In Truth and the Past, Dummett clarifies his current positions on the metaphysical issue of realism and the philosophy of language. He is best known as a proponent of antirealism, which loosely characterizes truth as what we are capable of knowing. The events of the past and statements about them are critical tests of an antirealist position. These essays continue and significantly contribute to Dummett's work.
Exploring the confused and often highly unjust thinking about immigration, Dummett then carefully questions the principles and justifications governing state policies, pointing out that they often conflict with the rights of refugees as laid down by the Geneva Convention. With compelling and often moving examples, On Immigration and Refugees points a new way forward for humane thinking and practice about a problem we cannot afford to ignore.
Of course, philosophy's unified purpose hasn't kept the discipline from splintering into warring camps. Departments all over the world are divided among analytical and continental schools, Heidegger, Hegel, and other major thinkers, challenging the growth of the discipline and obscuring its relevance and intent. Having spent decades teaching in American, Asian, African, and European universities, Michael Dummett has felt firsthand the fractured state of contemporary practice and the urgent need for reconciliation. Setting forth a proposal for renewal and reengagement, Dummett begins with the nature of philosophical inquiry as it has developed for centuries, especially its exceptional openness and perspective-which has, ironically, led to our present crisis. He discusses philosophy in relation to science, religion, morality, language, and meaning and recommends avenues for healing around a renewed investigation of mind, language, and thought. Employing his trademark frankness and accessibility, Dummett asks philosophers to resolve theoretical difference and reclaim the vital work of their practice.