The thinking person's tonic for our troubling times
How did we find ourselves in a "post-truth" world of "alternative facts"? And can we get out of it? A SHORT HISTORY OF TRUTH sets out to answer these questions by looking at the complex history of truth and falsehood. It identifies ten types of supposed truth and explains how easily each can become the midwife of falsehood. There is no species of truth that we can rely on unquestioningly, but that does not mean the truth can never be established. Attaining truth is an achievement we need to work for, and each chapter will end up with a truth we can have some confidence in.
This history builds into a comprehensive and clear explanation of why truth is now so disputed by exploring 10 kinds of truth:
1. Eternal truths.
2. Authoritative truths.
3. Esoteric truths.
4. Reasoned truths.
5. Evidence-based truths.
6. Creative truths.
7. Relative truths.
8. Powerful truths
9. Moral truths.
10. Holistic truths.
Baggini provides us with all we need to restore faith in the value and possibility of truth as a social enterprise. Truth-seekers need to be sceptical not cynical, autonomous not atomistic, provisional not dogmatic, open not empty, demanding not unreasonable.
Julian Baggini is the founding editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He has a PhD on the philosophy of personal identity and is the author, co-author or editor of over twenty books including The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown, The Virtues of the Table (all Granta), and most recently The Edge of Reason (Yale). He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as for the think-tanks The Institute of Public Policy Research, Demos and Counterpoint. His website is www.microphilosophy.net