The Concept of Truth

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Palgrave Macmillan, May 15, 2011 - Philosophy - 260 pages
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Richard Campbell addresses the contemporary disillusion with truth. He presents a novel conception of truth, by showing how the possibility of error is implicated in the actions of all living things and by analyzing uses of 'true'€such as true friends, true love, and being true to something or someone which have been ignored by philosophers. € This new proposal contrasts starkly with all previous analytic theories, which uncritically assume that truth pertains exclusively to the correctness of what is said. According to this action-based conception, that is a derivative sense. In developing this argument, it proposes a definition of life, arguing that even simple life-forms perform minimal actions, and explores the emergence of representations in their actions. Thereby this conception of truth restores its normative force in a way compatible with the modern awareness of our historical and cultural relativity. It finishes with a critique of sceptical relativism, and shows how truth is rightly regarded as a value.

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About the author (2011)

RICHARD CAMPBELL is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University. He has served as Dean of Arts and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the ANU, and was for 15 years also involved in restructuring the system of school education in the Australian Capital Territory. He is the author of Secondary Education for Canberra (1973), From Belief to Understanding (1976), Truth and Historicity (1992), and numerous articles.

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