Michael Lynch: Truth, Reason, and Democracy
Marshall (Richard) & Lynch (Michael)
Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers
Paper - Abstract

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Editor's Introduction1

    Michael Lynch's focus in his interview is the nature of truth and why truth matters. He gives an overview of the options that contemporary philosophers have and then goes on to say why he takes a pluralist rather than a monist view of truth, in other words, the view that there is more than one kind of truth. Having explained why he takes his position, he then criticizes deflationary theories about truth. He talks about the scope of his theory and why it is consistent with realist approaches. He speaks about moral and mathematical truth, which he considers "the two hardest test theories for any theory of truth," and about Timothy Williamson's remarks at a conference saying that many theories of truth were too imprecise to be good philosophy. Lynch goes on to briefly introduce William Alston, "a philosopher's philosopher," and then the role of reason, denying that there is any justification in thinking that reasons in the end always give way to something arbitrary. This leads to him talking about the relationship between democracy and the "space of reasons." Additionally, he criticizes experimental philosophy on the grounds that philosophy is revisionary, not merely descriptive. Finally he talks about the link between objectivity and politics and the divide between so-called Continental and Analytical philosophy.


For the interview on-line, see Link.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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