This work's central contention is that for discourses and thoughts not evaluable in terms of truth, notions like logic, rationality, and evidence nevertheless get traction. What are arguably the central normative aspects of inquiry needn't be—and ultimately are not—grounded in the relationship between that inquiry and the truth. The idea—less a specific position than an expression of a distinctive (but not unfamiliar, for readers with a grounding in speech-act theory) methodological orientation—is variously illustrated in chapters on slurs, paradox, moral discourse, relative truth, and taste. The book is a tour de force. However, those immersed in certain of the book's subject matters—this best describes my relationship to the material on moral discourse—are likely to feel Richard ignores some of their major explanatory concerns.

Chapter 1 argues against the idea that discourse and thought involving, for example, ethnic slurs are properly regarded as apt...

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