Truth: A Guide

Truth: A Guide

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by Simon Blackburn
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195315804

ISBN-13: 9780195315806

Pub. Date: 01/08/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The author of the highly popular book Think, which Time magazine hailed as "the one book every smart person should read to understand, and even enjoy, the key questions of philosophy," Simon Blackburn is that rara avis—an eminent thinker who is able to explain philosophy to the general reader. Now Blackburn offers a tour de force exploration of what

Overview

The author of the highly popular book Think, which Time magazine hailed as "the one book every smart person should read to understand, and even enjoy, the key questions of philosophy," Simon Blackburn is that rara avis—an eminent thinker who is able to explain philosophy to the general reader. Now Blackburn offers a tour de force exploration of what he calls "the most exciting and engaging issue in the whole of philosophy"—the age-old war over truth.

The front lines of this war are well defined. On one side are those who believe in plain, unvarnished facts, rock-solid truths that can be found through reason and objectivity—that science leads to truth, for instance. Their opponents mock this idea. They see the dark forces of language, culture, power, gender, class, ideology and desire—all subverting our perceptions of the world, and clouding our judgement with false notions of absolute truth. Beginning with an early skirmish in the war—when Socrates confronted the sophists in ancient Athens—Blackburn offers a penetrating look at the longstanding battle these two groups have waged, examining the philosophical battles fought by Plato, Protagoras, William James, David Hume, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and many others, with a particularly fascinating look at Nietzsche. Among the questions Blackburn considers are: is science mere opinion, can historians understand another historical period, and indeed can one culture ever truly understand another.

Blackburn concludes that both sides have merit, and that neither has exclusive ownership of truth. What is important is that, whichever side we embrace, we should know where we stand and what is to be said for our opponents.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195315806
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/08/2007
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
763,558
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
CHAPTER 1: FAITH, BELIEF AND REASON
1. Clifford's Duties
2. Fiction and MythJames
4. Kinds of Animation
CHAPTER 2: MAN THE MEASURE
1. Turning the Tables: the Recoil Argument
2. Modern Judo
3. The Variation of Subjectives
4. The Moving Bull's-eye
5. Doing it Ourselves
CHAPTER 3: ISHMAEL'S PROBLEM AND THE DELIGHTS OF KEEPING QUIET
1. Who Tell the Tale?
2. A Gestalt Switch
3. You Tell Me, or Down with Pilate
4. Moral Relativism
5. Man the Measurer
6. Summary
CHAPTER 4: NIETZCHE: THE ARCH DEBUNKER
1. Facts or Interpretations?
2. Twilight of the Idols
3. Perspectivism
4. Adequate Words
5. Heraclitus and the Flux
6. The Darwinian Element
CHAPTER 5: THE POSSIBILITY OF PHILOSOPHY
1. Getting Puzzled
2. Four Responses
3. Eliminativism
4. Realism
5. Deconstructing the Issue
6. The Constructivist Corner
7. The Example of Wittgenstein
CHAPTER 6: OBSERVATION AND TRUTH: FROM LOCKE TO RORTY
1. Paradise Lost
2. First Impressions
3. Holism
4. Davidson's Mantle
5. Rorty's Talking World
6. Keeping our Feet on the Ground
7. Interlude: Law, Tennis, and the Coffee-house
8. A Political Message
CHAPTER 7: REALISM AS SCIENCE; REALISM ABOUT SCIENCE
1. No Miracles
2. Science Red in Tooth and Claw
3. Explaining from Within
4. Animation and Belief Again
5. Underdetermination
CHAPTER 8: HISTORIANS AND OTHERS
1. Conceptual Schemes
2. Mind Reading
3. Mirroring
4. Infirmities
5. Collectives and their Histories
6. Peace Breaks Out
Notes
Index

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Truth: A Guide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago