The Taming of the True poses a broad challenge to the realist views of meaning and truth that have been prominent in recent philosophy. Neil Tennant starts with a careful critical survey of the realism debate, guiding the reader through its complexities; he then presents a sustained defence of the anti-realist view that every truth is knowable in principle, and that grasp of meaning must be able to be made manifest. Sceptical arguments for the
indeterminacy or non-factuality of meaning are countered; and the much-maligned notion of analyticity is reinvestigated and rehabilitated. Tennant goes on to show that an effective logical system can be based on his
anti-realist view; the logical system that he advocates is justified as a body of analytic truths and inferential principles. Having laid the foundations for global semantic anti-realism, Tennant moves to the world of empirical understanding, and gives an account of the cognitive credentials of natural scientific discourse. He shows that the same canon of constructive and relevant inference suffices both for intuitionistic mathematics and for empirical science.
This is an ambitious and contentious book which aims to reform not only theory of meaning, but our deductive practices across a broad range of discourses.
`A bold book, a book broad in scope, and certainly a good book ... covers an awful lot of ground ... thought provoking ... Anyone interested in the realist/anti-realist controversy, whichever side she takes, should read it, for it presents the most sophisticated defence of moderate anti-realism to date.'
Peter Milne, Mind, Vol.110, No.438, April 2001
`This is a new major and systematic monograph on the realism debate, written by a very skillful and sophisticated defender of anti-realism ... The book is very lucidly written, and the main arguments are well signposted, presented, and summarized. Moreover its author has put every effort into making it as independent as possible from his former book Anti-Realism and Logic ... it is a very advanced work.'
Tadeusz Szubka, Albert E. Gunn and Staff
`The book addresses a number of important issues in contemporary philosophy, and the reader has much to gain from a careful study of the development. Few stones are left unturned.'
Stewart Shapiro, Mathematical Reviews