Truth and Truthfulness  

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"Susan Haack is a sturdy opponent of the "deniers," and her collection of essays, Haack (1998), makes many effective points against them (cf. note 3 above). However, their positions are usually traced simply to such things as exaggeration, desire for fame, and the neglect of elementary distinctions. As a self-styled "old-fashioned prig." she can be heard saying, rather too often, that she can't see what the fuss is about." --Truth and Truthfulness (2002) by Bernard Williams, p.280


"I shall call them simply "deniers," where that means that they deny something about truth (for instance, at the limit, its existence) which is usually taken to be significant in our lives. What exactly various of them deny will be a central question in the book." --Truth and Truthfulness (2002) by Bernard Williams, p.5


"Everyday truths are important, and their importance should be stressed, for several reasons. One is a central concern of this book: their role in an account of truth and meaning, and in constructing a philosophical anthropology. Second, everyone knows that there are everyday truths, and what many of them are. Philosophy here, on lines variously laid down by Hume, Wittgenstein, Stanley Cavell, needs to recall us to the everyday."--Truth and Truthfulness (2002) by Bernard Williams, p. 10


"[Bernard Williams]'s last book, Truth and Truthfulness (2002) analyses the way Richard Rorty, Derrida and other followers of politically correct Foucaultian fashion sneer at any purported truth as ludicrously naive because it is, inevitably, distorted by power, class bias and ideology. It explores "the tension between the pursuit of truthfulness and the doubt that there is (really) any truth to be found", and, unusually for a philosophy book, it makes the reader laugh aloud or want to cry."--Jane O'Grady, Fri 13 Jun 2003[1]


"Truth, and specifically the virtues of truth, are connected with trust. The connections are to be seen in the English language. The word "truth" and its ancestors in Early and Middle English originally meant fidelity; loyalty, or reliability. [...] Truthfulness is a form of trustworthiness, that which relates in a particular way to speech. "Truthfulness," in fact, like the German Wahrhaftigkeit, can refer to both Sincerity and Accuracy, and this is entirely natural."--Truth and Truthfulness (2002) by Bernard Williams, p. 93-94

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Truth And Truthfulness: An Essay In Genealogy (2002) is a book by British philosopher Bernard Williams.

It was Williams' last completed book and it attempted to defend a non-foundationalist attachment to the values of truth, which Williams identifies as accuracy and sincerity, by giving a vindicatory naturalistic genealogy of them.

The debt to Nietzsche is again clear, most obviously in the adoption of a genealogical method (a 24-carat term om academic philosophy which essentially means studies based on the historical behaviour and thought of Mankind) as a tool of explanation and critique. Although part of Williams' intention was to attack those he felt denied the value of truth, the book cautions that to understand it simply in that sense would be to miss part of its purpose: rather, it "presents a ... challenge" to both "the fashionable belief that truth has no value" and "the traditional faith that [truth's] value guarantees itself." The Guardian wrote in its obituary of Williams that the book is an examination of those who "sneer at any purported truth as ludicrously naive because it is, inevitably, distorted by power, class bias and ideology."

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