What Is Truth?

The true lover of knowledge naturally strives for truth, and is not content with common opinion, but soars with undimmed and unwearied passion till he grasps the essential nature of things.

- Plato, The Republic, 490A

Podcast of the Day

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the philosophy of truth. Pontius Pilate famously asked: what is truth? In the twentieth century, the nature of truth became a subject of particular interest to philosophers, but they preferred to ask a slightly different question: what does it mean to say of any particular statement that it is true? What is the difference between these two questions, and how useful is the second of them?

Listen to the In Our Time episode on Truth

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

The thirst for knowledge is one of humankind’s noblest appetites. Our desire to sate it, however, sometimes leads us to imbibe falsehoods bottled as truth. The so-called Information Age is too often a Misinformation Age.

There is so much that we don’t know that giving up on experts would be to overreach our own competency. However, not everyone who claims to be an expert is one, so when we are not experts ourselves, we can decide who counts as an expert only with the help of the opinions of other experts. In other words, we have to choose which experts to trust in order to decide which experts to trust...

Continue reading Julian Baginni's article: The triage of truth

Further Reading

Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years. Moreover, a huge variety of issues in philosophy relate to truth, either by relying on theses about truth, or implying theses about truth. . . .

The problem of truth is in a way easy to state: what truths are, and what (if anything) makes them true. But this simple statement masks a great deal of controversy. Whether there is a metaphysical problem of truth at all, and if there is, what kind of theory might address it, are all standing issues in the theory of truth...

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Truth by Michael Glanzberg

Bonus Webcomic

Related Topics

If you’re interested in the nature of truth, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 Ignorance | Intuition | Knowledge | Skepticism | Wisdom

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