Show Book List  | More books by Simon Blackburn

Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Guardian Unlimited
Thomas Scarborough
Andy Armitage
Independent.co.uk

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.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 3719458
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 PENGUIN
Marketplace:New from $8.63:Used from $1.99
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 260745
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 Penguin
Amazon price £9.99
Marketplace:New from £5.61:Used from £0.93
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback
ISBN: 0141014253
Salesrank: 1948836
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 PENGUIN
Amazon price CDN$ 9.88
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 9.88:Used from CDN$ 5.27
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
The aim of the series is to bring together important recent writing in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editors of each volume contribute an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. This volume is designed to set out some of the central issues in the theory of truth. It begins with writings by F. H. Bradley, William James, Gottlob Frege, and Bertrand Russell, and continues wih the classical discussions from the middle of the century (including Wittgenstein, Quine, and Austin), ending with a selection of contemporary contributions, including essays from Donald Davidson and Richard Rorty. The collection draws together, for the first time, the debates between philosophers who favour 'robust' or 'substantive' theories of truth, and those other, 'deflationist' or minimalists, who deny that such theories can be given. The editors provide a substantial introduction, in which they map out this terrain and locate writers from Frege to Wittgenstein and Davidson within it. They also describe how these debates relate to more technical issues, such as work on the Liar paradox and formal truth theories.

Tachyos.org  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews