When Truth Gives Out
By (author) Mark Richard
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When Truth Gives Out by Mark Richard
Book DescriptionIs the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it takes it as obvious that some of the truth is relative. Mark Richard's accessible book argues that when it comes to truth, common sense is right, philosophical orthodoxy wrong. The first half of the book examines connections between the performative aspects of talk (what we do when we speak), our emotions and evaluations, and the conditions under which talk and thought qualifies as true or false. It argues that the performative and expressive sometimes trump the semantic, making truth and falsity the wrong dimension of evaluation for belief or assertion. Among the topics taken up are: racial slurs and other epithets; relations between logic and truth; the status of moral and ethical talk; vagueness and the liar paradox. The book's second half defends the idea that much of everyday thought and talk is only relatively true or false. Truth is inevitably relative, given that we cannot work out in advance how our concepts will apply to the world. Richard explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts standard objections to relativism, and argues that relativism is consistent with the idea that one view can be objectively better than another. The book concludes with an account of matters of taste and of how it is possible for divergent views of such matters to be equally valid, even if not true or false. When Truth Gives Out will be of interest not only to philosophers who work on language, ethics, knowledge, or logic, but to any thoughtful person who has wondered what it is, or isn't, for something to be true.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199239955
(241mm x 163mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 24-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Mark Richard
Truth and Truth Bearers, Hardback (November 2015)
This book collects nine seminal essays by Mark Richard, alongside four new essays and an introduction. Each essay attempts to understand the idea of a proposition. Richard explores the truth value of objects of thought and assertion; defends a relativist view of those objects; and discusses relations between sentential and propositional structure.
Context and the Attitudes, Paperback (March 2015)
Thirteen seminal essays by Mark Richard develop a nuanced account of semantics and propositional attitudes. The collection addresses a range of topics in philosophical semantics and philosophy of mind, and is accompanied by a new Introduction which discusses attitudes realized by dispositions and other non-linguistic cognitive structures.
When Truth Gives Out, Paperback (May 2010)
In this accessible and provocative book Mark Richard argues that the performative and expressive can trump the semantic, making truth the wrong dimension for evaluating a sentence. He explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts objections to relativism, assesses objections to expressivism, and gives a novel account of matters of taste.
Eccentric Obstinate And Fabulous!, Paperback (November 2008)» View all books by Mark Richard
A wonderful memoir that journeys from Lyngen, Norway, to Palos Verdes, California, details an impressive list of historical characters as the author recounts the highlights and hardships of her charmed life.
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Author Biography - Mark Richard
Mark Richard is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Tufts University. He is the author of Propositional Attitudes (CUP) and the editor of Meaning (Blackwell). Meaning in Context, a collection of his papers, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
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