Review of Crispin Wright, Truth and Objectivity [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 44 (1):119-123 (1996)
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This book is a new attempt to clarify what is at issue in the contemporary realism debates and to suggest which form the controversies ought to take. Wright has contributed to the-se debates for quite some time and essentially taken the anti-realist side (witness the papers collected in Realism, Meaning and Truth, 1987, 21993, and the forthcoming Realism, Rules and Objectivity, both Oxford: Basil Blackwell). In Truth and Objectivity however, he takes a step back and sketches a neutral ground upon which both sides could agree in or-der to define their oppositions clearly, thus enabling fruitful discussions. His methodolog-ical suggestion for a realism debate in a given assertoric discourse is that both sides should agree on a “minimal” concept of truth for that discourse and then see whether ascent to a more metaphysically substantial concept of truth is warranted, which would constitute a realism for the discourse in question. If Wright had managed to set the agenda in a way that does justice to both sides, this book would have constituted a major contribution to contemporary epistemology and metaphysics.
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