The “correspondence theory” of truth seems like the copy theory of truth: if there is a duck in the pond, truth means drawing a head with a picture of a duck in it. But since it doesn’t matter whether one draws the head of a man or a wolf, anything that can process information has the true. But then why do the “correspondence theorists” deny this?
The true means the equality of the intellect and thing. A thing, however, is not equal to itself since equality is of diverse things, and so truth is found primarily in an intellect which starts to have something of its own that the thing outside the soul does not have, but which nevertheless both corresponds to it and can be equal to it. Now while an intellect merely conscious of what things are has only the similitude of what things are outside the soul (in the same way that a sense power has a sensible species) when the intellect starts to make judgments about what it apprehends, that judgment is something of its own, which is not found outside of it in reality.*
Veri enim ratio consistit in adaequatione rei et intellectus; idem autem non adaequatur sibi ipsi, sed aequalitas diversorum est; unde ibi primo invenitur ratio veritatis in intellectu ubi primo intellectus incipit aliquid proprium habere quod res extra animam non habet, sed aliquid ei correspondens, inter quae adaequatio attendi potest. Intellectus autem formans quiditatem rerum, non habet nisi similitudinem rei existentis extra animam, sicut et sensus in quantum accipit speciem sensibilis; sed quando incipit iudicare de re apprehensa, tunc ipsum iudicium intellectus est quoddam proprium ei, quod non invenitur extra in re.
QDV 1.3 co
This is literally a “correspondence theory”, but it is not a copy theory, as if truth were reduplication. Truth belongs only to those things for whom knowledge itself is an object of knowledge, as opposed to things that have knowledge of colors, shapes, scents, motion, or even the natures of things.
Truth on correspondence theory is essentially a copy within the self aware as such. The theory makes self-reflection integral to truth. If we have good reasons to take immateriality as necessary for self reflection, then immateriality enters our account of knowledge so far as truth is self-reflective, as opposed to the way in which truth is a copy.
While it’s easy to imagine coming up with algorithms generating all sorts of things: the perfect novel, the perfect diagnosis, perhaps even the perfect philosophical argument, there is a straightforward contradiction in having an algorithm generate itself – not copy itself, mind you, or an algorithm of a similar kind, but itself. But that’s what would be required of a truth algorithm. Likewise, organic cognitive powers need to be transparent to their objects, and so it’s hard to see what it would mean for an organic cognitive power to be aware of itself.
*Behold, St. Thomas in “living translation.” Original included for the amusement of the latinate.