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University of Toronto St. George
Sol Goldberg

PHL217-2 1. Why Williams 2. Williams problem 3. A problem with Williams problem 4. Intrinsic versus ingrainness 5. Cs in recent philosophy 6. Equivocation about "truth" 7. From the value to the virtue of truth. Williams is grouped with the analytic branch of philosophy. Engaged most of career in moral philosophy. He engages contemporary continentalitsts like Derrida, and figures from the Frankfurt school. He is critical of much of his own tradition, and sometimes unfairly critical. Bernard is as much as part of the continental philosophy as derrida or Foucault. Continental philosophy as a group of deniers? Williams problem. How does William sees a problem? It is not just an abstraction or paradox. It has real world implications. This question has an ethical/moral side of things. What's the real consequence of the problem of truth? The minimal answer to this question is the problems that he find in contemporary humanities. Are there legitimate authorities in history? The idea is that if you abandon the possibility of legitimacy in social truths, you are just left with basic power. That's the minimal issue at stake. The maximal consequence of this is if we deny the truth, we not only lose the legitimate authority of truth, we lose everything. The everything is the common world we interact. Page seven. The common world consequences has real life origins. Politicians frequently lie to us, and we don't like it. We are used to deception in everyday life. There seems to be a basic tension for truthfulness. We have suspicion of truth, we actually try to find the truth, which means that we value truthfulness, else we would just be content with deception. The fact that we aspire and pursue truth indicates the general value of truth. Truth, in itself, can it be really known by us? This is a tension. Somehow we deny ourselves of the truth in our pursuit of truth by disbelief. Therein lies the possibility of contradiction. Williams wants to show that we already respect the truth in our behaviour. The problem with this is that on the other hand, we are at the same time, we are prone ourselves to deceiving others and prone to accepting the deception of others. How are these two instincts related? The desire for truthfulness is qualified by our doubts of the possibility of truth. Those doubts can build to a point of whether the truth can be attained. Presumably the primary cause of the doubt of our truths, is not the byproduct of the process of obtaining truth, but the sheer amount of possibilities in the pursuit of truth. Social life seems to tolerate and promote a whole bunch of lies and bullshit. There is a basic cynicism that we have with the truth of others, especially with public figures. A distinction between the intrinsic and instrumental value of true. Deception may have an instrumental value. A social life. But truth must have intrinsic value? What does this mean? He does not mean the intrinsic value of nature. The intrinsic value of truth is not absolute objectived truth, but a set of agreements that map statements (signs) to that which is referred to. It is with this view in mind of the necessity for most of our statements and values to be true, or else we could not live in this world. This view itself about language and truth, is taken about by Williams, and is called by the party of common sense because it has rehabilitated truth in everyday roles. The series of signs that dominate language, are truths that are accessible to everyone, pervasive, and functional. Equivocation about truth. Williams uses truth in different ways. On the one hand, there is truth that is the most proper truth, or the platonic idea of the underlying structure of reality, a non rel
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