What Are Some Philosophical Definitions of the Concept of Truth?


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Philosophical definitions of truth fall into several categories, including rationalist, idealist, monotheistic and nihilistic. Some philosophers define truth as anything that is descriptive or expressive of the nature of existence, while others define it as something that inherently exists within objects and makes them what they are. Still others define truth as something existing within God or revealing him, and others yet view truth as an illusion or a purely subjective experience.

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Plato and his followers defined truth in terms of platonic forms or ideals, which Plato described as the unchanging essences of things, which cannot be detected by the senses or discovered through reasoning but must be realized through philosophical contemplation. Aristotle defined truth in a similar way, but he taught that people can arrive at the truth through reasoning and observation. The famous Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas defined truth as the form in which things exist in the intellect of God. The Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi defined truth as God himself, and he defined different truths as different manifestations of God.

Other philosophers, such as Nietzsche, described truth as something that does not really exist. The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras claimed that truth is entirely subjective, saying, "As each thing appears to me, so it is for me, and as it appears to you, so it is for you—you and I each being a man."

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