Here's some official material on truth: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/truth.html
To go further, I'd need you to define "mental images", and further clarify what you are talking about.
answered Nov 08 '12 at 13:45
John Paquette ♦
The expression "truth-bearer" also needs clarification. It may be referring to someone or something that allows man to gain knowledge of something, like Moses coming down from the volcanic mountain and presenting man with the Ten Commandments engraved in stone tablets for all eternity. If this is the basic idea, it raises two questions:
"Truth bearer" sounds like the kind of expression that would be associated with an 'M' mode of integration (referring to "misintegration" in the DIM system of modes of integration), whereas Objectivism is an 'I' philosophy (referring to "inegration" in the DIM system).
Update: Two Clarifications
The comments offer some useful perspective on the meaning of "truth-bearers," But Objectivism doesn't really have "truth-bearers" in the Platonic (supernatural) or even Aristotelian (secular-intrinsic) senses. As the Lexicon excerpts explain, "truth" in Objectivism is the result of both an objective reality and a process of cognition, i.e., both existence and consciousness. Truth is that which exists as identified by man, and identification is a process of consciousness.
Another comment mentions the philosophical status of the DIM Hypothesis. Dr. Peikoff refers to it as a "hypothesis," which he believes to be correct but nevertheless open to independent evaluation by others:
Despite my debt to Ayn Rand, I must make clear that she is not responsible for any of the ideas in this book other than those she herself stated. I never discussed the DIM Hypothesis with her, and in fact I developed my approach to cultural analysis many years after she died. Although I base it on her ideas, as I have said, I do not claim that her ideas necessarily imply my hypothesis. In theory, it is possible that Objectivism is true, but that I have misapplied it in my interpretation of history. I do not believe that I have done so, but I do not want Ayn Rand's name or philosophy to pay the penalty for whatever errors I may have made. It is a grave injustice to saddle any creator, after her death, with the theories of her followers, however well-meaning and intelligent they may be.... So I pose the question to the reader: Is this a pioneering epic [80 to 85% chance], a recycling of the obvious [10 to 15% chance], or the maunderings of a mind that has lost it [5% chance]? I know my own answer.
(Quoted from the Preface, pp. xv-xvi. Percentage probability estimates taken from an elided paragraph.)
There is a very relevant quote by Ayn Rand on the subject of truth in the Ayn Rand Lexicon (the link that John Paquette provided ) that is worth posting here:
"Truth is the product of the recognition (i.e., identification) of the facts of reality. Man identifies and integrates the facts of reality by means of concepts. He retains concepts in his mind by means of definitions. He organizes concepts into propositions—and the truth or falsehood of his propositions rests, not only on their relation to the facts he asserts, but also on the truth or falsehood of the definitions of the concepts he uses to assert them, which rests on the truth or falsehood of his designations of essential characteristics."
So concepts, propositions, definitions, etc. would all be "truth-bearers" if I understood correctly what that term means from reading the Stanford philosophy pages.
To answer your other questions, all of these mental entities refer to the world directly, not to an indirect reference which refers to the world. A statement, concept, idea, utterance, proposition, definition, etc. is true if it correctly identifies the facts of reality, it is false if it does not. Objectivism rejects Kant's idea that we can only speak intelligibly of a "phenomenal world" which is distinct from the actual world.
answered Nov 14 '12 at 23:48