|Tom Rowland wrote,|
"'Truth is the recognition of reality' is, in my understanding of Objectivism, a relational proposition identifying the product of the correct relationship between consciousness and existence. It says, at greater length, 'truth is the correct identification of existence -- the facts of reality.' If it is false then either the correct identification of the facts of reality does not produce truth, or truth is the incorrect identification of the facts of reality, or truth is the correct identification of non-reality. I see no other candidates."
Well, if you see no other candidates, then you need to don your philosophical bifocals, Tom, because there are indeed other candidates, as will soon become evident. :-) You go on to say, "Note, please, that the doctrine is not the equivalent of the correspondence theory and does not exclude the coherence theory." Well, if it's not the equivalent of the correspondence theory, then the correspondence theory is another candidate, wouldn't you say? - another candidate which you claim not to have seen!
Your statement that Rand's doctrine is not the equivalent of the correspondence theory also departs from Peikoff's discussion in OPAR, in which he states: "The concept of 'truth' names a certain relationship between a proposition and the facts of reality. 'Truth' in Ayn Rand's definition, 'is the recognition of reality.' In essence, ~this is the traditional, correspondence theory of truth~: there is a reality independent of man; and there are certain conceptual products, propositions, formulated by human consciousness. When such a mental content corresponds or conforms to reality, when it constitutes a recognition of fact, then it is true. Conversely, when the content does not thus correspond, when it constitutes not a recognition of reality, but a contradiction to it, then it is false." [My emphasis] (p. 165)
In keeping with Rand's definition of truth as "the recognition of reality," Peikoff equates a proposition's "correspondence" to reality with a mind's "recognition" of the fact expressed by the proposition. But a "~recognition~" of reality would not occur if one were to accept a true conclusion on the basis of faulty reasoning or wrong information. In that case, although the mental content forming one's conclusion would correspond or conform to reality, it would not constitute a ~recognition~ of reality, for "recognition" implies ~knowledge~ of what is recognized. For example, if I conclude on the basis of faulty reasoning or false information that Charles Manson is guilty of murder, then even though Charles Manson is in fact guilty of murder - even though my conclusion corresponds to reality - I do not "~recognize~" that Charles Manson is guilty of murder, because I do not ~know~ that he is. Truth is not a synonym for knowledge.
My dictionary defines "truth" as "conformity to fact or actuality," and states that "~truth~ is most commonly used to mean correspondence with facts or with what actually occurred." Similarly, according to a standard logic text, once sold under the auspices of Rand herself, "a true proposition is one which 'corresponds to the facts' or correctly describes the facts." This view of truth can be traced as far back as Aristotle, who wrote, "To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, ~while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true~." (Metaphysics, Book IV: Chapter 6, Sec. 7, 1011B, Line 26.)
Apparently, then, Rand's definition of truth is indeed false! But you say, "if the proposition [namely, Rand's definition of truth] is false, every philosophical system collapses, there is no identifiable standard of truth." Do you really believe this? - that because Rand's definition of truth is false, every philosophical system collapses and there is no identifiable standard of truth?! Seriously?!
And even if you disagree with me and still believe that her definition is correct, why would it follow that ~if~ it were false (according to the argument I have thus far advanced), every philosophical system would collapse and there would be no identifiable standard of truth? This strikes me as preposterous!
You add, "Peikoff has opined on his own that "the truth is the whole" because reality is the whole. It is in that sense -- that if a philosophy claims to apply to all of reality, the failure of any part of it is a failure of identification and collapses the whole truth and the whole philosophy."
The only sense in which this is true is one that is trivial, viz., the truth considered as a unified body of propositions: if any one of its propositions is false, then the "whole truth" ~qua unified body~ collapses. But that doesn't mean that the rest of the propositions it comprises are therefore false, if that indeed is what you're implying.
(Btw, I wonder if you wouldn't mind correcting your spelling errors, as they can be a distraction, especially when they occur so frequently. It shouldn't be that difficult, given the spell-check preview. All you have to do is use it. :) I've corrected them this time, as a courtesy.)