During the academic sessions —91 and , I had the good fortune to hold a British Academy Research Readership and thus at least to make a start on a project which, in my original application to the Academy, I had confidently undertaken to complete within the period of the Readership if my application was successful. My election to a Visiting Fellowship at Magdalen College for the Trinity term of gave me an invaluable opportunity, as Waynflete Lecturer, to air some of the material which I planned to include in the book in which the project was to culminate. Naturally enough, the lectures were mainly concerned with elaborating the general framework, rather than with its applications. But at their conclusion, it seemed to me, as I looked over what I had presented, that the material might justify separate publication. This short book is the result.
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Truth and Objectivity. Philosophy, in seeking after truth, must also grapple with questions about the nature and status of truth itself. Is there, for example, such a thing as fully objective truth, or is our talk of "truth" merely a projection onto the world of what we find acceptable in moral argument, scientific theory, mathematical discourse?
Such questions are at the center of Truth and Objectivity, which offers an original perspective on the place of "realism" in philosophical inquiry. Crispin Wright proposes a radically new framework for the discussion of the claims of the realists who think of truth as fully objective and the anti-realists who oppose them - a framework which rejects the classical "deflationary" conception of truth yet allows both realist and antirealist to respect the intuition that judgements whose status they contest, such as those in moral argument and theoretical science, may often justifiably be regarded as true.
The real issues that must be resolved if the contest between realist and anti-realist views of a range of judgements is to be properly adjudicated are different, and are here developed in detail from a sharply novel perspective. In addition, Wright offers original critical discussions of many central concerns of philosophers interested in realism, including the "deflationary" conception of truth, internal realist truth, scientific realism and the theoreticity of observation, truth and "correspondence to fact," role of moral states of affairs in explanations of moral beliefs, anti-realism about content, and the "quietism" toward this whole tradition of debate favored by some philosophers of Wittgensteinian sympathies.
Wright's proposals are arrestingly original, interesting, and rich in implication. Recasting important questions about truth and objectivity in new and helpful terms, his book will become a focus in the contemporary debates over realism, and will give new impetus to these debates in all areas of philosophy. Minimal Truth Internal Realism and Superassertibility. Convergence and Cognitive Command. The Euthyphro Contrast. Cognitive Command and the Theoreticity of Observation.
Realism and the Best Explanation of Belief. Minimalism about Meaning. Inflating Deflationist.
Truth and Objectivity