Hard Truths is a groundbreaking new work in which noted philosopher Elijah Millgram advances a new approach to truth and its role in our day-to-day reasoning. Takes up the hard truths of real reasoning and draws out their implications for logic and metaphysics Introduces and takes issue with prevailing views of the purpose of truth and the way we reason, including deflationism about truth, possible worlds treatments of modality, and antipsychologism in philosophy of logic Develops philosophically ambitious ideas in a style accessible to non-specialists Will make us rethink the place of metaphysics in our daily lives
Acknowledgments 1. Introduction Part I: Motivation 2. The Truth in Bivalence 3. Deflating Deflationism Part II: Arguments 4. How to Find Your Match 5. Unity of the Intellect 6. How Can We Think about Partial Truth? Part III: The Competition 7. Logics of Vagueness Part IV: Applications 8. The Quinean Turn 9. The Davidsonian Swerve 10. The Lewis Twist: Mind Over Matter 11. The Bare Necessities 12. Conclusion: Metaphysics as Intellectual Ergonomics Appendix: Was There Anything Wrong with Psychologism? Notes References Index
"Everyone with a serious interest in philosophy should confront the implications of this work. It will appeal to all who are willing to face hard truths about reasoning." (CHOICE, December 2009) "Millgram's book presents entirely different and original arguments … .Ambitious in a way that few philosophy books are anymore … .Provocative [and] inspiring." (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, November 2009)
Elijah Millgram is E. E. Ericksen Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. He is the editor of Varieties of Practical Reasoning, and author of Practical Induction and Ethics Done Right. A former fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Millgram's research is focused on theory of rationality.
The standard philosophical view of reasoning makes it out to be a matter of eliciting true conclusions from true premises. Truth itself is all-or-nothing: statements and beliefs are either flat-out true or flat-out false. But are they? A second glance suggests that these doctrines simply cannot be correct. All too often our inferences begin and end with claims that we ourselves take to be approximations to the truth, or idealizations, or just technically true, or only officially true, or merely true for present purposes. In a groundbreaking new work, Elijah Millgram takes up the hard truths of real reasoning and draws out their implications for logic and metaphysics. The ubiquity of partial truth means that we must be able to reason our way from somewhat true premises to conclusions that are, if not entirely true, true enough. In an argument that cuts across philosophical specializations, Millgram reconsiders such contemporary intellectual landmarks as the indeterminacy of translation, the Canberra Plan analysis of the mind, Donald Davidson’s uses of the Principle of Charity, and the possible worlds way of thinking about counterfactuals. He ultimately advances a novel reconception of metaphysics as intellectual ergonomics. Ambitious and strikingly original, Hard Truths will challenge prevailing views of the purpose of truth and of the way we reason; it will make us rethink the place of metaphysics in our daily lives.
"Hard Truths focuses upon the fact that coming by such verities is quite difficult and that we must cobble by with far less in our everyday life. Milgram's innovative book challenges us to face this dilemma squarely." –Mark Wilson, Univeristy of Pittsburgh A fine book: ambitious, provocative, and engaging. It is fresh and fundamental in its advocacy of partial truth. Metaphysicians should read Millgram's book -- nervously yet excitedly. –Stephen Hetherington, University of New South Wales
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