Sách Khai Minh - Phụng Sự Nhân Sinh

Why Truth Matters

250.000₫ 490.000₫
Tình trạng: Hết hàng
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826495281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826495280
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces 

Why Truth Matters Paperback – August 7, 2007

Truth has always been a central preoccupation of philosophy in all its forms and traditions. However, in the late twentieth century truth became suddenly rather unfashionable. The precedence given to assorted political and ideological agendas, along with the rise of relativism, postmodernism and pseudoscience in academia, led to a decline both of truth as a serious subject, and an intellectual tradition that began with the Enlightenment.

Why Truth Matters is a timely, incisive and entertaining look at how and why modern thought and culture lost sight of the importance of truth. It is also an eloquent and inspiring argument for restoring truth to its rightful place. Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom, editors of the successful ButterfliesandWheels.Com website - itself established to 'fight fashionable nonsense' - identify and debunk such nonsense, and the spurious claims made for it, in all its forms. Their account ranges over religious fundamentalism, Holocaust denial, the challenges of postmodernism and deconstruction, the wilful misinterpretation of evolutionary biology, identity politics and wishful thinking.

Why Truth Matters is both a rallying cry for the Enlightenment vision and an essential read for anyone who has ever been bored, frustrated, bewildered or plain enraged by the worst excesses of the fashionable intelligentsia.



'A sassy and profound response to [a] cascade of superstition and silliness ... Benson and Stangroom answer the clotted, barely readable sentences of the postmodernists with sentences so clear you could swim in them. There should be a law demanding every purchase of a Jacques Derrida "book" be accompanied with a free copy of this shimmering, glimmering answer.'

(Johann Hari Independent, The)


Postmodernism is often billed as attacking truth and science. This is how it is presented in the valuable little book Why Truth Matters, by the editors of the sceptical website butterfliesandwheels.com, Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. They mount a spirited counterattack, reminding us - in the way that Cambridge philosopher GE Moore was famous for doing - that if it comes to a battle for hearts and minds, basic convictions of common sense and science beat philosophical subtleties hands down. Where Brian King horrifies us with his liars, Benson and Stangroom reveal a parallel rogues' gallery of social constructivists, who look at how individuals and groups participate in the creation of their own perceived reality. These "rogues" include the feminist Sandra Harding and the neo-pragmatist Richard Rorty, but the doyen must surely be the French philosopher of science Bruno Latour. Latour's confusion of words and things led him to the precipice of denying that there could have been dinosaurs before the term was invented. Presumably a similar argument would show that nobody before Crick and Watson had DNA. Why Truth Matters is an excellent example of philosophy done well but also, and not coincidentally, made accessible and exciting. Truth matters, it tells us "not in a dull perfunctory dutiful sense, but in a real lived felt sense - 'on the pulses' as Keats put it".

(Simon Blackburn Financial Times)

"In this book, Benson and Stangroom are wide-ranging in their knowledge and in the thinking about what they know, and so the books appears laid out almost like a collection of essays that are connected by the theme described above. Anthropology, evolutionary psychology and sociobiology, feminism, philosophies of various sorts, and the politics of Nazism are all touched on or addressed. Each chapter is interesting in its own right...The book is beautifully written, and sprinkled with passages of both insight and literary value." (Entelechy: Mind and Culture)


"British philosophers Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom array their immense talent ... in Why Truth Matters. What they're on about is a prevailing intellectual indifference to coherence, logic, rationality, and evidence. It's a world-view that holds that there is no historical truth and almost everything is a mere social construction. Discovery is conflated with invention, myth is elevated alongside empirical evidence, and no lines are drawn between fact and fiction....Most of us will get the main point Stangroom and Benson are making: truth matters because human beings are the only species capable of finding it out." —Straight.com, July 13, 2006


"As polemics go, it is short and adequately pugnacious. Yet the authors do not paint their target with too broad a brush. At heart, they are old-fashioned logical empiricists —- or, perhaps, followers of Samuel Johnson, who, upon hearing of Bishop Berkeley's contention that the objective world does not exist, refuted the argument by kicking a rock. Still, Benson and Stangroom do recognize that there are numerous varieties of contemporary suspicion regarding the concept of truth....They bend over backwards in search of every plausible good intention behind postmodern epistemic skepticism. And then they kick the rock." —Inside Higher Ed, June 2006

Selected as Prospect's 'Underrated Book of the Year 2006'
'In every generation, intelligent people insist on embracing the irrational. Postmodernism, identity politics and pseudoscience are easy to criticise, but hard to scorn to anything like the extent they merit. Benson and Stangroom do a heroic job of trying, and their defence of the Enlightenment ought to be better known.'
(Oliver Kamm)
Reviewed on Classic FM's Classic Newsnight - 26 Sept 2007
'A clear, accessible and hugely important account of what it is to be rational.
Popular philosophy at its best.'
"The authors discuss philosophical notions of truth amidst broader societal and political concerns, and the most exciting passages cover the rise of social Darwinism and eugenics in a discussion about the interplay between ideology, science and politics"
mention in an article of Peter Benson, Philosophy now, 1 March 2009
"the book is well-written and comprehensive either for people without a deep knowledge in philosophy"
Nicola Vassallo, Epistemologia (An Italian Journal for the Philosophy of Science), vol.31 2008

About the Author

Jeremy Stangroom is co-editor, with Julian Baggini, of The Philosophers' Magazine and co-author of Do You Think What You Think You Think? (Granta, 2006), What Philosophers Think and Great Thinkers A-Z. He and Ophelia Benson are co-authors of Why Truth Matters and The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense (Souvenir, 2004).Ophelia Benson is editor of www.butterfliesandwheels.com, deputy editor of The Philosophers' Magazine and co-author, with Jeremy Stangroom, of Why Truth Matters. She is also a frequent contributor to Free Inquiry.

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