As part of a more comprehensive framework model of truth that I am developing, I have identified a set of distinct domains of truth, each of which has its own distinctive vocabulary, meanings, and truths. This informal paper will briefly enumerate the many domains, but not explore them in depth.

The central thesis of this paper is that there is no one, single, universal truth for any particular matter, but that each domain will have its own set of truths that won’t necessarily comport with or be relevant to the truths of the other domains. In other words, in order to access the truth of a particular matter, one must first identify the domain of interest.

One of my main motivations for detailing these domains of truth is to enable a more robust foundation for artificial intelligence (AI) systems, particularly Strong AI. Enabling human-level intelligence in machines requires a deeper understanding of the nature of meaning and truth, at a human level. But such a foundation should help people better understand human meaning and truth as well.

Nature of a domain

Each domain will tend to have:

  • Relevant domain(s) of existence. What exactly is the area of interest for the domain.

Such details will not be explored in this paper, but are mentioned simply to highlight how or why distinct domains are warranted.

Three worlds

There are really three distinct worlds to be described:

  1. The natural world. The world of physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and cosmology.

The model of domains of truth in this paper covers all three worlds, with special emphasis on the human social world.

Flat model vs. hierarchy and classes

As will be seen shortly, quite a few of the domains of truth could be arranged in a hierarchy and grouped in classes of closely related domains, but I decided to stick with a strictly flat model for simplicity.

Context

The concept of a domain can be considered synonymous with the concept of context — a domain provides the context for the truth of a matter.

In a larger sense, context can be considered to be a set of domains, each of which has at least some relevance to the truth of a given matter. Some matters may be limited to a single domain, but there will commonly be more than one domain in which to consider a given matter. These can be angles, aspects, perspectives, or points of view in a general sense.

Domains of truth

This enumeration of domains of truth is not in any absolute order, although the first few and last few do tend to serve as bookends of the extremes of the domains.

  1. The unknowable. If such a thing exists in reality, but at least conceptually.

Other domains of truth

My list of domains of truth is intended to be exhaustive, but I lack the omniscience to achieve that aspirational goal. So, what have I missed?

For more of my writings on artificial intelligence, see List of My Artificial Intelligence (AI) Papers.

Freelance Consultant