The pragmatic truth perspective

How far any given thing is true is a matter of whether there is correlation between a statement and the case relations to which the statement refers. The truth is the same as the relation between statement and case relations. Aristotle should have defined the truth as:

Falseness is stating that a being does not exist and stating that a non-being exists.

Truth is stating that a being exists and that a non-being does not exist.

Habermas (1973:211-265) is not entirely convinced that this theory of the relationship between truth and untruth is correct.

A recipient who doubts a communicated statement about something real may choose to asked the sender for a new statement which better documents or confirms his meaning. New statements can then also be brought into question and this creates an opportunity for dialogue and argumentative discussion. This brings about an extension of the idea of truth which generally entails that the person who is said to be right is right. The man whose rhetoric is strong is always right while the man whose rhetoric is weaker is wrong. 

This means that truth is therefore not a relationship between the sender, the statement, the recipient and reality. According to Habermas, the truth depends on how far a statement about reality can be defended (by dint of fortune or strength) against a given opponent or recipient.

Any truth therefore becomes a truth with personal modifications, affected by relative understandings. Truth must then be regarded as a “consensus phenomenon”, containing more or less of the truth. Consensus is achieved only via constructive dialogue and the idea of the “ideal conversation”. However, as neither the truth nor the ideal conversation exists, according to Habermas, the driving force for arriving at the truth must be the ideal of the conversation.

The truth about a statement, play, a game and a toy is therefore relative and extremely complex. The truth is relative in relation to an external limit for the environment in which the individual participant’s understanding of reality operates. This understanding is itself determined by the different roles, personal and individual intentions and the level of communication between the participants.

As demonstrated in the three communication models, play with toys contains innumerable permutations and variations.

For the observer or audience, play is made up of scenarios with situation images which probably also seem sufficiently reliable in relative terms so as to present an opportunity for us to give a relative description of what is going on.

We must, therefore, conclude that:

for the participants, play is a series of scenarios which (to the extent that the these are suitable for the participants’ mutual communicative relationships) may consist of a series of relative truth situations. However, the statements between the participants about the toys and the play universe must also be in agreement with the understanding of or agreements made about “fascinating distortions or legitimate, wonderful lies”.


Research perspectives

Studies into the different stages of the play triads with particular focus on development and flaws.

The pragmatic maxims and the triad system seen from the point of view of a variety of spheres of research and in a research perspective related to experimental play.

A discussion of universal pragmatism’s often utopian requirements as a dilemma relative to the legitimacy of corruption and deception within play and games.



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