It’s A Mystery!

…was the corny name of a fun little event put on by WETA, one of our local public radio and television stations. Professor Rebecca Boylan from Georgetown spoke about (primarily) British mysteries and the distinction between truth and justice, insider and outsider, etc.

It wasn’t as academic as I would have liked, but she did talk about three philosophical ‘truth theories’ and how various detectives use them to reach the ‘truth.’

First was the correspondence theory, which is building relationships or correspondences between facts to arrive at the truth. She mentioned Wallander of the detective show (and books) of the same name, though the classic Sherlock Holmes would have been a more obvious one, I think.

Secondly was the coherence model, which is less observational and more introspective; more about building a internally consistent model for the truth, for which the models were Luther (love Luther!) and Poirot.

Finally, was the pragmatic model, which was less about absolute ‘truth,’ than what worked.

Also, a neat and counter intuitive comparison of Luther and Morse, with Luther posited as the urban Morse and both being primarily representatives of the detective as outsider.

And they gave me this cool mug!

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