What Is A Judge Of Fact?


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How indeed does one judge what is true from what is not or distinguish fact from fiction? Some things that were thought for hundreds of years to be 'fact' were subsequently revealed by scientific advances to be completely untrue. Famous historical examples include the widely held beliefs that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth - both debunked of course.

Proving what is and isn't true through scientific methods can be linked to the concept of empirical fact or proving things empirically. The word is derived from empiricism, the doctrine that all knowledge derives from experience and experiment - as opposed to relying on theories. Ironically it is theorists - conspiracy theorists - who delight in some of the most vociferous challenging of apparent scientific facts, such as the moon landings. Some people judge things to be 'fact' without requiring any scientific evidence - for example believers in God do not have to physically see God to believe God exists; you could perhaps say that, for them, their faith judges God to be fact.

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