DEDICATION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Some people are convinced that they have the truth and are anxious to ensure others also have it. These are the fundamentalists.

Some people spend their lives in distractions and activity and are indifferent to the truth.

Some people deny there is any truth and devote their life to this denial.

Others construct their own truths or at least come to understand the forces that have constructed the truths by which they live.

A few, however, seek the Truth and knowing they will never find it in its entirety, stake their lives on trying to live it. It is to this latter group that this book is dedicated.

I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who have read specific sections and have helped to correct errors. These include Catherine Cowley, Roger Dawson, Peter Gallagher, Judy Grill, Jeremy Hall and Vaclav Umlaf. The remaining errors are all my own. The editor of this book, Nada Madjar, has been patient, kind and helpful throughout the process of putting this book together. I have been fortunate to have had such generous help and am very grateful to her. I would also like to thank the Trustees of New College, University of New South Wales in Sydney, who invited me to give the 1998 New College Lectures on which this book is based. I am particularly grateful to Allan Beavis, the Master of New College, and his staff for their kindness when I was with them.

Peter Vardy--University of London

-xi-

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What Is Truth?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page III
  • New College Lectures and Publications V
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Dedication and Acknowledgments xi
  • Part One - What is Truth? 1
  • 1 - The Implications of a Denial of Truth--Or the Claim to Have It 3
  • 2 - Realism and Anti-Realism 12
  • 3 - Foundations Without Indubitability 29
  • 4 - Anti-Realism in Religion and Morality 38
  • 5 - Constructivism in Psychology 49
  • Part Two - There is No Truth Out There 63
  • 7 - Ontology and Epistemology 65
  • 8 - Hegel and Marx 74
  • 9 - Nietzsche and Ivan Karamazov 79
  • 10 - The Denial of a Real World 89
  • 11 - Post-Modernism 95
  • 12 - Post-Modernism and Self-Identity 105
  • 13 - Interim Conclusion 117
  • Part Three - The Centre Can Hold 121
  • 14 - The Path to Truth 123
  • 15 - The Kotzker 126
  • 16 - Soren Kierkegaard and Subjectivity 132
  • 17 - Wittgenstein and Perspicuity 141
  • 18 - The Sufis 151
  • 19 - Vaclav Havel and Living the Truth 156
  • 20 - Fear and Freedom 164
  • 21 - Bringing the Threads Together 182
  • Notes 190
  • Index 201
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