Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

851-0100-00L  What Is Truth? Philosophical Conceptions of a Crucial Notion

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersL. Wingert
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractTruths are strange entities. (1) they depend on us. For it is a sentence or a belief of human creatures which can be true or false. (2)Truths are nothing like a modeling clay in our hands. It’s not up to us whether our beliefs are true or false. How do (1)and(2) go together? In dealing with this question we will investigate the relation between the concepts of truth, facts, and objectivity.(396Z.)
ObjectiveThe attentive participant will probably achieve the following:

1. an acquaintance with influential philosophical answers to the question how to understand the concept of truth ( as correspondence between belief and fact; as coherence between beliefs and experiences; as that belief, that survives all challenges);

2. a deeper understanding of the relation between truth and facts;

3. a knowledge of arguments backing the thesis that objectivity, understood as an attitude of X, needs an aiming of X at truths without commiting X to the claim that one is infallible like the catholic pope.

Perhaps (dependent on available time):

4. overcomig the prejudice that we have facts and truth on the one side, and merely valuations and subjective standpoints on the other side.
Literature1. Thomas Grundmann, Philosophische Wahrheitstheorien, Stuttgart: Reclam 2019.

2. Bertrand Russell, Problems of Philosophy, Buffallo: Prometheus Books 1988, ch. 12: „Truth and Falsehood“.

3. Bede Rundle, Facts, London: Duckworth 1993, ch. 1: „Facts“.

4. Oliver Schlaudt, Was ist empirische Wahrheit?, Frankfurt/M.: Klostermann 2014, Kap. 6: „Wahrheit und Praxis“.

5. Frank Hoffmann, Die Metaphysik der Tatsachen, Paderborn: Mentis 2008, Kap. 1: Wahrheit; Kap. 5: Tatsachen.

6. Richard Evans, Facts in History, in: ders., In Defence of History, London: Granta Books 1997.

7. Crispin Wright, , Truth: A Traditional Debate Revisited, in: Smon Blackburn/Keith Simmons (eds.), Truth, Oxford 1999.

8. John Dupré, Tatsachen und Werte, in: Gerhard Schurz/Martin Carrier(Hg.), Werte in den Wissenschaften, Berlin: Suhrkamp 2013.