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Simon Blackburn

Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed

Philosophers have always been wary of the idea of 'absolute truth', but can one express a reasonable scepticism and yet avoid the 'anything goes' of postmodernism? In 'Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed', Simon Blackburn guides the reader through such issues. The book is based on a series of eight Gifford lectures that Blackburn gave in Glasgow in 2004. As such it is more of a discussion of the issues, rather than trying to give any definite answers, although at the end Blackburn does express a hope that those arguing about such issues will find much more common ground.

Blackburn looks at what has been said by a great many philosophers, and in particular he criticises those who have gone in for excessive relativism, for example Nietzsche and Richard Rorty. He shows that such relativism always seems to claim more than it can deliver - it leads to contradictory talk somewhere along the line. Blackburn's own position seems to be closest to what he calls minimalism - there is no difference between saying 'X is true' and just saying 'X', and so much of the argument is pointless. Overall I would say that if you want a gentle guide to these often contentious philosophical issues then you will find this to be a very thought-provoking book.

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Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 4098447
Published: 2006 PENGUIN
Amazon price $9.90
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Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 199406
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 Penguin
Amazon price £9.99
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Paperback
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 2499291
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 PENGUIN
Amazon price CDN$ 9.60
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 9.60:Used from CDN$ 2.19
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Product Description
Tells about truth, and the enemies of truth, and the wars that are fought between them. This guide looks at relativism and absolutism, toleration and belief, objectivity and knowledge, science and pseudo-science, and the moral and political implications, as well as the nuances, of all these.

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