3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)

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What is truth? Paul Horwich gives the definitive exposition of a notable philosophical theory, `minimalism'. This is the controversial theory that the nature of truth is entirely captured in the trivial fact that each proposition specifies its own condition for being true, and that truth is therefore, despite the philosophical struggles to which it has given rise, an entirely mundane and unpuzzling concept. Horwich makes a powerful case for the minimalist view, and
gives a careful systematic explanation of its implications for a cluster of important philosophical issues on which questions about truth have impinged.

The first edition of Truth, published in 1990, established itself both as the best account of minimalism and as an excellent introduction to the debate for students. For this new edition Paul Horwich has refined and developed his treatment of the subject in the light of subsequent discussions, while preserving the distinctive format which made the book so successful. It appears simultaneously with his new book Meaning, a companion work which sets out the broader philosophical
context for the theory of truth: an account of meaning which seeks to accommodate the diversity of valuable insights that have been gained in the twentieth century within a common-sense view of meaning as deriving from use. The two books together present a compelling view of the relations between language, thought,
and reality. Horwich's demystification of meaning and truth will be essential reading for all philosophers of language.

Praise for the first edition:

'subtle, penetrating and ingenious . . . everyone interested in philosophy is in his debt' Michael Dummett, University of Oxford

'lucid and compact . . . a forthright presentation of an interesting thesis' Donald Davidson, University of California, Berkeley

'This is an excellent book and deserves to be widely read and used as a text. It states its thesis clearly and argues for it briskly: a style that seems well calculated to start discussions . . . It seems like an admirable starting-point for several weeks' worth of discussions in a philosophy of language course at upper-division undergraduate level.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy

'clearly written and well-structured' British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

'clear, informed and provocative ... I thoroughly recommend the book to everyone in the philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and metaphysics' Michael Devitt, Mind and Language
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 11mm | 255g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0198752237
  • 9780198752233
  • 925,916

Table of contents

1. The Minimal Theory ; 2. The Proper Formulation ; 3. The Explanatory Role of the Concept of Truth ; 4. Methodology and Scientific Realism ; 5. Meaning and Logic ; 6. Propositions and Utterances ; 7. The 'Correspondence' Intuition ; Conclusion; Postscript; Bibliography; Index
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Review quote

This is an important book: It is the most sustained defense of a minimalist conception of truth in print. It systematically deals with all of the usual objections to minimalist views of truth (redundancy theories and their ilk), in most cases providing devastating replies to them; and it contains interesting things to say about many issues that are or have been thought to be connected to the topic of truth. Its arguments are lucid and of high quality, and it is
broad in scope. I recommend it with enthusiasm. * Hartry Field, Philosophy of Science *
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About Paul Horwich

Paul Horwich is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. He was previously Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 37% (7)
3 32% (6)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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