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In Search of Truth

Nature volume 158, page 604 (02 November 1946) | Download Citation



DR. ULBEL J. JONES'S volume rightly appears series of “Discussion Books”. He never lay ioVn the law, but offers an abundance-perhaps a superabundance-of material designed to set the reader thinking. His aim has been to give an account of the way in which men of science, historians, philosophers, artists, poets, moral and religious teachers and others have searched for truth and tried to express it. He admits that some readers may find the treatment too brief, but hopes they may find the book of interest as a conspectus of the whole subject. Indeed the reviewer, after an attentive perusal, has come to regard the book as a handy directory, written by a person of wide sympathies and en cyclopaedic reading, and he proposes to give it a place among his reference books. Here he can only offer a few comments. The chapter on “The Liars in their Lairs” is both diverting and incisive. The author quotes to good effect the philosopher who said, “if you ask me what time is I cannot tell you, but I know what it is if you do not ask me”. It will be news to many that Mussolini founded his morality on the pragmatism of William James. The sections on our habits of labelling and on “the bondage of consistency” are much to the point. The one chapter which the reviewer finds inadequate is that on historical truth, where no account is taken of the positions held by G. M. Trevelyan, J. B. Bury, J. Buchan, and others.

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