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How did we find ourselves in a "post-truth" world of "alternative facts"? And can we get out of it? A Short History of Truth sets out to answer these questions by looking at the complex history of truth and falsehood. It identifies ten types of supposed truth and explains how easily each can become the midwife of falsehood. There is no species of truth that we can rely on unquestioningly, but that does not mean the truth can never be established. Attaining truth is an achievement we need to work for, and each chapter will end up with a truth we can have some confidence in. This history builds into a comprehensive and clear explanation of why truth is now so disputed by exploring 10 kinds of truth: 1. Eternal truths. 2. Authoritative truths. 3. Esoteric truths. 4. Reasoned truths. 5. Evidence-based truths. 6. Creative truths. 7. Relative truths. 8. Powerful truths 9. Moral truths. 10. Holistic truths. Baggini provides us with all we need to restore faith in the value and possibility of truth as a social enterprise. Truth-seekers need to be sceptical not cynical, autonomous not atomistic, provisional not dogmatic, open not empty, demanding not unreasonable.
"Fake news," wild conspiracy theories, misleading claims, doctored photos, lies peddled as facts, facts dismissed as lies—citizens of democracies increasingly inhabit a public sphere teeming with competing claims and counterclaims, with no institution or person possessing the authority to settle basic disputes in a definitive way. The problem may be novel in some of its details—including the role of today's political leaders, along with broadcast and digital media, in intensifying the epistemic anarchy—but the challenge of determining truth in a democratic world has a backstory. In this lively and illuminating book, historian Sophia Rosenfeld explores a longstanding and largely unspoken tension at the heart of democracy between the supposed wisdom of the crowd and the need for information to be vetted and evaluated by a learned elite made up of trusted experts. What we are witnessing now is the unraveling of the détente between these competing aspects of democratic culture. In four bracing chapters, Rosenfeld substantiates her claim by tracing the history of the vexed relationship between democracy and truth. She begins with an examination of the period prior to the eighteenth-century Age of Revolutions, where she uncovers the political and epistemological foundations of our democratic world. Subsequent chapters move from the Enlightenment to the rise of both populist and technocratic notions of democracy between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the troubling trends—including the collapse of social trust—that have led to the rise of our "post-truth" public life. Rosenfeld concludes by offering suggestions for how to defend the idea of truth against the forces that would undermine it.
A concise and lively survey that introduces students to the people, ideas, and conflicts in European history from the Thirty Years' War to the Napoleonic Era. The authors draw on new work in gender studies, environmental history, anthropology and cultural history to illustrate the animating force of the period: the assumption that the world could be made amenable to human reason, though precisely how that was to be done remained highly contested. The nature of those contests--in politics, culture, and society--is traced throughout the book. The work includes discussions of developments in science, art, and literature. A chronology of people and events concludes each chapter and there is a glossary of key terms at the end of the book.
A Short History of My Philosophy is an autobiographic account of Agnes Heller's intellectual and academic career. It traces the development of ideas and gives a thorough account of some of Agnes Heller's most influential works.
In this accessible book, Barry Hallen discusses the major ideas, figures, and schools of thought in African philosophy. While drawing out critical issues in the formation of African philosophy, Hallen focuses on the recent scholarship, current issues, and relevant debates that have made African philosophy an important key to understanding the rich and complex cultural heritage of Africa. Hallen builds upon Africa's connections with Western philosophical traditions and explores African contributions to cultural universalism, cultural relativism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and Marxism. Hallen also examines African challenges to Western conceptions of philosophy by taking on questions such as whether philosophy can exist in cultures that are significantly based in oral traditions and what may or may not constitute philosophical texts. Among the figures whose work is discussed are Ptah-hotep (Egypt, 3rd millennium BCE), Zar'a Ya'aqob (Abyssinia, 17th century), Anton Wilhelm Amo (Ghana, 18th century), Paulin Hountondji, V. Y. Mudimbe, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Kwasi Wiredu.This clearly written, highly readable, and concise work will be essential for students and scholars of African philosophy as well as readers with a wide range of interests in African studies.
Widely acknowledged to be the perfect introduction to the subject, this important text presents in concise form an insightful yet exceptionally complete history of moral philosophy in the West, from the Greeks to contemporary times.

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