There are two ways we might approach the question of truth: in the first place, by adopting an approach that is wholly objective; and in the second place, by adopting an approach that is partly subjective. So far as concerns the first, we are quite familiar with the physical sciences, that is, the question ‘from whence does something originate or in what does it consist?’ So far as concerns the second, the question becomes ‘how do we appraise something according to a certain set of standards, norms or rules?’ Aesthetics deals with the objects, in this case perceptual or audible, that we call beautiful or ugly; logic deals with the objects, in this case statements or arguments that we call true or false; and ethics deals with the objects, in this case the conduct of men, that we call good or bad. What distinguishes the normative from the descriptive also concerns the validity or propriety with which we judge that such and such is the case and not merely state that such and such is the case. An anthropologist is someone who may record the different morés and customs that exist in different societies, but it is not the job of an anthropologist to say whether they are good or bad, or which are better and which are worse: likewise for a botanist who classifies various plants, or a psychologist who classifies various mental states
An exploration of various themes common to the broad tradition of Western philosophy. What do we mean by a relation? Is a relation a transcendental object or something only operative in the world of concrete things? What is the difference between a universal and particular? Is there clarity in the way we represent an object or only clarity in the way a thing is composed? What is the difference between knowledge before the fact (apriori) and knowledge after the fact (aposteriori)? These are all questions that pertain to our understanding of who we are and the world in which we live. Broader issues such as the relation between space and time, art and nature, are also touched on, with particular emphasis on modern developments in physics and biology. The fixity of space and time is something that has come to be questioned, as is the fixity and origin of the human species. These are dealt with in a way that is conformable to modern thinking yet which remains sensitive to broader historical concerns.