blackburn and truth


Truth is basically a recasting of the culture wars with the great philosophers enlisted as protagonists. Blackburn starts the book with a discussion of William James, later goes back as far as Locke and Bishop Berkeley and Kant, and has generously long sections on recent analytic philosophers, some of whom he admires, like Quine, and some he deplores, such as Sellars. Blackburn is himself a philosophy professor at Cambridge University, best-known in professional circles for a doctrine he pioneered called “quasi-realism.” Blackburn the quasi-realist is widely recognized as a lucid, careful, and generous philosopher. His two heroes are Hume and Wittgenstein; keying off them, he has pointed to a middle way, whereby we might reject a strictly realist account of knowledge, but without lapsing into the flabbiness of relativism, or emotivism, or what philosophers sometimes call noncognitivism.

more from Slate here.