What makes a statement (particularly one not factually-based, such as about society) true, and who decides?
Not sure if this is more philosophy or sociology, but in studying for end-of-school exams my English class have a few problems unearthing the syllabus' meaning! We've read something of the basic theories about Truth, such as proof by correspondence, but we are completely confused by the need to discover (without help from our teacher who is determined to keep us away from philosophical debate) the 'processes by which statements come to be accepted as true', including who has the authority to make such statements and the ways in which statements are explored, tested, endorsed or refuted, etc. While we suspect that all the answer required is to mention something about the legal system (the focus of our text), it is still frustrating not being able to fight this out ourselves and we were hoping that you could help us by providing a few ideas as to what really does make statements true (the 'authority' part in particular sounds strange, as though we are supposed to unearth characteristics that automatically set apart certain people as knowing far more than the rest of society - is this just an illusion of semantics, meant to refer to the way our author is establishing an authoritative voice?). Since we do not have the time or resources to test or research our ideas with any justice to them we were hoping for a little educated guidance (even if it's just to reinforce the idea that the syllabus doesn't know what it's on about!). Thanks for considering our question!