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Stephen Yablo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144955

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144955.001.0001

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The Truth and Something But the Truth

The Truth and Something But the Truth

(p.77) 5 The Truth and Something But the Truth

Stephen Yablo

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the question of why we should bother with partial truth now that we know, more or less, what partial truth is. Why make false statements with true bits in them, rather than asserting just the true bits? It suggests that there could be a Jamesian justification, or excuse, for speaking “the truth and something but the truth”—for what might be thought of as a kind of generalized hyperbole. The chapter then presents some possible examples, which may or may not turn out on closer consideration to work. They are meant to illustrate a kind of approach that is not on the standard menu of options.

Keywords:   partial truth, false statements, hyperbole, William James

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