Truth: Studies of a Robust Presence

Edited by Kurt Pritzl
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Truth: Studies of a Robust Presence brings together groundbreaking studies of objective truth as a robust, philosophically consequential reality and a compelling presence in all areas and dimensions of human life.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1756-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    Kurt Pritzl

    The nature of truth and the human capacity to have it, to retain it, and to achieve more of it are topics that have preoccupied philosophers at least since the moment when the goddess told Parmenides that she would teach him “all things, both the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth, and the opinions of mortals, in which there is no true reliance.”¹ There are ancient forms of relativism and skepticism in contention with large and substantial accounts of truth worthy of the divine grounding that Parmenides discerned it to have. With modernity, however, comes the opening for more thoroughgoing and...

  4. 1 Aristotle’s Door
    (pp. 15-39)
    Kurt Pritzl

    Aristotle provides a robust or substantial account of truth. A robust or substantial account of truth displays and explains truth as a fundamental and ineliminable datum for philosophical inquiry. This datum pertains to the real in its intelligibility, to the cognitive agent, and to the right relation of these to one another. Robust or substantial accounts of truth have not fared well in the evolution of philosophy.¹ In the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, discussions of the standard accounts of truth—from correspondence theories to coherence and pragmatic theories—have led to deflationist and other linguistically based accounts that deny to truth...

  5. 2 A More “Exact Grasp” of the Soul? Tripartition in the Republic and Dialectic in the Philebus
    (pp. 40-101)
    Mitchell Miller

    The project of this essay is to pursue the “truth” in a Platonic sense in a central region of Platonic inquiry. How may we win the deepest disclosure of the embodied soul? In what terms and by what course of reflection may we bring the embodied soul to light in its own, most genuine being? The favored text for this inquiry has long been the Republic and its analogical account of the tripartite soul. But as Socrates indicates at two key moments in the Republic itself, this should be our point of departure, not arrival, and I will argue that...

  6. 3 Truth, Creation, and Intelligibility in Anselm, Grosseteste, and Bonaventure
    (pp. 102-126)
    Timothy Noone

    What I should like to pursue as the theme of this essay is the following line of interpretation: the idea of truth as expounded in Anselm, Grosseteste, and Bonaventure is, on the one hand, developed so as to accommodate the biblical doctrine of creation, but, on the other, has features that are more or less directly continuous with the idea of truth (άλήθεια) as it is treated commonly among ancient pagan thinkers unacquainted with the doctrine of creation. By examining the doctrine of truth in these three authors, I hope that we may gain some further insight into the intellectual...

  7. 4 Truth in the Middle Ages: Its Essence and Power in Christian Thought
    (pp. 127-146)
    Jan A. Aertsen

    In the year 1270 a special disputation was held at the University of Paris, as usual in the season of Advent. Unlike the regular disputations, where the master fixed the question and left it to advanced students to discuss it, in this case the question was determined by the audience and the master had to handle it. Consequently, such kind of disputation could deal with “each topic possible” (de quolibet). We are in possession of a reportatio, a report of the quaestio quodlibetalis concerned.¹

    The question presented to the master is the following one: “Is truth stronger than wine, king,...

  8. 5 Religion and Science, Faith and Reason: Some Pascalian Reflections
    (pp. 147-167)
    Daniel Garber

    There seem to be two main approaches in the literature to the question of the relation between science and religion. The bad, old approach is exemplified by two books from the nineteenth century: John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science and Andrew Dickson White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.¹

    Both are classics in the literature, the first written by a scientist in the defense of free inquiry, and the second by an historian, the first president of Cornell University, as part of his brief for a secular university grounded in...

  9. 6 On Time and Truth
    (pp. 168-184)
    Sean Dorrance Kelly

    In Book 11 of his Confessions, St. Augustine famously introduces a question about the nature of time: “What then is time?” wonders Augustine. “Provided that no one asks me, I know. If I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know.”¹ Augustine’s interest in the problem of time grew out of questions he had concerning the opening lines of the book of Genesis: “God, at the beginning of time, created heaven and earth.”² Among the questions that these lines provoked for Augustine were such traditional theological questions as: What was God doing before he made heaven and...

  10. 7 The Prevalence of Truth
    (pp. 185-207)
    Daniel O. Dahlstrom

    One of the great ironies of Heidegger’s philosophy is the enormous confidence that he has in theoretical thinking. It is ironic—someone would say even fatally ironic—because he is convinced in the capacity of this thinking to demonstrate the primacy of being over thinking, at least insofar as the thinking is of the sort that would render being an object of theory. In Being and Time, for example, he attempts to demonstrate, by means of an analysis of our way of being, that the emotional states in which we find ourselves and the projects that we undertake constitute and...

  11. 8 Will versus Reason: Truth in Natural Law, Positive Law, and Legal Theory
    (pp. 208-231)
    Brian H. Bix

    One of the ongoing mysteries of philosophy is how it can make the obvious seem so difficult and obscure. Philosophers ask questions like “what is truth?” and legal theorists ask questions like “what is law?” In response to the type of discussions such questions evoke, one might quote Ludwig Wittgenstein, who says at one point (describing the type of comments philosophers make when discussing knowledge and certainty): “‘This fellow isn’t insane. We are only doing philosophy.’”¹

    On those occasions when the philosophers are not challenged for asking questions too simple to be worth noticing, they are challenged instead for asking...

  12. 9 Art and Truth: From Plato through Nietzsche to Heidegger
    (pp. 232-276)
    Robert E. Wood

    Plato and Heidegger stand at two ends of the philosophic tradition. Plato launched metaphysics as the search for the truth of the Whole; Heidegger attempted to get back to the ground of metaphysics after it reached its supposed end, in one sense in Hegel and in another sense in Nietzsche. Crucial to Plato is the struggle of philosophy with art over the basis of human existence. The infamous line in the tenth book of the Republic places art “three degrees removed from truth(alētheia).”¹ It provides images of images of things that are themselves images of the “beingly beings,” the Forms....

  13. 10 Truth and Identity: The Thomistic Telescope
    (pp. 277-309)
    John Milbank

    The question of truth is deeply related to the question of identity and stability. If we think of truth as saying ‘what is the case’, as in ‘it’s true that there’s a cat perched on the windowsill’, then the cat has to stay still long enough for one to be able to verify this. And there has to be something distinctly recognizable as a cat. Too fast a flash of mere fur would undo everything.

    However, we do not necessarily have to have anything to do with cats, who may be too elusive for the cause of truth. We can...

  14. 11 Truth and Progress in the Sciences: An Innocent Realist Perspective
    (pp. 310-336)
    Susan Haack

    Old Deferentialists in the philosophy of science, rightly taking for granted the rationality of the scientific enterprise, and rightly impressed by the power of the new, modern logic, assumed that the epistemology of science could be articulated in logical terms. Believing, rightly, that the Old Deferentialism had proven unable to give an adequate account of scientific knowledge, New Cynics concluded, wrongly, that the epistemological pretensions of the sciences are indefensible. The success of the sciences, they maintained, was to be explained in terms, not of logic, structure, form, but rather of power, politics, rhetoric.² In Defending Science—With- in Reason,³...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 337-356)
  16. Contributors
    (pp. 357-360)
  17. Index
    (pp. 361-368)