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“Philosophy and the Crisis of Truth”


28-30 June 2019


Previous year’s conferences: click here

For full details of the conference programme, click here

The fourteenth annual Prometheus Trust Conference -

Philosophy and the Crisis of Truth

"Truth – the foremost of all blessings." – Damascius

Does the modern age have a crisis of truth on its hands? Not that truth itself is endangered – truth, after all, is just what it is – but our confidence in truth, our ability to know it, and our ability to stand on a common ground of truth with each other, is now called into question.

Why is this? Is it possible that those who should have been especially concerned with upholding and cultivating our relation to truth – that is to say philosophers – have been party to its undermining? Perhaps we have been set upon a course which began as a justified questioning of old certainties, but which has ended in a stormy sea of relativism, subjectivism, conspiracy theories, political "alternative facts" and anti-realism.

How can we join together to tackle the serious problems which are facing us if we cannot even agree that we share a common reality? At the very moment when virtually the whole human race can now physically communicate with each other through new technology, we seem to be losing the one thread that binds us together: a shared commitment to truth. What does the future hold for us if we share a common space, but no common ground?

How are we to respond to this crisis within the philosophic community and beyond?

This is a call for papers on theme of "Philosophy and the Crisis of Truth": as usual the Prometheus Trust is hoping that contributors will be drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, academic and non-academic, specialist and non-specialist, artistic, scientific, political, religious and philosophic.

The conference will be opened with a keynote address by Dr Brendan O'Byrne and our Saturday evening Thomas Taylor lecture will be given by Professor John M Dillon.



Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to at the latest by Friday, 5 April 2019. Acceptance of these will be confirmed as quickly as possible.

Papers should be around 2500-3000 words or 20 minutes’ presentation (we usually allow a further 15-20 minutes for a question and answer session after each presentation).

Bookings for attendance should be received by us not later than Saturday, 27 April 2019Booking forms can be downloaded here:

WORD format: Conference 19 - Booking Form-WORD

PDF: Conference 19 - Booking Form-PDF


For further details phone 01594 726296 (or +44 1594 726296 from outside the UK) or write to 7 Pine Crest Way, Bream, Lydney, Glos, GL15 6HG, UK or email


The conference will be opened formally on the evening of Friday 28th, with a keynote address from Dr Brendan O’Byrne: The Fate of Truth and the Anti-realism of the Current Epoch

"In this address I describe the current anti-realist atmosphere that engulfs the western world and which threatens the health and longevity of our civilisation. This manifests most tangibly in the pervasive moral relativism that dominates the culture, which is in part due to the effects of classical liberal political theory under which the sovereign power supposedly disavows all concern with the good, confining itself solely to adjudicating disputes over rights. The deeper causes of this situation lie in the seventeenth century rejection of classical realism (Plato and Aristotle) in favour of an Empiricism and materialism founded on Nominalist assumptions. I argue that Nominalism is at the root of the crisis of truth which is our civilizational malaise, and nothing short of a normative return to realism can save the day."


On Saturday 29th the Thomas Taylor Lecture will be delivered by Professor John M Dillon: The Theory of Cosmic Truth in Plato: Does it have any Relevance to the World of Today? 

"This lecture examines first Plato’s  doctrine of Truth, or AlÍtheia, as a divinely-ordered structure of reality, the nature of which can be grasped by the human mind, as the result of a rigorous sequence of intellectual exercises. It is an entirely rational state of affairs which can in theory be realised politically, by a select few ‘philosopher-kings’. I want to raise the question as to whether any comparable state of affairs for the human race can be envisaged at the present day – bearing fully in mind the difficulties and dangers involved in pursuing such an ideal.”

Accomodation and travel

The conference will take place at Purley Chase Centre, Mancetter, near Atherstone in Warwickshire, which is comfortable and well appointed.  Residential prices are for full board for the weekend (from Friday supper to Sunday tea) and are £140 (single ensuite), £125 (twin ensuite) and £100 (dormitory); non-residential price to include all meals except breakfasts is £40. Participants are encouraged to attend for the whole weekend and there are no reductions for partial attendance.  There is limited ensuite accommodation available. If you are a student or on a low income and cannot afford these charges, please contact the Treasurer in confidence ( to apply for a bursary. 

Conference fee: This charge is £40 and is payable with your booking. It is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. There are no concessions for this charge and is applicable to all delegates. Accommodation fees are payable by end of May.

Booking forms are available from the Conference Secretary at the above address or phone number or by email:, - they can also be downloaded (see above). Completed forms with your deposit of £40 should be returned by SATURDAY, 27 APRIL at the very latest, and before if possible as places are limited.

Travel: By Car: The centre is just over 2 kilometres South of the A5 near Atherstone. It can be approached from all points of the compass via the motorway network, using M1, M6, M42 or M69 for instance. If travelling along the A5 from the East then just before Atherstone, take the B4111 towards Mancetter. If you are travelling along the A5 from the West, go past Atherstone on the dual carriageway and when you reach the large roundabout at the end, take the right exit towards Mancetter B4111. After about a quarter of a mile on B4111, just past The Plough pub and the church, take a right turn to Purley Chase Golf Club (brown road sign). Over the traffic light controlled bridge, follow the road round to the right and up through the trees, Purley Chase Centre is about a quarter of a mile further on, on the right.

By rail:The nearest main line railway station is at Nuneaton, about 10 kilometres away. Nuneaton is on the main line between London and Lancashire, and trains also serve Atherstone about 2 miles away. These towns are also served by various bus and coach services. A taxi from Atherstone railway station to the Centre costs roughly £12. Local Taxi companies are: AAA Taxis: 01827 713637 A.R.L Cars: 01942 888111 Atherstone Taxis: 01827 712427. If travelling from London to Atherstone, the taxi rank is a short distance from the station, next to the bus station.