This book engages with post-truth as a problem of societal order and for scholarly analysis. It claims that post-truth discourse is more deeply entangled with main Western imaginations of knowledge societies than commonly recognised. Scholarly responses to post-truth have not fully addressed these entanglements, treating them either as something to be morally condemned or as accusations against which scholars have to defend themselves (for having somehow contributed to it). Aiming for wider problematisations, the authors of this book (...) use post-truth to open scholarly and societal assumptions to critical scrutiny. Contributions are both conceptual and empirical, dealing with topics such as: the role of truth in public; deep penetrations of ICTs into main societal institutions; the politics of time in neoliberalism; shifting boundaries between fact - value, politics - science, nature - culture; and the importance of critique for public truth-telling. Case studies range from the politics of nuclear power and election meddling in the UK, over smart technologies and techno-regulation in Europe, to renewables in Australia. The book ends where the Corona story begins: as intensifications of Modernity's complex dynamics, requiring new starting points for critique. (shrink)
It is widely asserted that we are now living in a post-truth society. What that means, this book argues, is that the contemporary global world is thoroughly infested not only with trickster figures but an entire and operational trickster logic; or, that we now live in a Trickster Land - an argument advanced by the claim that in modernity liminality has become permanent; or that modern life is patently absurd. The first part of the book presents a series of (...) 'guides' to this condition, in the form of key thinkers and writers who can help us understand and navigate our Trickster Land. Such guides include Hermann Broch, Lewis Hyde, Roberto Calasso, Michel Serres, Sándor Márai, Colin Thubron, and Albert Camus. The second part goes on to discuss five main regions of Trickster Land: art, thought, the economy, politics, and society. This last, central chapter of the book contrasts trickster logic with the basic, foundational logic of social life, presented as gift-giving by Marcel Mauss and as sociability by Georg Simmel, and which is expressed here, combining Heraclitus and Plato with the Gospel of John, by three basic terms of ancient Greek culture, as arkhé charis logos: meaningful social life originally and in its essence is animated by the power of kind benevolence. This volume will appeal to scholars of social theory, anthropology and sociology with interests in political thought and contemporary culture. (shrink)
It has been widely noted that society has moved away from seeing truth as an objective and, in some ways, important part of what it means to be educated. Varied conceptions of truth have existed and have been debated in the halls of academia for years but recently a shift has occurred in which truth has lost its status broadly as a virtue. In fact, in 2016, Oxford Dictionary declared "post-truth" as its international word of the (...) year, defined as: 'relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief'. Living in a world that is post-truth has direct implications on the education of a society's youth. This book will examine several broad conceptions of truth and present them as truth profiles considering their implications for education. This survey will consider the role of truth as it relates to teaching and the act of being a teacher, engage with challenging questions about what curriculum will be learned and its implications for our understanding of truth and specific consideration is attended to the impacts that one's conception of truth has for what they prioritize in the classroom, their instructional practice, and on learning itself. This book will take a focused look at the concept of truth and how varied conceptions of truth impact teaching and learning through theoretical, analytic, and practical examples. (shrink)
Truth and Norms develops a novel pluralistic view of the normative role that truth exerts on judgements. This view, labeled normative alethic pluralism, provides the best explanation of the variable normative significance that disagreement exhibits in different areas of discourse and is fully compatible with a minimalist conception of truth.
What is post-truth? -- Science denial as a road map for understanding post-truth -- The roots of cognitive bias -- The decline of traditional media -- The rise of social media and the problem of fake news -- Did post-modernism lead to post-truth? -- Fighting post-truth.
'Post-truth', Oxford Dictionary's 2016 word of the year, appears to cover only the turn away from reason in contemporary politics. In fact the truth behind 'post-truth' is historically and philosophically more complex. As Fuller shows in this book, it reaches into the nature of knowledge itself.
Truths are determined not by what we believe, but by the way the world is. Or so realists about truth believe. Philosophers call such theories correspondence theories of truth. Truthmaking theory, which now has many adherents among contemporary philosophers, is the most recent development of a realist theory of truth, and in this book D. M. Armstrong offers the first full-length study of this theory. He examines its applications to different sorts of truth, including contingent truths, (...) modal truths, truths about the past and the future, and mathematical truths. In a clear, even-handed and non-technical discussion he makes a compelling case for truthmaking and its importance in philosophy. His book marks a significant contribution to the debate and will be of interest to a wide range of readers working in analytical philosophy. (shrink)
It is commonly believed that populist politics and social media pose a serious threat to our concept of truth. Philosophical pragmatists, who are typically thought to regard truth as merely that which is 'helpful' for us to believe, are sometimes blamed for providing the theoretical basis for the phenomenon of 'post-truth'. In this book, Sami Pihlström develops a pragmatist account of truth and truth-seeking based on the ideas of William James, and defends a thoroughly pragmatist (...) view of humanism which gives space for a sincere search for truth. By elaborating on James's pragmatism and the 'will to believe' strategy in the philosophy of religion, Pihlström argues for a Kantian-inspired transcendental articulation of pragmatism that recognizes irreducible normativity as a constitutive feature of our practices of pursuing the truth. James himself thereby emerges as a deeply Kantian thinker. (shrink)
Mark Jago presents and defends a novel theory of what truth is, in terms of the metaphysical notion of truthmaking. This is the relation which holds between a truth and some entity in the world, in virtue of which that truth is true. By coming to an understanding of this relation, he argues, we gain better insight into the metaphysics of truth. The first part of the book discusses the property being true, and how we should (...) understand it in terms of truthmaking. The second part focuses on truthmakers, the worldly entities which make various kinds of truths true, and how they do so. Jago argues for a metaphysics of states of affairs, which account for things having properties and standing in relations. The third part analyses the logic and metaphysics of the truthmaking relation itself, and links it to the metaphysical concept of grounding. The final part discusses consequences of the theory for language and logic. Jago shows how the theory delivers a novel and useful theory of propositions, the entities which are true or false, depending on how things are. A notable feature of this approach is that it avoids the Liar paradox and other puzzling paradoxes of truth. (shrink)
The claim that liberal democratic normative commitments are compatible with nationalism is challenged by the widely acknowledged fact that national identities invariably depend on historical myths: the nationalist defence of such publicly shared myths is in tension with liberal democratic theory’s commitment to norms of publicity, public justification, and freedom of expression. Recent liberal nationalist efforts to meet this challenge by justifying national myths on liberal democratic grounds fail to distinguish adequately between different senses of myth. Once this is done (...) (drawing on Arthur Danto’s analytical philosophy of history), it becomes apparent that historical narratives cannot be justifiably shielded from criteria of truth and significance, and that genuinely historical myths are incompatible with liberal democratic political philosophy. (shrink)
This book draws on the thought of Thomas Aquinas to provide an innovative approach to the ethics of lying and truthfulness. It offers a definitive interpretation of Aquinas's thought on the morality of lying, and it makes a novel contribution to theological ethics.
Hilary Putnam deals in this book with some of the most fundamental persistent problems in philosophy: the nature of truth, knowledge and rationality. His aim is to break down the fixed categories of thought which have always appeared to define and constrain the permissible solutions to these problems.
This book reinterprets Friedrich Schelling's positive philosophy as humanity's striving for truth. It presents truth in the context of the historical phenomena of mythology and religion and the anthropological categories of the soul, spirit, and personality.
Is the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it (...) takes it as obvious that some of the truth is relative. Mark Richard's accessible book argues that when it comes to truth, common sense is right, philosophical orthodoxy wrong. The first half of the book examines connections between the performative aspects of talk, our emotions and evaluations, and the conditions under which talk and thought qualifies as true or false. It argues that the performative and expressive sometimes trump the semantic, making truth and falsity the wrong dimension of evaluation for belief or assertion. Among the topics taken up are: racial slurs and other epithets; relations between logic and truth; the status of moral and ethical talk; vagueness and the liar paradox. The book's second half defends the idea that much of everyday thought and talk is only relatively true or false. Truth is inevitably relative, given that we cannot work out in advance how our concepts will apply to the world. Richard explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts standard objections to relativism, and argues that relativism is consistent with the idea that one view can be objectively better than another. The book concludes with an account of matters of taste and of how it is possible for divergent views of such matters to be equally valid, even if not true or false. When Truth Gives Out will be of interest not only to philosophers who work on language, ethics, knowledge, or logic, but to any thoughtful person who has wondered what it is, or isn't, for something to be true. (shrink)
During the realist revival in the early years of this century, philosophers of various persuasions were concerned to investigate the ontology of truth. That is, whether or not they viewed truth as a correspondence, they were interested in the extent to which one needed to assume the existence of entities serving some role in accounting for the truth of sentences. Certain of these entities, such as the Sätze an sich of Bolzano, the Gedanken of Frege, or the (...) propositions of Russell and Moore, were conceived as the bearers of the properties of truth and falsehood. Some thinkers however, such as Russell, Wittgenstein in the Tractatus, and Husserl in the Logische Untersuchungen, argued that instead of, or in addition to, truth-bearers, one must assume the existence of certain entities in virtue of which sentences and/or propositions are true. Various names were used for these entities, notably 'fact', 'Sachverhalt', and 'state of affairs'. (1) In order not to prejudge the suitability of these words we shall initially employ a more neutral terminology, calling any entities which are candidates for this role truth-makers. (shrink)
A wide-ranging study of the central concepts in epistemology - belief, truth and knowledge. Professor Armstrong offers a dispositional account of general beliefs and of knowledge of general propositions. Belief about particular matters of fact are described as structures in the mind of the believer which represent or 'map' reality, while general beliefs are dispositions to extend the 'map' or introduce casual relations between portions of the map according to general rules. 'Knowledge' denotes the reliability of such beliefs as (...) representations of reality. Within this framework Professor Armstrong offers a distinctive account of many of the main questions in general epistemology - the relations between beliefs and language, the notions of proposition, concept and idea, the analysis of truth, the varieties of knowledge, and the way in which beleifs and knowledge are supported by reasons. The book as a whole if offered as a contribution to a naturalistic account of man. (shrink)
Sherrilyn Roush defends a new theory of knowledge and evidence, based on the idea of "tracking" the truth, as the best approach to a wide range of questions about knowledge-related phenomena. The theory explains, for example, why scepticism is frustrating, why knowledge is power, and why better evidence makes you more likely to have knowledge. Tracking Truth provides a unification of the concepts of knowledge and evidence, and argues against traditional epistemological realist and anti-realist positions about scientific theories (...) and for a piecemeal approach based on a criterion of evidence, a position Roush calls "real anti-realism." Epistemologists and philosophers of science will recognize this as a significant original contribution. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a (...)truth predicate at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
Dialetheism is the view that some contradictions are true. This is a view which runs against orthodoxy in logic and metaphysics since Aristotle, and has implications for many of the core notions of philosophy. Doubt Truth to Be a Liar explores these implications for truth, rationality, negation, and the nature of logic, and develops further the defense of dialetheism first mounted in Priest's In Contradiction, a second edition of which is also available.
This book examines the complex and varied ways in which fictions relate to the real world, and offers a precise account of how imaginative works of literature can use fictional content to explore matters of universal human interest. While rejecting the traditional view that literature is important for the truths that it imparts, the authors also reject attempts to cut literature off altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality, mimesis, and cognitive value, founded on the methods of (...) analytical philosophy, restores to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices. The authors also explore metaphysical and skeptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a social construct. They identify different conceptions of fiction in science, logic, epistemology, and make-believe, and thereby challenge the idea that discourse per se is fictional and that different modes of discourse are at root indistinguishable. They offer rigorous analyses of the roles of narrative, imagination, metaphor, and "making" in human thought processes. Both in their methods and in their conclusions, Lamarque and Olsen aim to restore rigor and clarity to debates about the values of literature, and to provide new, philosophically sound foundations for a genuine change of direction in literary theorizing. (shrink)
What is truth? -- Varieties of deflationism -- A defense of minimalism -- The value of truth -- A minimalist critique of Tarski -- Kripke's paradox of meaning -- Regularities, rules, meanings, truth conditions, and epistemic norms -- Semantics : what's truth got to do with it? -- The motive power of evaluative concepts -- Ungrounded reason -- The nature of paradox -- A world without 'isms' -- The quest for reality -- Being and truth (...) -- Provenance of chapters. (shrink)
"Davidson begins by harking back to an early interest in the classics, and an even earlier engagement with the workings of grammar. In the pleasures of diagramming sentences in grade school, he locates his first glimpse into the mechanics of how we conduct the most important activities in our life - such as declaring love, asking directions, issuing orders, and telling stories. Davidson connects these essential questions with the most basic and yet hard to understand mysteries of language use - (...) how we connect noun to verb. This is a problem that Plato and Aristotle wrestled with, and Davidson draws on their thinking to show how an understanding of linguistic behavior is critical to the formulating of a workable concept of truth. Against a whole army of contemporary philosophers, Davidson argues that the concept of truth is not ambiguous.". (shrink)
The concept of truth and competing philosophical theories on what truth amounts to have an important place in contemporary philosophy. The aim of this chapter is to give a synopsis of different theories of truth and the particular philosophical issues related to the concept of truth. The literature on this topic is vast, and we must necessarily be rather selective and very brief about complex questions of interpretation of various philosophers. The focus of the chapter is (...) mainly on selected systematic issues and the most influential and well-established philosophical theories and key concepts. (shrink)
"Devoted to the Truth" is a compilation of the most recent articles by renowned Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gülen, since 2016. The themes he covers are commitment to lofty ideals, self-reckoning, and hope.
This volume is a wide-ranging examination of denial and ideological denialism. It offers a readable overview of the psychology and social science of bias, self-deception, and denial, and examines the role of ideological denialism in conflicts over science and public policy, politics, and culture.
The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence. Synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean. Analytic sentences - like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides - are different. They are true in virtue of meaning, so no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. -/- (...) This distinction seems powerful because analytic sentences seem to be knowable in a special way. One can know that all bachelors are unmarried, for example, just by thinking about what it means. But many twentieth-century philosophers, with Quine in the lead, argued that there were no analytic sentences, that the idea of analyticity didn't even make sense, and that the analytic/synthetic distinction was therefore an illusion. Others couldn't see how there could fail to be a distinction, however ingenious the arguments of Quine and his supporters. -/- But since the heyday of the debate, things have changed in the philosophy of language. Tools have been refined, confusions cleared up, and most significantly, many philosophers now accept a view of language - semantic externalism - on which it is possible to see how the distinction could fail. One might be tempted to think that ultimately the distinction has fallen for reasons other than those proposed in the original debate. -/- In Truth in Virtue of Meaning, Gillian Russell argues that it hasn't. Using the tools of contemporary philosophy of language, she outlines a view of analytic sentences which is compatible with semantic externalism and defends that view against the old Quinean arguments. She then goes on to draw out the surprising epistemological consequences of her approach. (shrink)
The examination of the transcendentals of truth, beauty and the good in this work stems from the perspective of Christian humanism, moral psychology and perfecting ourselves. From such a point of departure the book engages in the philosophy of culture and religion while drawing upon ritual, works of high and especially popular culture.
Can language directly access what is true, or is the truth judgment affected by the subjective, perhaps even solipsistic, constructs of reality built by the speakers of that language? The construction of such subjective representations is known as veridicality, and in this book Anastasia Giannakidou and Alda Mari deftly address the interaction between truth and veridicality in the grammatical phenomena of mood choice: the indicative and subjunctive choice in the complements of modal expressions (words like must, may, can, (...) and possible) and propositional attitude verbs (such as know, believe, remember, dream, and persuade). Combining several strands of analysis-formal linguistic semantics, syntactic theory, modal logic, and philosophy of language- Giannakidou and Mari's theory not only enriches the analysis of linguistic modality, but also offers a unified perspective of modals and propositional attitudes. Their synthesis covers mood, modality, and attitude verbs in Greek and Romance languages including Italian and French, while also offering broader applications for languages lacking systematic mood distinction, such as English, and explaining interactions between modality, time, and evidentiality. (shrink)
Cheryl Misak argues that truth ought to be reinstated to a central position in moral and political philosophy. She argues that the correct account of truth is one found in a certain kind of pragmatism: a true belief is one upon which inquiry could not improve, a belief which would not be defeated by experience and argument. This account is not only an improvement on the views of central figures such as Rawls and Habermas, but it can also (...) make sense of the idea that, despite conflict, pluralism, and the expression of difference, our moral and political beliefs aim at truth and can be subject to criticism. Anyone interested in a fresh discussion of political theory and philosophy will find this a fascinating read. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam deals in this book with some of the most fundamental persistent problems in philosophy: the nature of truth, knowledge and rationality. His aim is to break down the fixed categories of thought which have always appeared to define and constrain the permissible solutions to these problems.
The relationship between truth and politics has rarely seemed more vexed. Worries about misinformation and disinformation abound, and the value of expertise for democratic decision-making dismissed. Whom can we trust to provide us with reliable testimony? In Truth and Evidence, the latest in the NOMOS series, Melissa Schwartzberg and Philip Kitcher present nine timely essays shedding light on practices of inquiry. These essays address urgent questions including what it means to #BelieveWomen; what factual knowledge we require to confront (...) challenges like COVID-19; and how white supremacy shapes the law of evidence. (shrink)
The mainstream view in the philosophy of language holds that every meaningful sentence has a truth-condition. This view, however, runs into difficulties with non-objective sentences such as sentences on matters of taste or value: these do not appear to be either true or false, but are generally taken to be meaningful. How can this conflict be resolved? -/- Truth Without Objectivity examines various ways of resolving this fundamental problem, before developing and defending its own original solution, a relativist (...) theory of truth. Standard solutions maintain either that in uttering non-objective sentences speakers make implicit reference to their own preferences and thus have unproblematic truth conditions, or that they have no truth conditions at all. Max Kölbel argues that both of these proposed solutions are inadequate, and that a third well-known position, minimalism, can only solve the problem if it is developed in the direction of relativism about truth. -/- Kölbel defends the idea that truth (as invoked in semantics) is a neutral notion: a sentence’s possessing a truth condition does not yet entail that it concerns an objective subject matter, because truth and objectivity are independent of one another. He argues that this notion of ‘truth without objectivity’ leads directly to relativism about truth, and goes on to defend one form of relativism against well-known objections. (shrink)
What kinds of sentences with truth predicate may be inserted plausibly and consistently into the T-scheme? We state an answer in terms of dependence: those sentences which depend directly or indirectly on non-semantic states of affairs (only). In order to make this precise we introduce a theory of dependence according to which a sentence φ is said to depend on a set Φ of sentences iff the truth value of φ supervenes on the presence or absence of the (...) sentences of Φ in/from the extension of the truth predicate. Both φ and the members of Φ are allowed to contain the truth predicate. On that basis we are able define notions such as ungroundedness or self-referentiality within a classical semantics, and we can show that there is an adequate definition of truth for the class of sentences which depend on non-semantic states of affairs. (shrink)
Friends of Wright-entitlement cannot appeal to direct epistemic consequentialism (believe or accept what maximizes expected epistemic value) in order to account for the epistemic rationality of accepting Wright-entitled propositions. The tenability of direct consequentialism is undermined by the “Truth Fairy”: a powerful being who offers you great epistemic reward (in terms of true beliefs) if you accept a proposition p for which you have evidence neither for nor against. However, this chapter argues that a form of indirect epistemic consequentialism (...) seems promising as a way to deal with the Truth Fairy problem. The relevant form of indirect consequentialism accommodates evidentialism but allows for exceptions in the case of anti-sceptical hypotheses. Since these are the kind of propositions to which Wright-entitlement is supposed to apply—i.e. cornerstone propositions—indirect consequentialism is entitlement-friendly. (shrink)
Philosophical discussion of truthmaking has flourished in recent times, but what exactly does it mean to ‘make’ a truth-bearer true? I argue that ‘making’ is a concept with modal force, and this renders it a problematic deployment for truthmaker theorists with nominalist sympathies, which characterises most current theories. I sketch the outlines of what I argue is a more genuinely realist truthmaker theory, which is capable of answering the explanatory question: In virtue of what does each particular truthmaker make (...) its particular truthbearer true? I do this by drawing on recent work by Frederik Stjernfelt on Charles Peirce’s account of the proposition as having a ‘particular double structure’, according to which a proposition not only depicts certain characters of an object, it also depicts itself claiming those characters to pertain to the object. This double structure, I shall argue, also resolves important issues in analytic philosophers’ truthmaker theory, including the proper distinction between reference and truthmaking, and a dilemma concerning an infinite regress of truthmaking. (shrink)