Friday, November 23, 2012

Mead: "Truth is a solution."

It is a mathematical equation that when one adds to one, the answer turns out to be two. As simple as it is, it is universally a known fact. Hence, a fact which has theoretically proven is “truth.” Although truth is thus an answer, the answer is not the process of solution itself. This is to say the answer, in another words, the end product depends on the process because the process is comprised of different variables. Going back to the first equation, the answer becomes two when one adds to one. In order to make the answer “two,” it is a condition to require the addition of “one and one.” If such condition is not fulfilled, the answer does not come true. If so, then the variables “one and one” themselves are not equal to the number of product “two.” There is another example, which shows that the product is not equal to the process. In another mathematical equation, if one point five adds to zero point five, the answer is two. Again, the condition is required in this case to accomplish the product “two.” To do so, the addition of the variables, “one point five and zero point five” are needed. Before the addition (action) is not occurred, the product does not come out. There are many different cases on the process of solution that leads to a same solution, yet the solution does not equal to the process. Therefore truth can be a solution, but a solution cannot be truth.

         Mead ambitiously claims “truth is synonymous with the solution of the problem” (Alexander 1987:203). According to Mead (1987), it is the main concept of pragmatic philosophy which expresses the Social Darwinian. On his argument, he adds “process will determine form” (Alexander 1987:203). If truth determines a solution, then a stronger quality of variables will contribute the proximity of solution. Therefore, the solution can be depended upon superiority. To say an individual’s character is the variable, a decision as the process, and lastly a society as the solution, then an individual who possesses the strongest social trait (the economic and political power) can decide the flow of society in terms of the Social Darwinian. The abundance in economic factor will enable an individual more access to the economic aspect in the society. Likewise, the political wealth will grant an individual more access to the political component of society. However, both of the two powers not only limits to the each designated field (the economic-to-economic field and the political-to-political field) but also the general body of a whole society. Hence, the strongest trait of the individual controls the factor of outcome.
     The reason I chose this picture is to define “truth is a solution” by expressing the process determines the product. Also to distinguish the difference between “truth is a solution” and “a solution is truth,” the image of mathematical equation seemed an appropriate match to the concept. The mathematical equation simplified the concept of truth and solution. And when I used a very basic of the mathematical equation, it gave me a nostalgic atmosphere. To suit this nostalgia, I touched with some of vintage feeling.         
Alexander, Jeffrey C. 1987. Twenty Lectures: Sociological Theory Since World WarII. NY: Columbia University Press.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this explanation of pragmatism in mead, mead has an interesting take on pragmatism which is a huge part of his entire tradition. subjective truth as related to power.