Truth and Dialogue

Kwasi Wiredu


Philosophy is a critical inquiry into the fundamental ideas and principles of human thought and action. We live now in times when there is a great need for inter–cultural dialogue about just such matters. It might have been thought that philosophy would be fully dedicated to this project. Unfortunately, there are philosophical doctrines that are incompatible with the possibility of dialogue. An example is the doctrine of faith as a kind of access to truth that is inaccessible to rational probing. Another is the notion that the truth value of a belief is relative to the criteria that happen to be operative in a culture or even lesser grouping. In this discussion I shall suggest that certain theories of the concept of truth itself are antagonistic to dialogue, and that a judicious and dialogue-friendly theory of truth must align theory with the conditions of human life and practice.


20th century philosophy; ethics; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; certainty; dialogue; faith; inquiry; judgement; truth

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