Why truth is important in our everyday lives.
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Michael Lynch's book True to Life: Why Truth Matters, is a strange book that never fulfills its promise. Unfortunately, the book reads like classroom lectures that were reconfigured to fit a book format. One is never clear where Lynch is going with this volume other than to seemingly rebut those other philosophers he disagrees with or who disagree with him. While there is clearly common ground among the philosophical disciplines, Lynch gives short shrift to those who disagree with him and treats this book like a Manifesto. Most annoying for me in the book is his recitation of philosophical arguments that he then simplifies with such phrases such as 'that is to say'. If his writing were clearer and in more plain English or he trusted his readers more, he would not have to state and restate the same points in plain English. At times the academic-speak gets to be too much and one can only sigh with exasperation. In addition, it is not clear who Mr. Lynch is writing this book for or, at least, who the target audience is supposed to be, e.g. laymen and laywomen, politicians, or undergraduate philosophy students. Lynch is facile and certainly smart, but at times, smart to the point of smuggness. Later chapters in the book on truth and happiness and truth and liberal democracy fair better, and his basic premises regarding governmental transparency, while naive, has merit. John Tusa's book, Why Art Matters, though confined to the arts is a superior work in its straightforward analysis of the meaning and importance of art in culture. One would wish Mr. Lynch would have read it before publishing this slight volume. The truth is non-pragmatist or verificationist as argued by Mr. Lynch and in the best of all possible worlds he may be right, but I'm not too sure about that in this one. Sic transit gloria mundi with or without the truth. and poststructuralists will find much to argue with True to Life. That discssion and dialogue, of course, is valuable if not overly productive or enlightening. As Dr. Robert Pastor and Jorge Castenda did in there book, Limits of Friendship and really incorporating contrasting views intothe substance of this thematic material.