By Michael P. Lynch
Gold Award Winner for Philosophy within the 2004 ForeWord journal publication of the 12 months Awards Why does fact subject, whilst politicians so simply avoid it and intellectuals scorn it as inappropriate? Why be troubled over an summary suggestion like fact whilst anything that may not true—for instance, a document of Iraq's trying to purchase fabrics for nuclear weapons—gets the specified result—the invasion of Iraq? during this enticing and lively publication, Michael Lynch argues that fact does subject, in either our own and political lives. Lynch explains that the starting to be cynicism over fact stems largely from our confusion over what fact is. "We have to imagine our well past our confusion and shed our cynicism in regards to the worth of truth," he writes. "Otherwise, we are going to be not able to behave with integrity, to dwell authentically, and to talk fact to power." precise to lifestyles defends 4 basic claims: that fact is goal; that it truly is solid to think what's precise; that fact is a target useful of inquiry; and that fact will be worthy worrying approximately for its personal sake—not simply because it will get us different issues we'd like. In protection of those "truisms approximately truth," Lynch diagnoses the assets of our cynicism and argues that many modern theories of fact can't accurately account for its price. He explains why we should always care approximately fact, arguing that fact and its pursuit are a part of dwelling a cheerful existence, very important in our own relationships and for our political values.
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Additional resources for True to Life: Why Truth Matters
Abandoning the idea of objective truth seems to encourage a more tolerant outlook on life. Concern for toleration is apt and important. And many people who have believed in objective truth have been intolerant. But it is a confusion to think that a belief in objective truth necessarily implies a lack of respect for other ways of life and other types of beliefs. The cause of intolerance is not objectivity but dogmatism. It stems from a sense that one can’t be wrong. Many people do indeed think that they (and they alone) know the real truth, whether we 34 Chapter 3 are talking about God, apple pie, or the New York Yankees.
How convenient! This last point is the damning one. If there is one thing I know, it is that I don’t know everything, and no theory that says otherwise can be true or true for me. One reason that people sometimes favor relativism—even simple relativism—over objective theories of truth is the sense that that relativism encourages greater toleration. The thought that there is Truth out there with a capital “T” often goes together, relativists have pointed out, with the conviction that some people have privileged access to the truth and others don’t.
We want, in other words, some aspects of relativism without sliding into nihilism. This is not as hard as it sounds. Think back to the discussion of maps from the previous chapter. Maps, we saw, are products of the context—of our interests and assumptions—as much as they are products of the landscape they are about. One way in which our interests and concerns shape our maps is by determining what it is our maps map. The most obvious example of this concerns a map’s specificity. A crudely drawn sketch in the sand would be good enough to tell you the layout of my neighborhood in order to give you directions from a nearby highway, but it won’t do for purposes of surveying legal property boundaries.
True to Life: Why Truth Matters by Michael P. Lynch