41 The Truth Begins With Two
Philosophy concerns itself with the wonder of existence: it questions meanings of life and death, meanings of being human, of person with person, of the nature of Being. Philosophy is ubiquitous, implicitly and explicitly: "There is no escape from philosophy" (Jaspers, 1951/1973, p. 12). Jaspers relies on the Greek notion of the philosopher as lover and seeker of wisdom, rather than one who possesses absolute knowledge, and to philosophize is "to be on the way."
42 As Jaspers views it, communication is crucial to philosophy, and to philosophical truth. "Truth" for Jaspers is founded upon relationality:
I should not suffer so deeply from lack of communication or find such unique pleasure in authentic communication if I for myself, in absolute solitude, could be certain of the truth. But I am only in conjunction with the other, alone I am nothing. Jaspers, 1973, p. 80)
43 Philosophical truth in particular arises through human dialogue, it grows from authentic communication between selves struggling toward understanding of self and other, life and meaning, and is not simply passed from one to the other:
It would be a truth which would arise for the first time in communication, which would become actual only in and through it; it would be a truth which is neither already here to be transmitted to another, nor which presents us with a methodically attainable end in which it could be valid without communication. (Jaspers, 1935/1957b, pp. 96-97)
44 Jaspers had early grasp of what today is the popular dialogical notion that completed ideas and knowledge and truths are not simply traded across individuals, but emergent through communication process (Cissna & Anderson, 1994, pp. 9-10, 14; Stewart & Thomas, 1990; Friedman, 1976, pp. 161-175).3 Jaspers values independent self-reflection, but asserts that "the truth begins with two":
What I gain for myself alone in reflection would-if it were all-be as nothing gained. What is not realized in communication is not yet, what is not ultimately grounded in it is without adequate foundation. The truth begins with two. Jaspers, 1951/1973, p. 124)
45 The serious communicator "strives to become capable of playing his part in the dialogue of ever-deepening communication, which is the prerequisite for truth and without which there is no truth" (Jaspers, 1951/1973, p. 166). "Truth" reveals itself through communication, "thinking" is a practice that transpires between persons rather than transpiring only as solitudinous performance within a single person, and truth can be "recovered from its dispersion by communication" (Jaspers, 1957b, p. 104).
46 Truth is inextricably tied to communication, and its pursuit should not be dogmatic but communicative. Dogmatic truth breaks-off communication, and presumes too much: "For the most devastating threat to truth in the world is the overwhelming claim to the absolutely true. In the certainty of the moment the humility of the enduring question is indispensable" (Jaspers, 1951/1973, p. 99). It is communicative truth to which the wise communicator aspires, knowing that there are a plurality of truths, a multiplicity of truths, and that we produce truth as much as discover it. Our truths must contain the possibilities of communication, for "truth, in its movement, is never complete, but in every factual completion also remains continuously open" (Jaspers, 1957b, p. 97). This does not mean that people should not communicate their own personal truths, but must also recognize that "every standpoint can also absorb him who thinks it" (1957b, p. 103), and "every standpoint, no matter how right it seems, can also be refuted through the very fact of process. Accordingly, for the sake of a living community the art of conversation must be developed" (Jaspers, 1932/1970, p. 82).
This would be one of the main reasons I continue to preface many of my points with the comment "my current understanding". I have an inherent inability to truly get to the foundation of my feelings and thoughts on so many subjects, far less express them satisfactorily. In the face of that, how dare I be dogmatic?
You'll excuse me for a moment if I sidetrack into the usefulness of religion, in this context.
Some claim that all they need is themselves and the object of their worship, and yet a completely new range of facets is apprehended when one discusses the object of their devotion to other likeminded individuals (regardless of whether or not their conceptualisation is radically different,m or only slightly dissimilar).
The lack of such dialog is a fundamental flaw in the WTS system of religion. But since it generally lacks "spirituality" (though I don't negate that some find personal spirituality within it's ranks) I guess that is not altogether surprising. I offer, in support for that, the question: "When did you last hear a JW express an overwhelming love and adoration for Jehovah or Jesus?". I found it to be generally absent, or at best stifled.