On Truth by Harry G. Frankfurt

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Having outlined a theory of bullshit and falsehood, Harry G. Frankfurt turns to what lies beyond them: the truth, a concept not as obvious as some might expect.

Our culture's devotion to bullshit may seem much stronger than our apparently halfhearted attachment to truth. Some people (professional thinkers) won't even acknowledge "true" and "false" as meaningful categories, and even those who claim to love truth cause the rest of us to wonder whether they, too, aren't simply full of it. Practically speaking, many of us deploy the truth only when absolutely necessary, often finding alternatives to be more saleable, and yet somehow civilization seems to be muddling along. But where are we headed? Is our fast and easy way with the facts actually crippling us? Or is it "all good"? Really, what's the use of truth, anyway?

With the same leavening wit and commonsense wisdom that animates his pathbreaking work On Bullshit, Frankfurt encourages us to take another look at the truth: there may be something there that is perhaps too plain to notice but for which we have a mostly unacknowledged yet deep-seated passion. His book will have sentient beings across America asking, "The truth—why didn't I think of that?"

From the Hardcover edition.

About Harry G. Frankfurt

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Harry G. Frankfurt is a professor of philosophy emeritus at Princeton University. His books include The Reasons of Love; Necessity, Volition, and Love; and The Importance of What We Care About. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Published October 31, 2006 by Knopf. 112 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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The author of On Bullshit (2005, not reviewed) returns with an itty-bitty disquisition on the personal and societal importance of truth.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of On Truth

The New York Times

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The philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt wades back into the manure.

Nov 12 2006 | Read Full Review of On Truth

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