I intend to post weekly updates here on topics suggested by readers of What Makes Anything True, Good, Beautiful? Challenges to Justification. The book is available on Amazon.com and on Kindle. The subject is both profound and practical. It is too important to leave to the philosophers and too difficult to master without context. For we all seek the truth, desire the good, and admire the beautiful, though we disagree about what these things are. We are frustrated not only by the ignorance of those who disagree with us but, if we are honest, with our own ignorance, inconsistency, and confusion.
We can do better. Clarity is possible, though certainty is not. You should read the book for two reasons. You will gain some historical context on how these terms have been defined and refined and particularly on two crises that have thrown their meanings into disarray and confusion. You will also learn about the central role of justification in all controversies involving truth, goodness, and beauty. In times of crisis, consensus about justification evaporates, leaving us all confused about what constitutes satisfactory warrants for those things we profess to be true, good, and beautiful. Arguments grow both desperate and futile because they concern basic disagreement about what constitutes adequate justification. Or they cease because we assume no common foundation is possible, that issues of truth, goodness, and beauty are so personal as to be incommunicable. This is a dangerous conclusion for the simple reason that we are bound to disagree and even the deepest cynic thinks some things truer or better than others. He thinks his cynicism truer and better than the alternatives, for instance.
Even if you don’t read my book, I hope you will follow my blog and participate in the issues it raises. No matter your profession or your pursuits, you will profess the truth and pursue the good and the beautiful. We all do.
Talk to you next week.