Smoke and Flickering Shadows: Strawson and Evans on Truth and Factuality

Editor’s note: This is the introduction to “An occasional series commissioned by Huw Price where contemporary philosophers consider the tv discussion between Peter Strawson and Gareth Evans regarding the nature of Truth from 1973.” The other articles in the series can be read here as they become available.

Huw Price at 3:16 AM:

I first discovered this fascinating conversation as a postdoc at ANU, Canberra, in the early 1980s. I was interested in truth, and looking for new things to read. Google was nearly 20 years in the future, so I had to rely on the library’s subject catalogue. This worked much like Google does today, with two differences. I had to look up ‘Truth’ in a large device called a card catalogue, rather than typing it into a search field. And the results – accessible instantaneously in the card file, just behind the ‘Truth’ card – were limited to items held by the library. 

 In amongst the listings for books, there was one for a movie – as the card told me, a discussion between P F Strawson and Gareth Evans, recorded for The Open University in 1973. The library had a copy on 16mm. That sounded intriguing. 

 Fortunately, unlike some postdocs today, I knew how to use a 16mm projector – I was a projectionist first, a projectivist second. I organised a screening for colleagues and graduate students, and was delighted to discover that Strawson and Evans’ discussion connected to my own interests in truth and factuality.

More here.  And here is the discussion between Strawson and Evans: