Fact vs. Truth

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Fact and Truth is that the Fact is a statement that is consistent with reality or can be proven with evidence and Truth is a what is in accord with fact or reality

  • Fact

    A fact is a thing that is known to be consistent with objective reality and can be proven to be true with evidence. For example, “this sentence contains words” is a linguistic fact, and “the sun is a star” is a cosmological fact. Further, “Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States” and “Abraham Lincoln was assassinated” are also both facts, of the historical type. All of these statements have the epistemic quality of being “ontologically superior” to opinion or interpretation — they are either categorically necessary or supported by adequate historical documentation.

    Conversely, while it may be both consistent and true that “most cats are cute”, it is not a fact (although in cases of opinion there is an argument for the acceptance of popular opinion as a statement of common wisdom, particularly if ascertained by scientific polling). Generally speaking, facts transcend belief and serve as concrete descriptions of a state of affairs on which beliefs can later be assigned.

    The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability — that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable careful observation or measurement by experiments or other means.

  • Truth

    Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard. Truth may also often be used in modern contexts to refer to an idea of “truth to self,” or authenticity.

    Truth is usually held to be opposite to falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy, art, and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, where its nature as a concept is assumed rather than being a subject of discussion; these include most of the sciences, law, journalism, and everyday life. Some philosophers view the concept of truth as basic, and unable to be explained in any terms that are more easily understood than the concept of truth itself. Commonly, truth is viewed as the correspondence of language or thought to an independent reality, in what is sometimes called the correspondence theory of truth.

    Other philosophers take this common meaning to be secondary and derivative. According to Martin Heidegger, the original meaning and essence of truth in Ancient Greece was unconcealment, or the revealing or bringing of what was previously hidden into the open, as indicated by the original Greek term for truth, aletheia. On this view, the conception of truth as correctness is a later derivation from the concept’s original essence, a development Heidegger traces to the Latin term veritas.

    Pragmatists like C. S. Peirce take truth to have some manner of essential relation to human practices for inquiring into and discovering truth, with Peirce himself holding that truth is what human inquiry would find out on a matter, if our practice of inquiry were taken as far as it could profitably go: “The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth…”

    Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars, philosophers, and theologians. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another and the method used to determine what is a “truth” is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth: what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false; how to define, identify, and distinguish truth; the roles that faith-based and empirically based knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.

    Friedrich Nietzsche famously suggested that an ancient, metaphysical belief in the divinity of Truth lies at the heart of and has served as the foundation for the entire subsequent Western intellectual tradition: “But you will have gathered what I am getting at, namely, that it is still a metaphysical faith on which our faith in science rests—that even we knowers of today, we godless anti-metaphysicians still take our fire too, from the flame lit by the thousand-year old faith, the Christian faith which was also Plato’s faith, that God is Truth; that Truth is ‘Divine’…”

  • Fact (noun)

    Action; the realm of action.

  • Fact (noun)

    A wrongful or criminal deed.

    “He had become an accessory after the fact.”

  • Fact (noun)

    A feat or meritorious deed.

  • Fact (noun)

    An honest observation.

  • Fact (noun)

    Something actual as opposed to invented.

    “In this story, the Gettysburg Address is a fact, but the rest is fiction.”

  • Fact (noun)

    Something which is real.

    “Gravity is a fact, not a theory.”

  • Fact (noun)

    Something which has become real.

    “The promise of television became a fact in the 1920s.”

  • Fact (noun)

    Something concrete used as a basis for further interpretation.

    “Let’s look at the facts of the case before deciding.”

  • Fact (noun)

    An objective consensus on a fundamental reality that has been agreed upon by a substantial number of experts.

    “There is no doubting the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun.”

  • Fact (noun)

    Information about a particular subject, especially actual conditions and/or circumstances.

    “The facts about space travel.”

  • Fact (noun)

    An individual value or measurement at the lowest level of granularity in a data warehouse.

  • Fact (interjection)

    Used before making a statement to introduce it as a trustworthy one.

  • Truth (noun)

    True facts, genuine depiction or statements of reality.

    “The truth is that our leaders knew a lot more than they were letting on.”

  • Truth (noun)

    Conformity to fact or reality; correctness, accuracy.

    “There was some truth in his statement that he had no other choice.”

  • Truth (noun)

    The state or quality of being true to someone or something.

    “Truth to one’s own feelings is all-important in life.”

  • Truth (noun)

    Faithfulness, fidelity.

  • Truth (noun)

    A pledge of loyalty or faith.

  • Truth (noun)

    Conformity to rule; exactness; close correspondence with an example, mood, model, etc.

  • Truth (noun)

    That which is real, in a deeper sense; spiritual or ‘genuine’ reality.

    “The truth is what is.”

    “Alcoholism and redemption led me finally to truth.”

  • Truth (noun)

    Something acknowledged to be true; a true statement or axiom.

    “Hunger and jealousy are just eternal truths of human existence.”

  • Truth (noun)

    Topness. (See also truth quark.)

  • Truth (verb)

    To assert as true; to declare; to speak truthfully.

  • Truth (verb)

    To make exact; to correct for inaccuracy.

  • Truth (verb)

    To tell the truth.

  • Fact (noun)

    a thing that is known or proved to be true

    “the most commonly known fact about hedgehogs is that they have fleas”

    “he ignores some historical and economic facts”

    “a body of fact”

  • Fact (noun)

    information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article

    “even the most inventive journalism peters out without facts, and in this case there were no facts”

  • Fact (noun)

    used to refer to a particular situation under discussion

    “despite the fact that I’m so tired, sleep is elusive”

  • Fact (noun)

    the truth about events as opposed to interpretation

    “there was a question of fact as to whether they had received the letter”

Oxford Dictionary

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