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Truth: A Guide by Simon Blackburn
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Truth: A Guide

by Simon Blackburn

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Truth: A Guide by Simon Blackburn

Why I picked this book up: I was in one of the Powell’s Books in Portland while in Oregon for a conference. First of all I LOVED Powell’s. It was SO fun being in a huge bookstore then I found this book and went back to the Hotel and got wrapped up in it.

General Thoughts: This book was great. It reminded me of a philosophy class as it walked through the thought process and its development, giving both sides its due and talking about where the arguments failed and succeeded.

Why I finished this book: I finished this book because it was really fun to me. He does a very good job because he makes it so easy to grasp. He really is on his game and I’d love to read another of his books.

Rating: I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. ( )
  DrT | Jul 21, 2011 |
I read Blackburn’s book Think about 3 years ago, and enjoyed his style. This was much denser, more technical, mostly concerned with theories of knowing reality, and evidence for locating truth in the world, and in the mind. I came away with an impression of a long journal article for a philosophy publication, and I am still not sure I understood the author’s position. Does he find truth to be relative to the individual, or an absolute? ( )
1 vote neurodrew | Mar 5, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195315804, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"The front lines of the age-old war over truth 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?"--BOOK JACKET."We all like to think we value and abide by it - but what is the truth? In a world with so many contradictory beliefs, habits and religions, does any such thing really exist? Simon Blackburn's new book is a sure-footed companion through this thorny territory, showing us the different ways in which we have interpreted and sought the truth from classical to modern times." "Getting to grips with the issues that touch all of us, Truth asks: are there really such things as moral absolutes or good and evil? Can we maintain any form of personal integrity in a society awash with cults, astrology, Feng shui, homeopathy and self-help? Or should every viewpoint be given respect, however absurd we may think it? This essential guide to truth, the enemies of truth and the wars that have been fought between them steers a clear path through ideas such as relativism and absolutism, toleration and belief, objectivity and knowledge and the new religions of 'Science' and 'the Market'. It introduces figures from Plato and Locke to Nietzsche and Foucault, and explores the moral and political implications, as well as the nuances, of the many conflicting concepts in the struggle to determine what we really mean by 'the truth'." "Whether you're an atheist or a true believer, a post-modernist or a pragmatist, a sceptic or a nihilist - or just perplexed by it all - this book offers positive guidance for anyone who believes that the truth is out there."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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