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Our Pursuit of Truth

(Librarian Selected)

by Blackburn, Simon

9780195168242Simon BlackburnTruth: A GuideThe author of the highly popular book Think, which Time magazine hailed as "the one book every smart person should read to understand, and even enjoy, the key questions of philosophy," Simon Blackburn is that rara avis--an eminent thinker who is able to explain philosophy to the generalreader. Now Blackburn offers a tour de force exploration of what he calls "the most exciting and engaging issue in the whole of philosophy"--the age-old war over truth. The front lines of this war are well defined. On one side are those who believe in plain, unvarnished facts, rock-solid truths that can be found through reason and objectivity--that science leads to truth, for instance. Their opponents mock this idea. They see the dark forces of language,culture, power, gender, class, ideology and desire--all subverting our perceptions of the world, and clouding our judgement with false notions of absolute truth. Beginning with an early skirmish in the war--when Socrates confronted the sophists in ancient Athens--Blackburn offers a penetrating lookat the longstanding battle these two groups have waged, examining the philosophical battles fought by Plato, Protagoras, William James, David Hume, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and many others, with a particularly fascinating look at Nietzsche. Among thequestions Blackburn considers are: is science mere opinion, can historians understand another historical period, and indeed can one culture ever truly understand another. Blackburn concludes that both sides have merit, and that neither has exclusive ownership of truth. What is important is that, whichever side we embrace, we should know where we stand and what is to be said for our opponents. - Description from Syndetics

The Truth About Trust
by DeSteno, David

9781594631238David DeStenoThe Truth about Trust: How It Determines Success in Life, Love, Learning, and MoreCan I trust you? Although it's an important question to answer, we usually fail to recognize just how often in confronts us. Most of us go through our days with little inkling that almost every interaction we face comes with this question attached. Of course we'd like to be able to predict whether we can count on others (or even ourselves), but few of us realize how deeply issues of trust pervade our lives or how powerfully they predict whether we'll flourish or fail. In The Truth About Trust renowned psychologist David DeSteno not only unveils new insights that help us gauge whether someone is trustworthy, he also brings together the latest research from fields as diverse as psychology, economics, biology, an robotics to create a compelling narrative that reveals some of the surprising ways trust matters. He shows us how trust influences us at every level and at every stage of life. Children, for example, learn and retain knowledge far better when their teacher is someone they trust as opposed to someone they like. If we don't quite trust the one percent, there is a good reason- power, even of a temporary sort, alters calculations for fairness. Trust also influences the long-and short-term considerations that tighten or loosen our romantic bonds. It even affects our ability to care for our own health and well-being (ever wonder why it's sometimes difficult to trust yourself to keep to your diet?). And as we move to an ever more wired world, capacities to use and abuse trust on the Internet to influence our behavior are becoming more sophisticated. To help address these challenges, DeSteno also takes the lid off new research conducted in his own lab that provides the first scientifically verified cues to help us 'read' the trustworthiness of others. Appealing to readers of Dan Ariely, Daniel Gilbert, and David Eagleman, The Truth About Trust offers a new paradigm that will change not only how you think about trust, but also how you understand, communicate, and make decisions in every area of your life. Advance praise for The Truth About Trust 'Smart, fun, and informative, The Truth About Trust describes the most frightening, most wonderful, and most human thing we do- putting our fates in someone else's hands. This one's worth reading. Trust me.' Daniel Gilbert, PhD, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness 'Trusting others puts us at risk. Yet failure to trust entails risk as well. The ability to navigate through this minefield successfully is one of life's most valuable assets. DeSteno provides by far the best account of what science has learned about how we do this. The Truth About Trust is also a terrific read.' Robert H. Frank, PhD, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management at Cornell University and bestselling author of The Economic Naturalist and The Darwin Economy 'The Truth About Trust tackles some of the most important and challenging issues in life. Psychologist David DeSteno takes a fresh look at fundamental questions, from gauging the trustworthiness of others to whether you can trust yourself.' Adam Grant, PhD, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Give and Take - Description from Syndetics

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth
by Druker, Steven M; Goodall, Jane

9780985616908Steven M. DrukerAltered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the PublicThis book uncovers the biggest scientific fraud of our age. It tells the fascinating and frequently astounding story of how the massive enterprise to restructure the genetic core of the world's food supply came into being, how it advanced by consistently violating the protocols of science, and how for more than three decades, hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth in order to conceal the unique risks of its products-and get them onto our dinner plates. Altered Genes, Twisted Truth provides a graphic account of how this elaborate fraud was crafted and how it not only deceived the general public, but Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and a host of other astute and influential individuals as well. The book also exposes how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was induced to become a key accomplice--and how it has broken the law and repeatedly lied in order to usher genetically engineered foods onto the market without the safety testing that's required by federal statute. As a result, for fifteen years America's families have been regularly ingesting a group of novel products that the FDA's own scientific staff had previously determined to be unduly hazardous to human health. By the time this gripping story comes to a close, it will be clear that the degradation of science it documents has not only been unsavory but unprecedented--and that in no other instance have so many scientists so seriously subverted the standards they were trained to uphold, misled so many people, and imposed such magnitude of risk on both human health and the health of the environment. - Description from Syndetics

The Truth About Food
by Fullerton-Smith, Jill

9781596912670Jill Fullerton-Smith; Mehmet C. Oz (Introduction by)The Truth about Food: What You Eat Can Change Your Life"Pythagoras's influence on the ideas, and therefore on the destiny, of the human race was probably greater than that of any single man before or after him," wrote Arthur Koestler. Though most people know of him only for the famous Pythagorean Theorem (a2 +b2=c2), in fact the pillars of our scientific tradition-belief that the universe is rational, that there is unity to all things, and that numbers and mathematics are a powerful guide to truth about nature and the cosmos-hark back to the convictions of this legendary sixth-century B.C. scholar. Born around 570 B.C. on the cultured Aegean island of Samos, Pythagoras (according to ancient tales) studied with the sage Thales nearby at Miletus, and with priests and scribes in Egypt and Babylon. Eventually he founded his own school at Croton in southern Italy, where he and his followers began to unravel the surprising deep truths concealed behind such ordinary tasks as tuning a lyre. While considering why some string lengths produced beautiful sounds and others discordant ones, they uncovered the ratios of musical harmony, and recognized that hidden behind the confusion and complexity of nature are patterns and orderly relationships. They had surprised the Creator at his drafting board and had glimpsed the mind of God! Some of them later would also find something darker in numbers and nature: irrationality, a revelation so unsettling and subversive that it may have contributed to the destruction of their brotherhood. Kitty Ferguson brilliantly evokes the archaic world of Pythagoras, showing how ideas spread in antiquity, chronicling the influence he and his followers have had on so many extraordinary people in the history of Western thought and science, and bringing a poignant human saga to readers who are daily reminded that harmony and chaos can and do coexist. - Description from Syndetics

The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights
by Khan, Irene; Petrasek, David

9780393337006Irene KhanThe Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human RightsIn our rapidly globalizing age with economic growth occurring in almost every corner of the world, it is easy to forget that more than one billion people still live on less than one dollar a day. Poverty is the worst human-rights crisis in the world today, denying billions of people their most basic rights. In a bracing argument enriched by compelling photographs from across the world, Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan makes the case that poverty remains a global epidemic because we continue to define it as an economic problem whose only solution is foreign aid and investment. Khan calls for a reevaluation of this longstanding assumption and turns us toward confronting poverty as a human-rights violation. Empowering the poor with basic rights of security is our only chance for eradicating poverty and giving freedom and dignity to those who have never experienced it. - Description from Syndetics

The Porcupine of Truth
by Konigsberg, Bill

9780545648936Bill KonigsbergThe Porcupine of TruthAn epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend he can't have, and the grandfather he never knew. Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who's long held a secret regarding Carson's grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives. - Description from Syndetics

Closer to Truth
by Kuhn, Robert Lawrence

9780275993894Robert Lawrence KuhnCloser to Truth: Science, Meaning, and the FutureExplore the latest scientific research, philosophical thinking, and expressions of human creativity. Some of the world's most esteemed experts--Nobel laureates, best-selling authors, and renowned scholars--engage in spontaneous and intimate conversations that combine hard facts with an inspiring, and breathtaking, look into our future. Based on the public television program of the same name, Closer To Truth features distinguished specialists who forcefully debate provocative subjects that have broad ramifications for the population at large: Who gets to validate alternative medicine? How does basic science support national security? Can we believe in both religion and science? At the heart is the question: how will scientific advances and the philosophical issues they create affect the individual as well as humanity as a whole? Closer To Truth: Science, Meaning, and the Future explores the latest scientific research, philosophical thinking, and expressions of human creativity. Some of the world's most esteemed experts--Nobel laureates, best-selling authors, and renowned scholars--engage in spontaneous and intimate conversations that combine hard facts with an inspiring--and breathtaking--look into our future. Based on the public television program of the same name, Closer To Truth features distinguished specialists who forcefully debate provocative subjects that have broad ramifications for the population at large: Who gets to validate alternative medicine? How does basic science support national security? Can we believe in both religion and science? At the heart is the question: how will scientific advances and the philosophical issues they create affect the individual as well as humanity as a whole?Whether the subject is the meaning of human consciousness, the ethics of testing experimental drugs on sick people, scientific thinking versus religious beliefs, or how music may help mental development, Closer To Truth uncovers exciting new lines of inquiry and offers fresh perspectives. Participants include Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and David Baltimore; authors Michael Crichton, Octavia Butler, and David Brin; astrophysicists Alan Guth and Neil deGrasse Tyson; planetary scientist Bruce Murray; physicist Steven Koonin; quantum theorist Seth Lloyd; molecular biologist Lucy Shapiro; neuroscientists Nancy Andreasen, Terry Sejnowski, and Christof Koch; psychiatrist Leslie Brothers; Psychology Today 's Robert Epstein; musicologists Jeanne Bamberger and Robert Freeman; ethicist Alexander Capron; skeptic Michael Shermer; theologian Nancey Murphy; and Islamic scientist Muzaffar Iqbal. - Description from Syndetics

The Truth about Style
by London, Stacy

9780670026234Stacy LondonThe Truth about StyleWith her unique talent for seeing past disastrous wardrobes to the core emotional issues that can lead to sartorial crises, style savant Stacy London has transformed the looks and lives of hundreds of guests on TLC's hit TV show What Not to Wear . Now, for the first time in print, London not only shares the principles of how to dress well and why you should but also examines the reasons why so many women don't . In The Truth About Style , London moves beyond the often intimidating seasonal trends of fashion, which so often leave women heeling inadequate and judgmental about their own bodies, to the more valuable and enduring concept of style- a way to dress that enhances and celebrates who they really are. She opens the book by sharing her own history and struggle with self-esteem on the path to her discovery of the healing power of style and learning to find self-confidence. These hard-won truths from the core of The Truth About Style- a series of cast studies featuring nine real women, each of whom faces a particular issue that many women confront when shopping or opening their closet doors. Drawing upon her own experiences to assess the hurdles that have held them back, London lead them through detailed 'start overs,' in which she helps them select looks that not only flatter them physically but reflect and celebrate their personalities. If you have ever despaired of finding the right clothes or being able to love the body you have, The Truth About Style will be an inspiring, liberating, and often humorous guide to finding your truest self-expression. - Description from Syndetics

Merchants of Doubt
by Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M

9781596916104Erik M. Conway; Naomi OreskesMerchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global WarmingThe U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly - some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is 'not settled' denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. 'Doubt is our product,' wrote one tobacco executive. These 'experts' supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. - Description from Syndetics

Beauteous Truth: Faith, Reason, Literature and Culture
by Pearce, Joseph

9781587310676Joseph Pearce; Raymond BurkeBeauteous Truth: Faith, Reason, Literature and CultureFor those, like myself, who have enjoyed and greatly benefitted from reading the essays of Joseph Pearce, published in a variety of venues, especially as editorials in the Saint Austin Review, but who have not practically been able to save them in an effective way for future consultation and reflection, the present volume is indeed a great gift. For those who are not familiar with the essays of Joseph Pearce, the volume represents a treasure of the most solid Catholic thought on important aspects of culture, both historical and contemporary, especially as it expresses itself through literature. Joseph Pearce has a remarkable gift of writing about history, literature, and culture in general. His writing is objective and accessible, that is, it shows his steadfast attention to the truth and to language which manifests the same truth in its inherent beauty or natural attractiveness. The fifth essay in this collection, "History Revisited," for instance, is a sterling example of his gift for such writing. The essays of Joseph Pearce reveal his profound understanding of reason and faith, of classical realist philosophy and Catholic doctrine, which permits him to write about history, literature, and culture in general with an unfailing attention to the objective reality of God and of His earthly creation, that is, of man and of the world. Book jacket. - Description from Syndetics

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