Saturday, April 15, 2006

What is truth? BBC 4, Any Questions

Email to BBC 4's Any Answers:

The [Any Questions] panel's responses to the question, "What is truth?" were tentative and confused and revealed how even supposedly educated, experienced people are quite clueless about basic philosophical issues. In France philosophy is studied by all pupils, clearly we ought to follow their example.

This is not to say that that the answer is easy; philosophers are still debating it. But what they have established is that the panel's answers are confused and/or mistaken. So truth is not the same as morality (Benn), it is not the same as one's belief (Norris) and it is not a matter of infinite points of view and perpetual doubt (Liddle).

Unfortunately the panel's answers in general tend to unconsciously reflect the recently fashionable ideas of postmodernism with its relativism with regard to truth. I recommend to the panel and listeners the recently published book: "Why Truth Matters", which would help them clarify their ideas about this very important concept.

(Not used but a philosophy lecturer made very similar points)

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