Interview and discussion with Professor Simon Blackburn

Truth is so integral to our understanding of reality, existence and knowledge that it would be impossible to survive without out. It is true that right now you are reading this and it is true that this morning you woke up. However in what sense is this true? Along with ontology, epistemology and general metaphysics Truth is a philosophical concept with a stunning and pre-eminent history. Today we depend heavily on both empirical and verification theories of Truth, known as the Correspondence Theory of Truth (truth must be allocated with regards to the statement and its object – for instance water is composed of H20) yet these are still enmeshed in larger philosophical claims of what constitutes Truth so it is not so much that A is verified by Process X so Process X and A are both true but more that because of the execution of Process A then X is true. Deflationist accounts attempt to situate truth in more concrete examples and place it outside higher abstract conceptions. Pragmatism argues that Truth is what works, the Post-modernist and Social Constructionist versions of Truth argue that truth and the practices that accompany it are constructed and thus objective Truth is not even possible. Therefore one has to ask What is Truth? Does it objectively exist? And perhaps more importantly Why does it matter?

Simon Blackburn is a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading philosophers known for his work on Quasi Realism. He is the author of Truth: A Guide and What do we really know? – The Big Questions of Philosophy.