Truth: Major Contentions A guide to the major assertions in this section

Lure of the Will to Believe     In claiming knowledge, we feel trapped between desiring certainty and needing to pursue the good.

What Makes It True?     Something about our declaration allows us to claim it as true. That something is our claim’s warrant or justification. 

Lacking Definition     Scrambling the kind of warrant we appeal to in our truth claims also obscures the meanings of the simplest words we use in everyday declarations.

Tangled Terms     Ordinary turns of phrase that turn out to reveal a confusion of warrant

Eskimos Have Two Words for Snow    The more foundational our basic terms, the more difficult they become to define adequately. A proposal for some clarity

Tyranny of Rationality     There can be no “war of head and heart,” for we are inescapably rational to the core.

What Counts as Justification?      Two entirely different kinds of warrant support our truth claims. Each has its own methods of girding our claims to truth, goodness, or beauty. But are they compatible?

Pure, Poor Systems of Knowledge      Why neither side can win the coherence/correspondence argument

Better, Blended Systems of Knowledge     We cannot avoid testing our justifications as we build our understanding.

Facts are Fluxy Things   No current appeal to ground true knowledge in facticity will succeed.

The Limits of Empirical Science   Empiricism is inextricably tangled in our moral crisis. How did that come about?

Expertise    In an age in which science is the royal road to truth, expertise leads in more directions. Its promise and perils

Reductionism for Dummies     How a useful process became a pejorative term of dismissal

Stereotypes and Categories    The act of categorization involves temptations difficult to resist.

Kind and Degree  How our most preliminary thinking can distort our most thoughtful conclusions

Our Freedom Fetish  Since we are so in love with our freedom, we should take the time to learn its three components.

The Act of Severance  An argument for separating our determinations of truth from our preferences for goodness.

Authority, Trust, Knowledge     Why no one can have authority over you without your consent and what that implies for your moral judgment

Knowledge, Trust, and Belief   Desire is to belief as trust is to knowledge.

Correlation, Causation, Motivation     Egotists judge all actions to be motivated by selfishness. In a similar vein, postmodernists think all actions motivated by a desire for power. Both views are mistaken.

What Is the Virtual Circle?     Coherentist justifications demand the construction of a personalized web of mutually supportive truth claims with only one kind of justification.

One Postmodern Sentence     A sincere but failing attempt to find the meaning of a single postmodern sentence with related implications

Postmodernism’s Unsettling Disagreements     The virtual circle is rooted in the history of postmodernism, a history that defines its nature.

Awe   A rare sensation reveals secrets about the extent and limits of reason while it hints at deeper secrets.

The Essential Transcendental Argument A self-evident truth that necessarily moves the reader to considerations of moral responsibility.

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