Friday 15 October 2010

In Defence of Truth

In a comment on a recent post, Mo wrote: It is not possible to both hold the belief that there are objective truths "out there" and practice what Michael White advocated. 

This reminded me of the NLP trainers I come across, who proclaim The Map is Not the Territory (as though that is some new insight) and therefore there is no such thing as objective truth.

Both claims have made asses of those who proclaim them; because both use a truth-claim to try to refute the possibility of truth.

There's nothing new here, of course.  It was Pilate who said 'What is truth?' - a classic politician's way out of confronting the reality of the choice he faced.

If objective truth is not possible, then the types of conversation in which both the above claims were made are quite literally meaningless.  All we could talk about would be subjective feelings and opinions.

However, we know that is not the case; we just need to be careful of the claim to know what objective truth is.  But that it exists is self-evident to all but the most [perhaps I should leave you to fill in that blank]...


  1. I say let’s encourage debate and remain respectful of the opinions of others

    I find it very interesting to debate the notion of truth in the narrative context.

    perhaps it is possible that both and neither positions are true and untrue simultaneously?

  2. Sali

    Thanks for the comment. Agree that it's a fascinating debate- I've just posted on it again following a really interesting conversation over dinner with an academic who also couldn't see how I could adhere to the notion of objective truth and use narrative approaches...

    I love the elegance of your final paragraph as a structure, but struggle to imagine in what sense it might be possible...