Let’s start with a deceptively simple question: is truth the aim of our inquiries? If the search for truth is an impossible one then what is the purpose of our endeavours? Some have suggested that truth does not exist, that it cannot be more than relative or subjective. In these arguments there is often an untimely slippage between the idea that truth is unstable, absolutely not absolute, and the view that truth is therefore not something to be sought, not something worth bothering about. This poses particular kinds of problems, as Bernard Williams has so elegantly maintained, because, as academics, we must surely have some kind of commitment to truthfulness, to describing things as they are, to telling the story as it is (Williams 2002: 11). Yet, this commitment is a complex one for two reasons.
First, we cannot simply be committed to describing things as they are. Descriptions are always partial; they are carved out of complex realities and can never be complete or finished. Accounts of other cultures, of past times, of others’ motivations, are always interested accounts, oriented toward some purpose. Facts are not facts until they are formed into narratives, framed within models, and become subject to interpretations. There is, therefore, no world that can be simply described independent of our engagement with it. Logically, there can be no objective truth about individuals and societies. However, if truth is impossible then what is the purpose of our concern with truthfulness?
Moore, H. (2005). The Truths of Anthropology. Cambridge Anthropology, 25(1), 52-58.
Using GDP alone to determine prosperity is inadequate and misleading, leading policy makers to draw faulty conclusions about levels of prosperity and appropriate interventions. But this new index is based on the theory that by sharing knowledge and trying radical new approaches, more innovative policy options that are targeted to specific local communities and effective at improving quality of life will open up...Read More
Recent research shows that Lebanon could witness an increase of 1.2 to 3.2 degrees in temperatures in areas that are already very arid and suffer from water shortage. An increase in temperature and a decrease in precipitation will have particular impact on the electricity sector - a higher cooling demand in summer and increased consumption for electricity. Rising sea levels and water scarcity in Lebanon could lead to internal climate migration and mass displacement from rural to coastal regions affecting agricultural output, jobs and livelihoods. The economic situation in the cities that are already prone to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment could become worse.Read More