Monday, September 17, 2012

New Waves in Truth, edited by Cory D. Wright and Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) - Book Preview

New Waves in Truth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) contains eighteen recent essays by twenty young researchers doing work in the theory of truth. The editors’ introduction shows significant diversity in the positions and directions taken by these 21st century philosophers. One theme which runs throughout most of the volume is deflationism about truth. As the editors mention, “truth theorists have offered up a dizzying array of characterizations of deflationism” (3). The reader who wishes better to understand the current discussion of deflationism must realize the discussion is not simply comprised of the advocates and the critics of deflationism, arrayed in opposition to one another; each advocate and each critic may be talking about something rather different when they talk about deflationism. As a beginning, however, the reader may understand deflationism as the position that speakers predicate truth to statements for linguistic convenience and that truth is not a substantive property of propositions.

In addition to discussing deflationism, the contributors to this volume have written essays considering: the value of truth (i.e., What is truth good for? What makes the goal of believing what is true worthwhile?), different notions of what falsity is, whether truth is bivalent (i.e., Are true and false the only two truth values?), pluralist and monist theories of truth, truth in the domain of moral judgments and in the domain of color judgments, and the relationship between necessity and analyticity.

I anticipate the readings in this volume to be challenging and rather technical. I am somewhat interested in better understanding what deflationism is (and whether some form of “inflationism” might be superior after all), but I am particularly interested in the relevance of contemporary philosophical discussion about truth to ethics, theory of value, and to realist-pragmatist dialogue in epistemology and metaphysics.

Editors’ Bios
Cory D. Wright received his Ph.D. in Philosophy & Cognitive Science from University of California San Diego in 2007, and teaches philosophy at California State University Long Beach. His research interests are primarily in Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Psychology. He has published recent articles on pluralism about truth.

Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews in 2006, and does research at the University of California Los Angeles and at kĂžbenhavns universitet in Denmark. His research interests are primarily in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Logic, and Metaphysics. He has also published recent articles on pluralism about truth.[1]

[1] New Waves, x.

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