New PDF release: Aiming at Truth

By Nicholas Unwin (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230624901

ISBN-13: 9780230624900

ISBN-10: 1349353078

ISBN-13: 9781349353071

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This thesis thereby provides a neat explanation of a puzzling phenomenon: ‘< p > is true’ (said emphatically) seems to be stronger than ‘p’ when looked at from one perspective, and yet no stronger when viewed from another. Much theorizing about the concept of truth is designed to solve this problem. Our solution is that sense and force tend to be muddled, which is why the word ‘true’ appears to have schizoid features. Yet we have not really needed to move beyond a very minimalist picture of what truth itself actually is.

To deny this is simply to ignore the fact that truth is quite different from warranted assertibility, and corresponds to different normative constraints – constraints which sometimes clash. It may be concluded that we still have no grounds to reject the use of speech-acts which satisfy TN or UUP. The objection is unfounded, however. What we have argued for throughout is that the strength of our commitments has a twodimensional structure. One dimension is the familiar one of propositional content.

Nevertheless, if I still refuse to hold the belief even if I do acquire an interest, then I am now being sceptical in the sense that concerns us, and it is this scepticism that conflicts with our ordinary justificatory norms. The important point is that the latter are more than just a set of permissions. They also claim that it is irrational to fail to believe certain things in certain circumstances: that is to say, that I am actually obliged to believe it in such circumstances. A sceptic, of course, denies these obligations.

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Aiming at Truth by Nicholas Unwin (auth.)


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