Partial Truths and Our Common Future
A Perspectival Theory of Truth and Value
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Argues that a pluralistic understanding of truth can foster productive conversations about common concerns involving religion, science, ethics, politics, economics, and ecology without falling into relativism.
In this book, Donald A. Crosby defends the idea that all claims to truth are at best partial. Recognizing this, he argues, is a necessary safeguard against arrogance, close-mindedness, and potentially violent reactions to differences of outlook and practice. Crosby demonstrates how "partial truths" are inevitably at work in conversations and debates about religion, science, morality, economics, ecology, and social and political progress. He then focuses on the concept in the discipline of philosophy, looking at a number of distinctions that are taken to be strictly binary—those between fact and value, continuity and novelty, rationalism and empiricism, mind and body, and good and evil—and demonstrates how in all of these cases, each on its own can offer only an incomplete picture. Partial Truths and Our Common Future invites ongoing dialogue with others for the sake of mutual enlargements of understanding rather than mere civility, and provides incentive for continuing open-minded and shared inquiries into the important issues of life.
Donald A. Crosby is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Colorado State University and the author of many books, including More Than Discourse: Symbolic Expressions of Naturalistic Faith; Nature as Sacred Ground: A Metaphysics for Religious Naturalism; and The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Seven Types of Everyday Miracle, all published by SUNY Press.
"This is a transdisciplinary philosophical work that moves with grace across traditions, time periods, and thinkers. It is a master class in the existential and public relevance of philosophy and a rare example of a book that is both timely and timeless. " — Michael S. Hogue, author of The Promise of Religious Naturalism