Truth: Engagements Across Philosophical Traditions / Edition 1

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Setting the stage with a selection of readings from important nineteenth century philosophers, this reader on truth puts in conversation some of the main philosophical figures from the twentieth century in the analytic, continental, and pragmatist traditions.

  • Focuses on the value or normativity of truth through exposing the dialogues between different schools of thought
  • Features philosophical figures from the twentieth century in the analytic, continental, and pragmatist traditions
  • Topics addressed include the normative relation between truth and subjectivity, consensus, art, testimony, power, and critique
  • Includes essays by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, James, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein, Levinas, Arendt, Foucault, Rorty, Davidson, Habermas, Derrida, and many others
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“There are no longer two dialogues – analytic and continental. It is all one now, and more complicated than ever. This collection is an indispensable point of entry to the new conversations.” Barry Allen, McMaster University

“It is virtually impossible to imagine a more useful collection of texts on this thorny philosophical topic. There is no pretense that herein lies the truth about truth, but there is the realization of a set of complex issues illuminated from radically diverse, yet often surprisingly overlapping, perspectives.” Vincent Colapietro, Pennsylvania State University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

José Medina is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He is author of Speaking from Elsewhere: A New Contextualist Perspective on Meaning, Identity, and Discursive Agency (2005) and The Unity of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy (2002).

David Wood is Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, and Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick. His previous books include The Step Back: Ethics and Politics after Deconstruction (2005), Thinking After Heidegger (Blackwell, 2002), The Deconstruction of Time (2001), Derrida: A Critical Reader (Blackwell, 1992), and Philosophy at the Limit (1990).

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Table of Contents



General Introduction.

Part I. The Value of Truth: “Revaluing our highest values”.


1. Friedrich Nietzsche On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.

2. William James Pragmatism’s Conception of Truth.

Suggested Reading.

Part II. Representation, Subjectivity, and Intersubjectivity.


3. Soren Kierkegaard Truth, Subjectivity and Communication.

4. Ludwig Wittgenstein Remarks on Truth.

5. Donald Davidson Truth and Meaning.

6. Hilary Putnam The Face of Cognition.

Suggested Reading.

Part III. Truth, Consensus, and Transcendence.


7. Richard Rorty Representation, Social Practice, and Truth.

8. Jurgen Habermas Richard Rorty’s Pragmatic Turn.

9. John McDowell Towards Rehabilitating Objectivity.

10. Paul Feyerabend Notes on Relativism.

Suggested Reading.

Part IV. Non-Propositional Truth: Language, Art and World.


11. Gianni Vattimo The Truth of Hermeneutics (with additional remarks).

12. Joseph Margolis Relativism and Cultural Relativity.

13. Maurice Merleau-Ponty Perception and Truth (with additional remarks).

14. Jacques Derrida The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing.

Suggested Reading.

Part V. Disclosure and Testimony.


15. Edmund Husserl Self-Evidence and Truth (with additional remarks).

16. Martin Heidegger On the Essence of Truth (with additional remarks).

17. Emmanuel Levinas Truth of Disclosure and Truth of Testimony.

18. Catherine Z. Elgin Word Giving, Word Taking.

Suggested Reading.

Part VI. Truth and Power.


19. Hannah Arendt Truth in Politics.

20. Michel Foucault The Discourse on Language (with additional remarks).

21. Linda Alcoff Reclaiming Truth.

Suggested Reading.

Part VII. A Supplement: Radicalizations of Truth.

22. An essay perforated with short excerpts from Žižek, Butler, Irigaray, Baudrillard and Deleuze.

Suggested Reading.

Primary Sources.


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