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conclusion

Do we really need the added ontology of the concept of sources? Surely, Occam’s razor dictates that a concise, esthetically appealing theory is to be preferred over one that introduces new concepts like 'sources of truth'. And indeed, it is esthetically more appealing to simply assess the truth of sentences directly, rather than assessing the reliability of sources and subsequently the truth of the sentences (or ‘accounts’) that may be derived from these sources.

I believe that the concept of source is essential. For one, consistency is a crucial aspect of truth. But consistency cannot be assessed of an individual (atomic) statement, as it is a quality that applies to a set of statements. Sources offer sets of statements. So only sources can either be qualified as consistent, or disqualified as inconsistent. Similarly, the necessity of an individual rational statement can not be recognized. Only rationality as a source can be recognized as necessary.

As far as usefulness, objectivity and univocality are concerned, sources offer a predictability of these qualities for individual statements. Having found that all known statements from a source are useful, objective or univocal, we induce that future statements from the same source will also be. To develop such a loyalty to a source is a very human thing to do.

In my analysis, truth is certainly not vacuous. For example, truth can not be claimed for a statement that is subjective or equivocal. Thus, 'subjective truth' is a contradictio in terminis. There are only subjective opinions.

It also follows that social or political sciences have no claim on truth, when the notions they employ are equivocal or nominal. This appears to be the rule, rather than the exception. Are we then to conclude that they are irrelevant? I believe that there is a way out.

We may now define 'robustness': A robust statement is potentially equivocal, but in fact univocal for all practical interpretations occurring among the speakers of a language.

Where truth is unachievable, robustness is the highest attainable.

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