Friday, June 30, 2006

Objectivity and Truth: the new war (part 1)

Objectivity and Truth: the new war

(please forgive my militarist tone: i was sitting in the hot sun on vacationwhen I wrote this: although i’m uncertain about the correlation).

below i present the new linking of ‘objectivity’ and ‘truth’ which pragmatist develop against foundationalist. But I think this new link is bad, and that truth is not objective. (see also a good discussion from a while back at generousorthodoxy)

old war

The collusion of objectivity and truth has been under fire for several years now, especially among evangelical Christians. Usually the warring parties gather under the banner of ‘modern’ or ‘postmodern’. (I could site parties but I’m not going to bother.)

The conservatives (or modernists) argue (or merely assume) that Truth is only assured by Objectivity. If something is not objectively true, then it is not true. Truth is not subjective after all, for that would be merely whim or opinion. They generally disparage the enemy by claiming their opponents have given up on Truth all together and have embraced relativism, or at least agnosticism.

The liberal (postmodernist) responds by saying that they certainly have not given up on Truth, but they realize that Truth is very hard to get at, that there is never merely an Objective point of view, and that instead of Objectivity we must realize our embeddedness in particular stories, local contexts, and idiosyncratic interpretations, all of which do not bar the Truth, but open up the Truth is different ways.

Now concerning this war, it is somewhat old news, and while the battles rage, I do not think that those articulating the postmodern (or premodern depending on your view) perspective should continue fight this battle, when a more pressing conflict is brewing, drawing new battle lines.

Well, I'll tell you tomorrow or Monday.
But what do you think is the most pressing issue after ?
Have I majorly misconstrude the issues?

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