the so-called "double-truth"

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at GMX.LI
Thu Dec 28 00:06:32 UTC 2000

Vidyasankar Sundaresan schrieb am Wed, 27 Dec 2000:

> Now that Galileo has been mentioned, here is an example
> of "two truths" in science. Relativistic mechanics holds
> true for velocities close to that of light, but Newtonian
> mechanics holds true for much smaller speeds. The "higher
> truth" of relativity theory itself becomes the "lower
> truth" of classical physics, provided certain conditions
> are met. This simply falls out of the mathematics involved,
> irrespective of any strategic thinking of accommodation.
> Indeed, the theory of relativity began by rejecting key
> assumptions of Newtonian mechanics, and ended up showing
> that the latter was only a special case (therefore, a
> lower truth), while the former was a more general one
> (thus, a higher truth).

Is this not a confusing of two different types of "two-truth theories"?
In the case of Newton and Einstein, the later theory includes the
earlier without declaring the earlier theory false. (This is rather
like the Jaina two-truth theory comprising vavahaara- and
parama.t.tha-.naya, as elaborated by Kundakundaacaarya, which I have
not yet seen mentioned in this discussion.) As I have understood them,
the Advaitin and Madhyamaka theories declare that there is a merely
apparent truth and a real truth, and the former is declared false (cf.
the metaphors of the snake and the rope, etc.).


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