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Truth can have a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with a particular fact or reality, or being in accord with the body of real things, real events or actualities.[1] It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common archaic usage it also meant constancy or sincerity in action or character.[1] The direct opposite of truth is "falsehood", which can correspondingly take logical, factual or ethical meanings.

However, language and words are essentially "tools" by which humans convey information to one another. As such, "truth" must have a beneficial use in order to be retained within language. Since truths are used in planning and prediction (such as scientific truths being used in engineering), the more reliable and trustworthy an idea is, the more useful and potent it becomes for planning and prediction. Those ideas which can be used anywhere and anytime with maximum reliability are generally considered the most powerful and potent truths. Defining this potency and applicability can be looked upon as "criteria", and the method used to recognize a "truth" is termed a criteria of truth. Since there is no single accepted criteria, they can all be considered "theories".

Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars and philosophers. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims, both today and throughout history.


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