In the tenth book of his “Confessions”, the autobiographical masterpiece of the bishop of Hippo Regius, Augustine wonders (perhaps belatedly) if it is worthwhile to confess to the Omniscient. Fortunately for him and for us, he concludes that it is indeed worth the effort. To make sense of a potentially useless enterprise, he proposes ideas that have a lot to teach us in this age of post-truth. Truth is something that is performed, in public and in front of many witnesses, and requires a personal commitment. It is something profoundly human (for it does not occur in nature), historical, and politically relevant. Defining himself as a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant, the author reinterprets Augustine by placing him in a relationship with the philosopher Peter Frederick Strawson, the statesman Winston Churchill, Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason”, Réage’s “Histoire d’O”, the philosopher Gilbert Simondon and the novelist Georges Simenon. The author thus develops a new theory of truth. The Augustinian text included at the end of the book adds to the readers’ pleasure.
Maurizio Ferraris teaches Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin, where he heads the Centre of Theoretical and Applied Ontology.