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Truth A Guide

ISBN-10: 0195315804
ISBN-13: 9780195315806
Edition: N/A
Authors: Simon Blackburn
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/8/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

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.

Preface
Introduction
Faith, Belief And Reason
Clifford's Duties
Fiction and MythJames
Kinds of Animation
Man The Measure
Turning the Tables: the Recoil Argument
Modern Judo
The Variation of Subjectives
The Moving Bull's-eye
Doing it Ourselves
Ishmael's Problem And The Delights Of Keeping Quiet
Who Tell the Tale?
A Gestalt Switch
You Tell Me, or Down with Pilate
Moral Relativism
Man the Measurer
Summary
Nietzche: The Arch Debunker
Facts or Interpretations?
Twilight of the Idols
Perspectivism
Adequate Words
Heraclitus and the Flux
The Darwinian Element
The Possibility Of Philosophy
Getting Puzzled
Four Responses
Eliminativism
Realism
Deconstructing the Issue
The Constructivist Corner
The Example of Wittgenstein
Observation And Truth: From Locke To Rorty
Paradise Lost
First Impressions
Holism
Davidson's Mantle
Rorty's Talking World
Keeping our Feet on the Ground
Interlude: Law, Tennis, and the Coffee-house
A Political Message
Realism As Science; Realism About Science
No Miracles
Science Red in Tooth and Claw
Explaining from Within
Animation and Belief Again
Underdetermination
Historians And Others
Conceptual Schemes
Mind Reading
Mirroring
Infirmities
Collectives and their Histories
Peace Breaks Out
Notes
Index

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