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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

Theory of Knowledge HZT-4U January 26, 2010 "Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth? "Context is all" a statement found in the award winning novel The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. At first it seems to make sense but upon closer investigation it raises the question, Is there no such thing as truth? To be able to answer this question it is important to find the appropriate definitions of truth and context. Then it is necessary to explore the depth of the relationships between the two concepts. Only after these conditions have been met is it possible to answer the question, Is there no such thing as truth? To be able to understand the concept of truth is very difficult but it is possible. Dictionary.com gives ten different definitions of truth, each acceptable in its own sense. For the purpose of this essay the definition that is best is "truth is an obvious or accepted fact". The Constructivist theory as well as the Consensus theory also support this idea of truth. ...read more.

Middle

This shows how people's perceptions of truth differ based on societal rules and regulations. The distinction between objective truth and truth that is socially accepted is also clearly defined and provides us with a platform to compare both of these to context. To be able to compare the concepts of context and truth it is important for us to define context. To me context means the part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning. According to Wikipedia "Context includes the circumstances and conditions that surround an event". Ironically it also provides at least twelve different definitions of context giving an excellent example of the word itself. Upon further analysis of the definition of context it is clear to see how truth and context fit together. The definition of context states that it is part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning. The text or statement to which it is referring can be replaced by the truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example in western society this practice is very uncommon but in most eastern societies arranged marriages are encouraged and it is a very common practice. Thus, society's different views on such a topic would elicit different versions of truth from different people. This would occur because of the different societal views that people have been raised in. The context in this case would be the views of the society which in turn would influence their views on arranged marriages. Therefore, truth that is socially acceptable also depends on its context. Therefore, context and truth are both terms that rely on each other to be understood. Without context it would be difficult to understand the truth. Objective truth as well as socially acceptable truth both rely on context to be understood and depend on each other to provide the reader with the clear meaning. Since, truth can not be understood without context then I believe that no such thing as truth exists. A fact that is considered true now may not be considered true later because of different contexts. Therefore, it is safe to say that the context determines the truth so, no such thing as truth exists. ?? ?? ?? ?? Haldar 1 ...read more.

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