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Truth Can Be Subjective Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1146 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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It can be stated, truth can be subjective to a particular person or belief, but such subjectivity comes out of ignorance of what is objectively true and an unwillingness to search for truth on our own, accepting truth from others as objective without checking the factuality or bias of such things to decipher it as one’s own truth.

One can believe many things as true if they have grown with the notion as such. Our education plays a crucial role in what we know as truth, whether from parents or the education system. Others teach us what is true from experiences, whether personal or historical, and, out of ignorance, we accept those teachings from them as infallible and do not search for any logical doubts in the knowledge gained from said teaching. This can lead to the understanding of things with a bias considering a majority of knowledge gained for experience may have some bias attached to it resulting in a distorted perception of truth.

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Say for example, if in childhood one is taught the color green is purple and vice versa, the child would grow up with the belief grass is purple. Yet ones ignorance of truth from teaching, which one believed infallible, would be one was taught the wrong name for the colour, and choose to accept such a notion not aware of the fallacy attached. This of course is a result not only of biased experience but also of ignorance of truth.

Although, knowing from proper teaching green is green and purple is purple, another would know grass is green and it being purple is an irrational claim. Of course, one might ask the certainty of the statement grass is green, how can one be certain of this fact. Although it can be stated ,grass is green if and only if grass is green which would lead into looking at truth from the sematic theory stating x is y if only if x is y. Of course, this can be argued from contingent and non-contingent proposition depending on what is observed, with the alternative factors at play.

Of course, one may state it is true to this person grass is purple, on the basis ones understanding is not of grass being what is the perceived colour purple only it is their understanding of the correlation between purple the linguistic manner and the colour perceived in grass. So it can be stated then to that person grass is purple. In addition, if one has no understanding of colour except in the linguistic manner as the result of a genetic incapability to see colour it could be stated grass is grey, so it is true for them, grass is not green but either purple or grey dependent upon experience and inability to perceive the spectrum of colour.

So what prevents us from searching for the truth? Friedrich Nietzsche proposed, “Sometimes people do not want to hear the truth because they do not want their illusions destroyed.” (Nietzsche 1870s, pg3) Acceptance of truths, which may be infallible and objective, results in many people unwilling to find truth for themselves. Of course, those who do are left bewildered wondering what is actually true and if we can even know any truth.

It can be argued truth has no nature. Looking at truth from the deflationary theory would suggest such a notion as truth hold no metaphysical significance. The notion being, truth is only what we claim to be true, so stating “grass is green,” holds no significance on its own. Of course, one may state, “it is true the grass is green” in a means to prove a point but stating such would become redundant. Saying “it is true” and “the grass is green” are both stating truth and stating them together adds no value to the statement of truth. This theory of redundancy does not apply to all cases just generalized accepted truths. There are instances in which to say “it is true” would not be redundant, in the cases where there is an indirect reference to truth it would be necessary to add “it is true”

Of course, the desire to know what is true has to come from somewhere does it not? From childhood, we try to figure out the purpose of everything, we are searching for what is infallibly true. We spend our whole lives looking for some ultimate truth, which stands alone as the center of knowledge. Where does this desire come from? Alternatively, one can only know truth based upon our experience and reason, or that of others as our teaching of childhood would account for. Still, is all we know as truth based upon what has been perceived, or does something formulate the notion of truth from infancy?

Now, stating truth is know from infancy would lead to sway to truth not being subjective but objective, yet, the factuality of such a notion would be difficult to decipher considering, from infancy we establish truth from experience and the teaching we receive from others experiences. Of course, one might add everything gained is just knowledge reclaimed and we are born knowing everything our minds had only to relearn it during childhood, but such a claim is highly open to criticism.

Deciding whether truth is subjective would in turn be subjective itself, leading to the notion of the overall idea of truth being subjective to ones beliefs and personal view. This leads to the notion it is impossible to state whether or not truth is subjective in a broad sense, one can only state subjectivity as a personal view and not as a generalized statement.

In conclusion, it is difficult to state if there are grounds for truth being subjective. One has to consider some knowledge they may have retained hold grounds for scrutiny since our knowledge of thing constantly changes. If our knowledge of things changes what we perceive and learn changes, this ultimately changes what is known as truth and if what has been held as true has changed how can we discover truth. Truth could possibly be subjective but it is a basis of opinion and opinion is not truth unless it can be proven without doubt. Although, truth is something a person should decipher for oneself whether objective or subjective there are grounds for both depending on the circumstances.


Glanzberg, Michael, “Truth”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition),

Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL =


Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1870s. “On truth and lies in a nonmoral sense.” Philosophy and truth:

Selections from Nietzsche’s notebooks of the early 1870s (1979) 79-97.

Thakchoe, Sonam, “The Theory of Two Truths in Tibet”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of

Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =



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