Conversations on Truth by Mick Gordon My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book is a series of conversations (edited into readable format) with various people who have an interest in the idea of “truth” from a variety of viewpoints — such as philosophers, ethicists, journalists and evolutionary psychologists. The conversations were initiated by a pair of journalist/theatre directors who were attempting to find a way into the production of some form of drama through which notions of truth might be explored.
There are fifteen conversations, and although the conversations are edited, and they begin from a set of predefined questions, the interviewers allow the direction of conversation to suggest other directions the conversations might take. Sometimes, this ends up in diversions not necessarily to do with “truth” per se. And as commentators from various fields have been brought into the conversations, there are areas that might be of more interest to readers than others. Certainly, I was much more interested in what philosophers had to say than, say, journalists. And the evolutionary psychologist opened up an interesting area by suggesting that there might be evolutionary benefits to lying. Additionally, given the discursive nature of the conversations, areas in which I wanted more depth were sometimes glossed over – this is not an academic treatise.
The book is, then, something of a curate’s egg — hence the three-star rating. Nonetheless, as an introduction to truth, and the definitional, ethical, philosophical and cultural issues surrounding the concept, I thought this was a very useful book. View all my reviews