7
ONTOLOGY AND EPISTEMOLOGY

Today, more than ever, the search for truth seems to be folly. A number of movements have come together which would seem to justify the view that there is no absolute truth and that truth is radically multiple.

In the philosophy of religion, a growing tide of supporters of anti-realism see truth as internal to the language game being played or the story being told. Religious truths, it is held, are not discovered; they are made. Religious truths are essentially truths internal to a fictitious story.

In mainstream analytic philosophy we see a general acceptance of the view that the search for any metaphysical underpinning for truth is folly. Since the work of Wittgenstein, the search for firm foundations for knowledge or for any metaphysical underpinning has been almost entirely abandoned.

In ethics and aesthetics, what is right and wrong, what is beautiful and ugly, is widely accepted as depending on culture and tradition and having no reality independent of such settings. As Hamlet put it, 'There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.'

Post-modernism rejects any single truth and sees it as being entirely dependent on the viewpoint from which truth is seen.

This section will consider the divide in the road after Immanuel Kant, but before doing so it is necessary to be clear on the nature of the debate about ontology and epistemology.

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