FOM: Butz on truth

Vaughan Pratt pratt at cs.Stanford.EDU
Wed Feb 4 20:12:01 EST 1998

From: John Mayberry <J.P.Mayberry at>
>Butz's view [no absolute truth] is absolute nonsense (and in this case
>I use the 
>adjective without any hesitation whatsoever). It is absolute, 
>double-dyed nonsense in the mouth of a mathematician. For 
>mathematicians deal in proof; and a proof is a valid argument to 
>establish that its conclusion is a true proposition. If there is no 
>such thing as truth, then there is no such thing as proof.

Your premise seems to be that every axiom of every proof system is
absolutely true.  For if not you would have proofs of theorems with no
basis for inferring that the proved theorems were absolutely true.

There are many counterexamples, your premise is one.

Vaughan Pratt

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