Knowledge and Information LO30888

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 01/13/04

Replying to LO30878 --

Dear Organlearners,

Don Dwiggins <> wrote in response
to Chris Macrae:

>> Popper advised (and I agree) that we should avoid
>> "like the plague" disputes over what we mean by the
>> term 'truth.' Instead, we should ask the simple question
>> of whether "there cannot be such a thing as the
>> correspondence between a statement and a fact." Like
>> him, I believe there can be.
>Hmm, I think I understand what a statement is. What's a fact?
>In particular, is it something other than a statement?

Greetings dear Dwig,

Having a mother tongue different to English makes it difficult to keep
track how the meaning of English words change with time.

In my mother tongue Afrikaans
   statement = "verklaring, opgaaf"
   fact = "feit"

The meaning of "verklaring" or "opgaaf" is that it is a presentation
of several facts in a logical order. I assumed that it was still the
case in English also. But the comment of Chris made me wondering --
what else can a statement be? I was already intrigued in my studies of
logic long ago that according to some thinkers fact is represented by
a formal statement. This implies a close correspondence. But when a
statement is the representation of several facts, the statement
corresponds rather with a logical argument. I never came up with a
satisfactory explanation.

I myself are very careful of statements. Facts can be presented in
such a order that the truth can be bended considerably. Many
politicians are masters in this bending of the truth with their
statements by using facts to suite their ways.

It is a pity that learners, even students at a university, are not
aware that the order of the representation of facts is very important
to stay with the truth. Often they will present most of the facts, but
in such a way that they have drifted far away from the truth.

A person needs knowledge to distinguish between the true or false
representation of facts. This requires a sensitivity to the wholeness
of knowledge. Among others it means how facts are orderly related to
each other.

May all fellow learners have a year of peace and health!

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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