Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The pursuit of truth, says Felipe Fernández-Armesto, is "the quest for language that can match reality." He believes that the nature of that quest has never quite been fully understood; Truth aims to fill the void. He identifies four key methods of determining the truth--what we feel, what we are told, what we figure out, and what we observe--which are given poetic names s...more
Paperback, 257 pages
Published April 12th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 105)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
truth comes in 4 flavours

1. what you are told (authority)
2. what you sense
3. what you feel
4. what you derive from reason

geat writer
James Creechan
Jan 15, 2014 James Creechan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: university students...
Shelves: social-science
This is a book that I often recommended when I taught courses (sociology, deviant behaviour, criminology, law and social research). It's by an Oxford philosopher - Felipe Fernandez-Armesto a

Fernandez Armesto's book is a short overview of how humans have engaged in a search for the true meaning of anything. He's a wise man, and recognizes that he can't summarize all epistemological and metaphysical thought in a short little book (257 pages) — but he does provide a simple classification of the way...more
Al Bità
This is a poetic evocation of a type of history on that most slippery of subjects: Truth. The subtitle of the work suggests that this is also a work to guide the perplexed. The writing style is very elegant and almost lyrical, and as such is a pleasure to read. It is also perhaps a little too lofty: Fernandez-Armesto will often use $100 words when a $10 one would have sufficed, and regularly inserts foreign language words and phrases (French, mostly, but also the occasional German) without trans...more
Aaron Terrazas
At times arcane, but overall a fascinating look at the co-evolution of how mankind thinks of "truth". (I say "co-evolution" because the author is explicit that there is little linearity but rather ideas emerge at times chronologically at other times simultaneously.) More accessible than other more academic works on the subject which presuppose substantial background reading in philosophy and epistemology.
Jun 15, 2012 Lobstergirl marked it as aborted Recommends it for: Willie Nelson
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Powell's
Shelves: got-rid-of
This is a kind of learnedly self-indulgent, highly self-conscious, decadently rambling writing style that I find extremely annoying. All systems abort.

I did quickly skim from page 50 on to see if there was anything that caught my attention. Not really. There's a teeny-tiny discussion of Collingwood's The Idea of History on p. 192, but nothing groundbreaking.
Ian Kloester
Enjoyed the authors summary of society's search for truth and his concern that extremists or nihilists should not be aloud to hijack it or abandon it respectively.
Prawda, tylko prawda, tyż prawda, a to wszystko g***o prawda - ks. J. Tischner. Armesto przedstawił trochę misz-masz o prawdzie. Trzeba się wczytać.
Michelle marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2014
Lswainston marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2014
Sujeet marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2014
Paula added it
Nov 01, 2013
Jeremy added it
Oct 15, 2013
Biren Patel
Biren Patel marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2013
James Marland
James Marland is currently reading it
Aug 08, 2013
Ranjitha marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2013
Slareck marked it as to-read
May 31, 2013
Ciprian marked it as to-read
May 16, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Born in 1950, Felipe Fernández-Armesto was raised in London by his Spanish born father and British born mother both active journalists. As a historian, he has written numerous books on a variety of subject from American History to the Spanish Armada. He currently serves as the Principe de Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization at Tufts University and Professor of Global Environmental H...more
More about Felipe Fernández-Armesto...
Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food 1492: The Year the World Began Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years

Share This Book