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Fact or Fiction

Essay by   •  June 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  655 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,115 Views

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Fact or Fiction

I learned a concept in a recent class called the truth tests that are used daily by people without even realizing that they are doing so. These tests help people to differentiate fact from fiction. The correspondence, coherence, and pragmatic test are a very useful part of everyday life for many. Learning of these tests can help one to easily find the truth in statements made by others and solve problems with great efficiency.

One method many people use when fact checking is the correspondence test. This truth test is considered the easiest of the three. Most people use this test and don't realize what they are doing. This test consists of a person checking a mental concept against a real object or event. For example a friend says that there is a bear in the garage. To check this statement using the correspondence test I can simply look in the garage to see if there is in fact a bear. If there is a bear then I can conclude that the statement was true. If there is no bear then the statement is false. One drawback to the correspondence test is that one has to be able to see the object or event in order to fact check.

Another type of test that can be utilized in fact checking is the coherence test. To use this test I can check to see if parts of a statement have already been proven true or false. An example of this test could be if a friend said that there were sharks living in the Pueblo Reservoir. I can conclude that this statement is false because I know that sharks can only live in salt water and the reservoir does not contain salt water. So using a fact that I already know to be true or false I can use it to check other statements. One of the advantages of this test is that I wouldn't have to personally go check the reservoir for sharks. A disadvantage to this type of truth test is that one might use information that they believe to be fact or fiction and come up with a false fact.

The last type of truth test is called the pragmatic test. This type of test like the last one does not need to be tested personally. The concept of this test states that if something works then it must be true. The test is considered a little more complex than the others. It is based on hunches and guesses or trial and error. An example of this test could be if a light bulb did not to turn on when the switch was flipped. The first thing that I would think is that the light bulb is burned out. I check the light and it is fine. So I start to think that the breaker might be tripped. I check that theory and discover that none have been tripped. So I then conclude that the light switch is faulty and call an electrician. By using the pragmatic test I figured out what the problem was. Essentially I made guesses and then used trial and error to find the truth of what was wrong with the light.

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