True to Life: Why Truth Matters (Bradford Books)

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9780262122672: True to Life: Why Truth Matters (Bradford Books)
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Gold Award Winner for Philosophy in the 2004 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards

Why does truth matter, when politicians so easily sidestep it and intellectuals scorn it as irrelevant? Why be concerned over an abstract idea like truth when something that isn't true—for example, a report of Iraq's attempting to buy materials for nuclear weapons—gets the desired result—the invasion of Iraq? In this engaging and spirited book, Michael Lynch argues that truth does matter, in both our personal and political lives. Lynch explains that the growing cynicism over truth stems in large part from our confusion over what truth is. "We need to think our way past our confusion and shed our cynicism about the value of truth," he writes. "Otherwise, we will be unable to act with integrity, to live authentically, and to speak truth to power."

True to Life defends four simple claims: that truth is objective; that it is good to believe what is true; that truth is a goal worthy of inquiry; and that truth can be worth caring about for its own sake—not just because it gets us other things we want. In defense of these "truisms about truth," Lynch diagnoses the sources of our cynicism and argues that many contemporary theories of truth cannot adequately account for its value. He explains why we should care about truth, arguing that truth and its pursuit are part of living a happy life, important in our personal relationships and for our political values.

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From the Publisher:

From the New York Times Book Review (July 24, 2005): "Lynch's 'True to Life' is a passionate demonstration that truth matters; it is strikingly clear and painstakingly reasoned, and ranges from technical work in the philosophy of logic to a discussion of the role of truth-telling in government (yes, Iraq is mentioned). He argues that caring about truth is necessary for happiness because of the roles in our lives of authenticity and integrity, and that valuing truth for its own sake is an essential part of democracy."

From the Inside Flap:

"Issues concerning intellectual value have come to the fore in recent essay collections, monographs, and journal articles. Why is knowledge valuable beyond true belief? What is the value of truth itself? This book by Michael Lynch is a timely, and excellent, contribution to that emerging field."
--Ernest Sosa, Departments of Philosophy, Brown University and Rutgers University

"Lynch has undertaken the crucially important project of presenting and defending the view that truth, in a robust sense of the term, is viable, attainable, and important for our lives. By virtue of his mastery of the subject matter and his gift for exposition, he is well-suited to carry out this difficult task, and he has done so with consummate skill."
--William P. Alston, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Syracuse University

"*True to Life* performs a major public service. Michael Lynch explains with engaging energy and clarity why the concept of truth matters to a decent public culture. Fully accessible to people without prior philosophical training, the book nonetheless explains serious philosophical debates with considerable sophistication. It will be wonderful for use (and debate) in undergraduate courses in many disciplines, but it is also just good reading for anyone who is interested in unmasking deception and confusion, and who thinks that this activity matters for the health of democracy."
--Martha Nussbaum, The University of Chicago

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780262622011: True to Life: Why Truth Matters (A Bradford Book)

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ISBN 10: 0262622017 ISBN 13: 9780262622011
Publisher: Bradford Books, 2005
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