It is unfashionable to talk about artistic truth. Yet the issues traditionally addressed under that term have not disappeared. Indeed, questions concerning the role of the artist in society, the relationship between art and knowledge, and the validity of cultural interpretation have intensified. Lambert Zuidervaart challenges current intellectual fashions by proposing a new hermeneutic theory of artistic truth that engages with both analytic and continental philosophies and illuminates the contemporary cultural scene. People turn to the arts as a way of finding orientation in their lives, communities and institutions. However, as the author shows, philosophers, hamstrung by their own theories of truth, have been unsuccessful in accounting for this common feature in our lives. This book portrays artistic truth as a process of imaginative disclosure in which expectations of authenticity, significance and integrity prevail. Understood in this way, truth becomes central to the aesthetic and social value of the arts.
"What art has to do with truth, if anything, is an issue that flits about on the periphery of most philosophy of art of the contemporary period. Zuidervaart is the first to place it in the center of attention. He does so by critically engaging both the analytic and continental traditions in the course of developing his own ideas--ideas, so I can safely predict, that will stir up not just discussion but controversy. Full of both insightful exegesis and intellectual imagination, Artistic Truth is a contribution that everyone working in the field will have to take account of." Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University "Skillfully crossing the borders between continental and analytic philosophy and between high art and popular culture, Zuidervaart gives new life to the question of artistic truth in the context of a bold, new, comprehensive aesthetics. While giving meticulous attention to philosophers' debates, he never loses sight of the questions of public policy to which this study is directly relevant." Merold Westphal, Fordham University "This is a trail-blazing book in aesthetics...an intellectual feast to read. Highly recommended." CHOICE June 2005 feast to read. Highly recommended." CHOICE June 2005 "this thorough and far-reaching analysis of artistic truth in Western society is but the first publication in a two-part project, in which the author proposes an integrated aesthetic and social philosophy...Zuidervaart deserves praise for his efforts to make philosophers intelligible to each other, and to make art intelligible to those who question its cognitive relevance." - Lauren Bialystok