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IGNOU BPY 010 Solved Assignment 2022-23
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Submission Date :
- 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
- 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).
1. Give Answer of all five questions.
2. All five questions carry equal marks
3. Answer to question no. 1 and 2 should be in about 400 words each.
4. If any question has more than one part, please attempt all parts.
1. What is Pragmatic theory of truth? What is the basic assumption(s) of this theory?
What is Coherence theory of truth? What is the basic assumption(s) of this theory?
History of the Pragmatic Theory of Truth
The history of the pragmatic theory of truth is tied to the history of classical American pragmatism. According to the standard account, C.S. Peirce gets credit for first proposing a pragmatic theory of truth, William James is responsible for popularizing the pragmatic theory, and John Dewey subsequently reframed truth in terms of warranted assertibility (for this reading of Dewey see Burgess & Burgess 2011: 4). More specifically, Peirce is associated with the idea that true beliefs are those that will withstand future scrutiny; James with the idea that true beliefs are dependable and useful; Dewey with the idea that truth is a property of well-verified claims (or “judgments”).
Peirce’s Pragmatic Theory of Truth
The American philosopher, logician and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) is generally recognized for first proposing a “pragmatic” theory of truth. Peirce’s pragmatic theory of truth is a byproduct of his pragmatic theory of meaning. In a frequently-quoted passage in “How to Make Our Ideas Clear” (1878), Peirce writes that, in order to pin down the meaning of a concept, we must:
Consider what effects, which might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object. (1878 [1986: 266])
The meaning of the concept of “truth” then boils down to the “practical bearings” of using this term: that is, of describing a belief as true. What, then, is the practical difference of describing a belief as “true” as opposed to any number of other positive attributes such as “creative”, “clever”, or “well-justified”? Peirce’s answer to this question is that true beliefs eventually gain general acceptance by withstanding future inquiry. (Inquiry, for Peirce, is the process that takes us from a state of doubt to a state of stable belief.) This gives us the pragmatic meaning of truth and leads Peirce to conclude, in another frequently-quoted passage, that:
All the followers of science are fully persuaded that the processes of investigation, if only pushed far enough, will give one certain solution to every question to which they can be applied.…The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth. (1878 [1986: 273])
Peirce realized that his reference to “fate” could be easily misinterpreted. In a less-frequently quoted footnote to this passage he writes that “fate” is not meant in a “superstitious” sense but rather as “that which is sure to come true, and can nohow be avoided” (1878 [1986: 273]). Over time Peirce moderated his position, referring less to fate and unanimous agreement and more to scientific investigation and general consensus (Misak 2004). The result is an account that views truth as what would be the result of scientific inquiry, if scientific inquiry were allowed to go on indefinitely. In 1901 Peirce writes that:
Truth is that concordance of an abstract statement with the ideal limit towards which endless investigation would tend to bring scientific belief. (1901a [1935: 5.565])
Consequently, truth does not depend on actual unanimity or an actual end to inquiry:
If Truth consists in satisfaction, it cannot be any actual satisfaction, but must be the satisfaction which would ultimately be found if the inquiry were pushed to its ultimate and indefeasible issue. (1908 [1935: 6.485], emphasis in original)
As these references to inquiry and investigation make clear, Peirce’s concern is with how we come to have and hold the opinions we do. Some beliefs may in fact be very durable but would not stand up to inquiry and investigation (this is true of many cognitive biases, such as the Dunning-Kruger effect where people remain blissfully unaware of their own incompetence). For Peirce, a true belief is not simply one we will hold onto obstinately. Rather, a true belief is one that has and will continue to hold up to sustained inquiry. In the practical terms Peirce prefers, this means that to have a true belief is to have a belief that is dependable in the face of all future challenges. Moreover, to describe a belief as true is to point to this dependability, to signal the belief’s scientific bona fides, and to endorse it as a basis for action.
By focusing on the practical dimension of having true beliefs, Peirce plays down the significance of more theoretical questions about the nature of truth. In particular, Peirce is skeptical that the correspondence theory of truth—roughly, the idea that true beliefs correspond to reality—has much useful to say about the concept of truth. The problem with the correspondence theory of truth, he argues, is that it is only “nominally” correct and hence “useless” (1906 [1998: 379, 380]) as far as describing truth’s practical value. In particular, the correspondence theory of truth sheds no light on what makes true beliefs valuable, the role of truth in the process of inquiry, or how best to go about discovering and defending true beliefs. For Peirce, the importance of truth rests not on a “transcendental” (1901a [1935: 5.572]) connection between beliefs on the one hand and reality on the other, but rather on the practical connection between doubt and belief, and the processes of inquiry that take us from the former to the latter:
If by truth and falsity you mean something not definable in terms of doubt and belief in any way, then you are talking of entities of whose existence you can know nothing, and which Ockham’s razor would clean shave off. Your problems would be greatly simplified, if, instead of saying that you want to know the “Truth”, you were simply to say that you want to attain a state of belief unassailable by doubt. (1905 [1998: 336])
For Peirce, a true belief is one that is indefeasible and unassailable—and indefeasible and unassailable for all the right reasons: namely, because it will stand up to all further inquiry and investigation. In other words,
if we were to reach a stage where we could no longer improve upon a belief, there is no point in withholding the title “true” from it. (Misak 2000: 101)
James’ Pragmatic Theory of Truth
Peirce’s contemporary, the psychologist and philosopher William James (1842–1910), gets credit for popularizing the pragmatic theory of truth. In a series of popular lectures and articles, James offers an account of truth that, like Peirce’s, is grounded in the practical role played by the concept of truth. James, too, stresses that truth represents a kind of satisfaction: true beliefs are satisfying beliefs, in some sense. Unlike Peirce, however, James suggests that true beliefs can be satisfying short of being indefeasible and unassailable: short, that is, of how they would stand up to ongoing inquiry and investigation. In the lectures published as Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907) James writes that:
Ideas…become true just in so far as they help us get into satisfactory relation with other parts of our experience, to summarize them and get about among them by conceptual short-cuts instead of following the interminable succession of particular phenomena. (1907 [1975: 34])
True ideas, James suggests, are like tools: they make us more efficient by helping us do what needs to be done. James adds to the previous quote by making the connection between truth and utility explicit:
Any idea upon which we can ride, so to speak; any idea that will carry us prosperously from any one part of our experience to any other part, linking things satisfactorily, working securely, simplifying, saving labor; is true for just so much, true in so far forth, true instrumentally. This is the ‘instrumental’ view of truth. (1907 [1975: 34])
2. Write a note on the different kinds of inference in Nyaya Philosophy.
What is Vyapti? How Nyaya establishes Anuman as a means of knowledge? What are the major objections against Aanumana of Nyaya?
Nyaya, (Sanskrit: “Rule” or “Method”) one of the six systems (darshans) of Indian philosophy, important for its analysis of logic and epistemology. The major contribution of the Nyaya system is its working out in profound detail the means of knowledge known as inference (see anumana).
Like the other systems, Nyaya is both philosophical and religious. Its ultimate concern is to bring an end to human suffering, which results from ignorance of reality. Liberation is brought about through right knowledge. Nyaya is thus concerned with the means of right knowledge.
In its metaphysics, Nyaya is allied to the Vaisheshika system, and the two schools were often combined from about the 10th century. Its principal text is the Nyaya-sutras, ascribed to Gautama (c. 2nd century BCE).
The Nyaya theory of causation defines a cause as an unconditional and invariable antecedent of an effect. In its emphasis on sequence—an effect does not preexist in its cause—the Nyaya theory is at variance with the Samkhya-Yoga and Vedantist views, but it is not unlike modern Western inductive logic in this respect.Three kinds of causes are distinguished: inherent or material cause (the substance out of which an effect is produced), non-inherent cause (which helps in the production of a cause), and efficient cause (the power that helps the material cause produce the effect). God is not the material cause of the universe, since atoms and souls are also eternal, but is rather the efficient cause.
- There is fire on the hill (called Pratijñā, required to be proved)
- Because there is smoke there (called Hetu, reason)
- Wherever there is smoke, there is fire, e.g. in a kitchen (called Udāhārana, example of vyāpti)
- The hill has smoke that is pervaded by fire (called Upanaya, reaffirmation or application)
- Therefore, there is fire on the hill (called Nigamana, conclusion)
In Nyāya terminology for this example, the hill would be called as paksha (minor term), the fire is called as sādhya (major term), the smoke is called as hetu, and the relationship between the smoke and the fire is called as vyapti(middle term). Hetu further has five characteristics
- It must be present in the Paksha (the case under consideration),
- It must be present in all positive instances (sapaksha, or homologues),
- It must be absent in all negative instances
- It must not incompatible with an established truth, (abādhitatva)
- Absence of another evidence for the opposite thesis (asatpratipakshitva)
The fallacies in Anumana (hetvābhasa) may occur due to the following
- Asiddha: It is the unproved hetu that results in this fallacy.
- Ashrayasiddha: If Paksha [minor term] itself is unreal, then there cannot be locus of the hetu. e.g. The sky-lotus is fragrant, because it is a lotus like any other lotus.
- Svarupasiddha: Hetu cannot exist in paksa at all. E.g. Sound is a quality, because it is visible.
- Vyapyatvasiddha: Conditional hetu. `Wherever there is fire, there is smoke’. The presence of smoke is due to wet fuel.
- Savyabhichara: This is the fallacy of irregular hetu.
- Sadharana: The hetu is too wide. It is present in both sapaksa and vipaksa. `The hill has fire because it is knowable’.
- Asadharana: The hetu is too narrow. It is only present in the Paksha, it is not present in the Sapaksa and in the Vipaksha. `Sound is eternal because it is audible’.
- Anupasamhari: Here the hetu is non-exclusive. The hetu is all-inclusive and leaves nothing by way of sapaksha or vipaksha. e.g. ‘All things are non-ternal, because they are knowable’.
- Satpratipaksa: Here the hetu is contradicted by another hetu. If both have equal force, then nothing follows. ‘Sound is eternal, because it is audible’, and ‘Sound is non-eternal, because it is produced’. Here ‘audible’ is counterbalanced by ‘produced’ and both are of equal force.
- Badhita: When another proof (as by perception) definitely contradicts and disproves the middle term (hetu). ‘Fire is cold because it is a substance’.
- Viruddha: Instead of proving something it is proving the opposite. ‘Sound is eternal because it is produced’.
3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 200 words each. 2*10= 20
a) Compare between Nyaya and Buddhist definitions of Perception.
b) Write a note on the concept and types of Abhava in Vaisheshik philosophy.
c) Critically evaluate the idea of Substance in Aristotle’s Philosophy.
d) Write a note on the concept and types of hetvabhasa in Nyaya Philosophy
4. Answer any four of the following questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20
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5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20
b) Differentia (Prithaktva)
c) Modest foundationalism
d) Association of ideas
g) Concept of Participation in Aquinas’ philosophy.
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