Truth in contrast to knowledge.
By way of example, consider the moons of Jupiter The vast preponderance of the evidence suggests that the major moons have been there for millions of years. All the available evidence indicates that in 1610, at the time Galileo first said Jupiter had moons, it did in fact have moons.
In this sense, we can define a notion of truth. This is meant to be an objective (not subjective) notion of truth. To me, the term “fact” is more-or-less synonymous with “truth”.
Now let us consider how knowledge differs from truth:
•Throughout history up until 1610, nobody knew Jupiter had moons. There was a complete lack of knowledge.
•There was at least a brief period when Galileo was the only person who knew Jupiter had moons.
•Eventually larger numbers of people knew Jupiter had moons.
This example shows that knowledge can change with time, and can be very unevenly distributed. By way of contrast, note that the truth didn’t change in 1610; only the knowledge changed.
Galileo had trouble persuading “The Powers That Be” to believe that Jupiter had moons. They didn’t want Jupiter to have moons, and some people have a powerful ability to not see what they don’t want to see.
Here belief denotes more-or-less the same thing as knowledge, but by connotation it calls attention to the fact that people are often willing to believe things that cannot possibly be true.
In the US, more people believe in astrology than believe in evolution.
In some simple cases, knowledge is sufficiently well established that it can pass for absolute truth (in some narrow domain). Those who claim to possess infallible inerrant “truth” are cranks, unaware of their own limitations, monumentally immodest and arrogant.
As mentioned above in connection with green cheese, knowledge is in some cases sufficiently well established to pass for absolute truth.
More commonly, though, knowledge is inexact. Knowledge does not need to be exact to be useful. For example, we are told that the radius of the earth is approximately 4000 miles. That value is not exact, but it is close enough for a range of practical purposes.
As for truth, some philosophers speak of real, absolute, ideal truths that are not invented but may eventually be discovered. In contrast, as for knowledge, the vast bulk of our knowledge is in the form of models that are clearly invented.