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What's the Use of Truth?

ISBN-10: 0231140142

ISBN-13: 9780231140140

Edition: 2007

Authors: Pascal Engel, Richard Rorty, William McCuaig, William McCuaig

List price: $24.95
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What is truth? What value should we see in or attribute to it? The war over the meaning and utility of truth is at the center of contemporary philosophical debate, and its arguments have rattled the foundations of philosophical practice. The American pragmatist Richard Rorty doubts that the notion of truth can be of any practical use and points to the preconceptions that lie behind truth in both the intellectual and social spheres. Engel prefers a realist conception, defending the relevance and value of truth as a norm of belief and of inquiry both in science and in the public domain. Rorty finds more danger in using the notion of truth than in getting rid of it. Engel thinks it is important to hold on to the idea that truth is an accurate representation of reality. In Rorty's view, epistemology is an artificial construct meant to restore a function to philosophy usurped by the success of empirical science. Epistemology and ontology are false problems, and with their demise goes the Cartesian dualism of subject and object and the ancient problematic of appearance and reality. Conventional "philosophical problems," Rorty asserts, are just symptoms of the professionalism that has disfigured the discipline since the time of Kant. Engel, however, is by no means as complacent as Rorty in heralding the "end of truth," and conducts a fierce campaign against the legitimacy of his arguments. What's the Use of Truth?is a rare opportunity to experience each side of this impassioned debate clearly and concisely. It is a topic that does not impact philosophy alone, but all aspects of our culture.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 1/30/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 96
Size: 4.76" wide x 9.61" long x 0.52" tall
Weight: 0.374
Language: English

Richard Rorty has tried to bring the American pragmatist tradition together both with a Wittgensteinian approach to mind and language and with various themes in post-Nietzschean European thought. He has taught at Wellesley, Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Stanford and is the author of many books, including The Future of Religionwith Gianni Vattimo.Pascal Engel is ordinary professor of contemporary philosophy at the University of Geneva, after having taught at the Sorbonne. He is the author of The Norm of Truth, Ramsey, Truth and Success, and Truth, and of books in French on Davidson, the philosophy of the mind, and analytic philosophy. His present work is focused on epistemology.

Richard Rorty is professor of comparative literature and philosophy at Stanford University. He is the author of numerous works, including Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature; Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity; and What's the Use of Truth?Gianni Vattimo teaches hermeneutic philosophy at the University of Turin. Among his books are After Christianity; Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and Law; Dialogue with Nietzsche; and After the Death of God.Santiago Zabala is the editor of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Gianni Vattimoand author of The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophyand the forthcoming The Remains of Being.