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Introduction to the

Philosophy of the Human


Person
Prepared by: MRS. CYRILLE L. LOPEZ
“The truth.’ Dumbledore sighed. ‘It is a beautiful
and terrible thing and should therefore be treated
with great caution.”

- J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the
Philosopher’s Stone
OBJECTIVES:

• At the end of the lesson, the learners are expected to:

• A. Distinguish the different ways of understanding truth


• B. Explain the Criteria to establish the truth in an
argument
ACTIVITY

•GROUP DISCUSSION
•Select a
representative to
present your answers.
A man who lives away from his family abroad has been in a state of coma,
sustained by life support from medical equipment for about two months. Doctors
have told his friends that he has very low chance of being revived if they take away
the life support from him. It seems that they are left with no other option but to
pull the plug, than to keep him in life support for year. As per hospital regulations,
it is only family members who are allowed to consent to pulling the plug. The man’s
brother finally arrived from his home country to give the consent. Something
strange happened, however, the moment the brother started talking to the patient
in coma. They noticed that his vital signs began to stabilize. Days passed, and the
patient started to show signs of rapid improvement. The doctors up to this day are
unable to explain what happened. Friends of the patient say the payers of his
community for a miracle was granted. Others say that the presence of his brother
had a healing effect on him. Some doctors say that the medication must have
worked in a way that surprised the experts in the field. Today the man has fully
survived his condition and is as normal as he can be.
What do you think truly happened here?
• Note the differences in your opinion about
the situation.

• Who do you think among you is more


correct?

• What makes you think so?


TRUTH AND PHILOSOPHY

• Nowadays, it is more and more difficult to discern


what is true from what is false; it seems that
everybody can claim to be the sole bearer of the
truth.
• It is not so much “the Truth” that concerns
philosophy, but rather the way or process by which
we can distinguish claims that are true from
those that are false.
TRUTH AND PHILOSOPHY

• There is more disagreement rather than


agreement among philosophers with
regard to the question of truth.
THE DOMAINS OF TRUTH
• If we examine the perspective on truth that has been dominant in society, we
would find that people mostly equate TRUTH with SCIENTIFIC TRUTH.

TRUE ----- FACTS ------- SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN


Backed by data-gathering, analysis and
repeated verification

“A study from Jayward Pitkin University shows that 95% of men and women who are
taller than the average height are more likely to become successful and happy in their
careers.”
“A study from Jayward Pitkin University shows that 95% of men and women who
are taller than the average height are more likely to become successful and
happy in their careers.”

• Truth in this sense is related to SCIENCE becauseit is the field


that delivers knowledge about the NATURAL WORLD.
• NATURAL WORLD - > totality of the physical realm – the
biological world, matter, energy, the human body, human
actions and the like.
• ENERGY, ATOMS and OTHER SIMILAR THINGS are not really
physical objects but they are concepts that are directly
connected to them.
• When we say something is TRUE, we usually mean what the
scientists mean --- that it is verified in the natural world.
• Truth understood this way is what philosophers
call OBJECTIVE TRUTHS

• OBJECTIVE TRUTHS  descriptions of “states of


affairs” which remain true regardless of who is
viewing them.
• Example: Truths about water cycle
• Truth about the constant acceleration of
a free falling body (9.8m/s 2)
The examples point to observable phenomena that
remain constant and true.

Whether or not it is a woman or a man, a Japanese


or Filipino, a child or an adult viewing this
phenomena, the truths about them remain the
same.
Unfortunately, not everyone is clearly aware of
this.
Let us take the case of people who condemn others
for having a religion and for believing in God. These
people argue that believers base their lives on
unverified truths.
Believers are judged to be irrational because they
cannot demonstrate the truth of their faith. If we
trace the line of reasoning, it will go as follows:
Believers are irrational because they believe in
things that cannot be verified.

What this statement implies:


Only those who believe in things that can be
verified are rational.
In other words, based on what has been said above
so far,
Only those who believe in scientific truths are
rational.
PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN AWARE THAT THE TRUTH
ABOUT TRUTH REMAINS TO BE QUESTION FOR
THOUSANDS OF YEARS NOW.
DOMAINS OF TRUTH
Jurgen Habermas - argues that apart from the scientific truths,
there are other truths, there are other domains in life in which we
understand truth differently
1. OBJECTIVE DOMAIN
– Scientific truths
- pertains to the natural world that maintains a relative
independence from the perspective and attitude of human
beings that perceive them
DOMAINS OF TRUTH
2. SOCIAL DOMAIN
- “truth” is analogous with (not the exact equivalent) of a general
agreement or consensus on what is right as opposed to what is wrong.
- products of “agreement” in a society that has been established
over time.
- truths are “created” or constructed by people.
- as such they can be changed through a critical examnation and
deliberation among the members of the community.
Ex. In a chapel for prayer and meditation, we say that maintaining
silence is good. But in a basketball game, we say that we should cheer
for our team as loudly as we can to keep them motivated.
DOMAINS OF TRUTH
3. PERSONAL DOMAIN
- “truth” is analogous with sincerity
- “I am telling the truth.”
- the truths that we claim in this domain need corresponding
actions that will establish trust.
- A person who proves to be consistent with what he declares
about himself is regarded as AUTHENTIC and can therefore be
trusted or trustworthy.
TRUTH AND JUSTIFICATION
RICHARD RORTY- offers a simple way of defining truth: truth can be
understood as what has passed “procedures of justification,”
(Rorty, 1989)

JUSTIFICATION – the process of proving the truth or validity of a


statement. This process is made up of ways of critically testing a
claim against certain criteria
TRUTH AND JUSTIFICATION
Scientific/Objective Domain – truths are tested against empirical
evidence

Social Domain – Truths are tested against their acceptability to a


particular group in a particular time in history.
- Takes longer to prove than scientific truths

Personal Domain- truths are tested against the consistency and


authenticity of the person who claims it.
- Takes longest to prove among the three
APPLICATION
• 1. Plot the main points in the above discussion on a
table. One column should contain the three domains of
truth, another column for examples to each domain,
and a last column for the procedure of justification for
each domain.
• 2. To which domain of truth does each of the following
statements fall? Explain.
• a. “In sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.”
• b. Reptiles are cold-blooded
• c. “Don’t talk while your mouth is full!”
GET ½ CROSSWISE

1. Differentiate the following:


a. Objective vs non-objective truth
b. Truth in the social domain vs. truth in the personal domain

2. What are the criteria (test justification) to establish truth in the following domains of
truth?
• Scientific domain
• Social Domain
• Personal Domain
ASSIGNMENT. Write in your notebook.

• 1. Death Penalty is acceptable in some countries while it is forbidden in


others. How do you explain the differences in acceptability of death penalty?
Why do some groups/cultures allow it while others do not?

• 2. Western medicine has a tendency to be dismissive when it comes to their


forms of medicine like India’s Ayurveda, China’s acupuncture or even our
traditional Filipino health remedies. Is that fair judgement? Justify your
answer.

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