Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Derek Ball, Univ. St. Andrews: "Philosophy without Truth"

Fri, November 22, 2013 | David L. Miller Conference Room, WAG 316

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Contemporary debates about philosophical methodology -- for example, about the role of 'intuitions' in philosophy, or the role of empirical evidence -- typically assume that philosophical theories are successful only if they are true.  But it is contentious whether or in what respects scientific theories aim at truth.  I argue that the considerations that have led philosophers of science to maintain that successful scientific theories need not be true apply equally to philosophy, while the considerations that have been used to defend a central place for truth in science fail to apply to philosophy.  I conclude that philosophical theories can be successful but untrue, and consider what the aim of philosophical theorising might be (if not truth).

Sponsored by: Department of Philosophy

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