Truth: A Guide by Simon Blackburn

This is an excellent discussion of the philosophical issues concerning truth.

Blackburn argues for a minimalist version of truth: assertions of any kind fit into the schema “‘P’ is true if and only if P”, even ethical and aesthetic assertions.

He then navigates between four philosophical views regarding truth: 1) eliminativsm (get rid of it!); 2) realism (get it right, and then talk of truth, ontology, reality, fact…); 3) quietism; and 4) constructivism (also fictionalism, pragmatism, instrumentalism, expressivism…). In the end, he supports realism of a modest sort: a realism that is comfortable saying science and most everyday beliefs are true, which is why they bring us success in our endeavors.  (2/15/10)

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