Without denying that we should worry about the contingency of much that we take for granted, he defends truth as an intellectual objective and a cultural value. Quite certainly, he did not think, in pragmatist spirit, that beliefs are true if they serve our interests or welfare: Includes bibliographical references p.
Bernard Williams shows us that when we lose a sense of the value of truth, we lose a lot both politically and personally, and may well lose everything.
His books were clear, funny, dramatic and readable, like great novels Methods and Obstacles 3. Truthfulness and Freedom Chapter 7: No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams.
What Was Wrong with Minos? He identifies two basic virtues of truth, Accuracy and Sincerity, the first of which aims at finding out the truth and the second at telling it. William's book combines real history and fictional constructs to tell a revealing story that makes us reconsider the meaning of familiar concepts.
Although the concept of critique is the origin of the modern suspicion of truth and has been used by the deniers to call into question liberal society, Williams argues that it is inseparable from liberalism. This is also wrong, and more deeply so.
Writing with his characteristic combination of passion and elegant simplicity, he explores the value of truth and finds it to be both less and more than we might imagine. It has political consequences and signals a danger that our intellectual activities, particularly in the humanities, may tear themselves to pieces.
If this argument works, Williams, again following Rousseau, connects truth to emerging values unavailable to the people in the state of nature, and thus avoids a reductive account of its value.
But abandoning a belief in the value of truth is precisely what the deniers have advocated. What role does truth play in our lives? To give such an account, we need a richer description of life than can be offered in a state of nature explanation.
The more recently fashionable view is that he was the first of the deniers, thinking that there is no such thing as truth, or that truth is what anyone thinks it is, or that it is a boring category that we can do without.Chapter 1: The Problem 1.
Truthfulness and Truth 1 2. Authority 7 3. Nietzsche 12 Chapter 2: Genealogy 1. Real and Fictional 20 2.
Naturalism 22 3.
The State of Nature Is Not the Pleistocene 27 4. How Can Fictions Help? 31 5. Shameful Origins 35 6. The Genealogy of Truthfulness 38 Chapter 3: The State of Nature: A Rough Guide 1. Truth and Truthfulness falls essentially into three parts.
The first four chapters examine what “genealogy” means and how it need not undermine what it explains; show how some notion of truth will be useful for basic survival purposes in any human community; and delineate the logical and epistemic relationships among truth, belief, and assertion.
Chapter 1: The Problem 1. Truthfulness and Truth 1 2. Authority 7 3. Nietzsche 12 Chapter 2: Genealogy 1.
Real and Fictional 20 2. Naturalism 22 3. The State of Nature Is Not the Pleistocene 27 4. How Can Fictions Help? 31 5. Shameful Origins 35 6. The Genealogy of Truthfulness 38 Chapter 3: The State of Nature: A Rough Guide 1.
The subject of this book is truthfulness: various virtues and practices, and ideas that go with them, that express the concern to tell the truth—in the sense both of telling the truth to other people and, in the first place, telling the true from the false.
"Truth and Truthfulness is an ambitious work, and its journeys into history give it a breadth unusual in these days of increased academic specialization William's book combines real history and fictional constructs to tell a revealing story that makes us reconsider the meaning of familiar concepts.".
In Truth and Truthfulness, his last published book, Williams has left us with a powerful argument for the importance of the notion of truth to our attempts to think and talk about the world. Williams is not attempting to provide a theory of truth, he rather hopes to give us “the value of truth” (6).Download