Social Domains of Truth: Science, Politics, Art, and Religion

Social Domains of Truth: Science, Politics, Art, and Religion

Lambert Zuidervaart. New York: Routledge, 2023.

Available at: Routledge Publishers

Publisher's Overview:

Truth is in trouble. In response, this book presents a new conception of truth. It recognizes that prominent philosophers have questioned whether the idea of truth is important. Some have asked why we even need it. Their questions reinforce broader trends in Western society, where many wonder whether or why we should pursue truth. Indeed, some pundits say we have become a "post-truth" society. Yet there are good reasons not to embrace the cultural Zeitgeist or go with the philosophical flow, reasons to regard truth as a substantive and socially significant idea.

This book explains why. First it argues that propositional truth is only one kind of truth—an important kind, but not all important. Then it shows how propositional truth belongs to the more comprehensive process of truth as a whole. This process is a dynamic correlation between human fidelity to societal principles and a life-giving disclosure of society. The correlation comes to expression in distinct social domains of truth, where either propositional or nonpropositional truth is primary. The final chapters lay out five such domains: science, politics, art, religion, and philosophy. Anyone who cares about the future of truth in society will want to read this pathbreaking book.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Truth Is Not a Minted Coin
1.1 On the Very Idea of Truth
1.2 Kinds and Domains of Truth
1.3 Holistic Alethic Pluralism

2. Propositional Truth: Facts and Propositions
2.1 Facts and States of Affairs
2.2 Beliefs and Propositions
2.3 Decontextualized Disclosure

3. Accurate Insight and Inferential Validity
3.1 Knowledge and Propositions
3.2 Truth of Propositions
3.3 Propositional Truth and Objective Knowledge

4. Alethic Pluralism
4.1 Functionalism: Michael Lynch
4.2 Practical Pluralism
4.3 Social Domains of Truth

5. Propositional Truth and Discursive Justification
5.1 Alston’s Minimal Alethic Realism
5.2 Putnam’s Internal Realism
5.3 Post-Anti/Realism

6. Truth as a Whole and Authentication
6.1 Isomorphism, Fidelity, and Disclosure
6.2 Kinds and Types of Truth
6.3 Bearing Witness to Truth
6.4 Modes of Authentication

7. Truth and Science
7.1 Science as a Social Domain
7.2 Scientific Realism and Theoretical Truth
7.3 Science in Society

8. Truth and Politics
8.1 Hannah Arendt: Speaking Truth to Power
8.2 Michel Foucault: Linking Power to Truth
8.3 Political Truth

9. Truth in Art and Religion
9.1 Artistic Truth
9.2 Art and Politics
9.3 Religious Truth
9.4 Religion and Science

10. Philosophy, Truth, and Wisdom
10.1 Art, Religion, and Philosophy
10.2 Truth and Historicity
10.3 Social Critique and Practical Wisdom

Shattering Silos: Reimagining Knowledge, Politics, and Social Critique

Shattering Silos: Reimagining Knowledge, Politics, and Social Critique.
Shattering Silos: Reimagining Knowledge, Politics, and Social Critique publishers page
Lambert Zuidervaart. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022.

Available at: McGill-Queen's University Press

Publisher's Overview:

Questions first raised by Hannah Arendt in the 1960s take on new urgency in the post-truth era, as political leaders blithely reject facts in the public domain: Is truth politically impotent? Are politics inherently false? Is the search for truth still relevant?

Shattering Silos, a companion volume to Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation and Art, Education, and Cultural Renewal, provides a path-breaking response. As in his two previous books, Lambert Zuidervaart challenges the boundaries philosophers set up between epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy. Knowledge, he argues, takes different forms in various social domains, and all are subject to political struggle. A critique of contemporary society must draw on many social domains of knowledge, including the arts and religion, and should recast politics as a striving for truth in the broadest sense. Proposing a new conception of truth - one that emphasizes the unity of knowledge and truth, as well as their diversity among different social domains - Zuidervaart asks what such holism and pluralism suggest about how we understand politics and society. This book proposes a new understanding of large-scale social change, challenging how most people think about knowledge and truth.

Interweaving epistemology, social criticism, and political thought, Shattering Silos aims to help redirect an allegedly post-truth society.

Dancing in the Wild Spaces of Love: A Theopoetics of Gift and Call

Dancing in the Wild Spaces of Love: A Theopoetics of Gift and Call. James H. Olthuis. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2022.

Publisher's Description:

In the twenty-first century, amid globalized violence, rising demagogues, and the climate emergency, contemporary philosophers and theologians have begun to debate a fundamental question: Is our reality the result of the overflowing, ever-present creativity of Love, or the symptom of a traumatic rupture at the heart of all things? Drawing on decades of research in postmodern philosophy and experience as a psychotherapist, James H. Olthuis wades into this discussion to propose a radical ontology of Love without metaphysics. In dialogue with philosophers like John D. Caputo, Slavoj Žižek, Luce Irigaray, and others, Olthuis explores issues from divine sovereignty and the problem of evil to trauma and social ethics. Experience in therapeutic work informs these investigations, rooting them in journeys with individuals on the path to healing. Olthuis makes the bold claim that while trauma, pain, and suffering are significant parts of our human lives, nevertheless Love is with us to the very end. Creation is a gift that comes with a call to make something of it ourselves, a risky task we must take on with the promise that Love will win. We are all dancing in the wild spaces of Love: ex amore, cum amore, ad amorem.

Post-Truth? Facts and Faithfulness

Post-Truth? Facts and Faithfulness. Jeffrey Dudiak. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2022.

Publisher's Description:

In Post-Truth? Facts and Faithfulness, Jeffrey Dudiak explores the fissures and fractures that vex our so-called "post-truth" era, searching for a deeper, dare we say truer, understanding of the cultural forces that have led North American society to become so polarized. Eschewing the kind of easy responses that trade pluralistic solidarity for tribalistic certainty, Dudiak diagnoses a deeper breakdown in social trust as the underlying issue that has everyone today scurrying for comforting, ideological cover. In this context, Dudiak reminds the reader that truth is more, and runs deeper, than simple correspondence to the facts.