in what context Atwood made this statement. However, I do not believe that the context when Atwood made this statement is all, or as a matter of fact of hardly any importance when attempting to answer this question but I believe it would be more beneficial to try to answer it in more general terms. I will do this by discussing truth as a concept in different areas of knowledge and thus in various contexts. When it comes to science I, as a knower, can claim to know whatever I have been taught at school, in class, through experiments and so forth. It has been presented to me as a fact that the whole universe is made up of atoms and thus molecules. I have seen these molecules react when I did some experiment in chemistry class with sugar and some chemical with an odd odour and all of a sudden the whole class smelled like ammonium chloride, the sugar turned a greyish black colour and became a solid substance. So, accordingly I can say that I know that different molecules react to one and other, according to the theories that I have studied, and that is how the world works. The atom models that I have seen in chemistry text books are described as simplified and as theories. ...read more.

Conclusion

Consequently: how can we predict how people will react to different stimuli? That means: can human behaviour be predicted? Human sciences seem to be attempting to do just that. However, can any, for example economic model work completely accurately each time in each situation (taking into consideration the role of the unique individuals)? Probably not. But then on the other hand is it claimed that it will do so? So, maybe instead of predicting, social sciences are there to describe and explain human behaviour. Do they do so perfectly? Obviously not. Because we do not always function rationally, because we all are individuals as mentioned before, because we have emotions that make us do the strangest things for no apparent reason, the truth behind the motives of all our actions may never be explained. What we need not forget is that even if that is the case, it does not mean that the truth, the real motives for our behaviour would not be there, human sciences merely fail to describe them with complete precision. As a conclusion, it would appear that there is such a thing as truth, we just might not know it (yet), or it cannot be portrayed accurately. What we in everyday life refer to as truth is the most accurate representation of reality as we know and define it. What seems to be the most important thing to do when searching for the truth is to get a balanced view of the different explanations of reality and thus shape your own view of the complex reality we live in. Or as H.G. Frankfurt (2005) reminds us, if we should fail to portray reality, we try to create an honest picture of ourselves, and that way stay loyal to ourselves. Word count: 1568 ...read more.

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