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I've encountered Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers suggest that we, as finite creatures, cannot know the absolute, objective truth. All we can do (in This World), I've heard suggested, is to approach (in an asymptotic sense) the absolute truth through dialectic synthesis (i.e. thesis, antithesis, synthesis).

By absolute truth, I refer to knowledge of any thing in and of itself (i.e. the noumenon, or Kant's "Ding an sich") gained through the empirical world in which we live 1.

What do our Sages (classical and recent) have to say on the matter?


1. H/T @Al Berko for suggesting to clarify

  • To answer this question, we need to differentiate theoretical and empirical truths. Math is an absolute theoretical truth and we everyone knows some (like 2+2=4 is the absolute truth). Empirical truth is a subject to our senses and therefore impossible to reach, for instance we can't even know if the world is real or simulated. – Al Berko Jul 14 at 8:05
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    In sifre kabala they say that we don't deal with en sof or with keter Elion. There are domains of knowledge that we cannot afford. Moshe himself asked only הראני נא את כבודך – kouty Jul 14 at 11:46
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    Read Emunos Vdeos by Rav Saadia Gaon – sam Jul 14 at 15:15
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    Also see the book "Torah and Reason" by Rav Chaim Zimmerman zt"l. – Gavriel Jul 14 at 19:46
  • Shouldn't we have an absolute language in order to describe the absolute truth? – Al Berko Sep 20 at 12:41

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