H.U.O: To what extent is it a fictitious institution?
W.T: Basically, the purpose of the project is to challenge these grand assertions of truth: a truth study center would therefore have the task of uncovering the truth. Yet such an absolutist claim to truth is precisely what it shouldn’t have. But it’s a tricky issue—to claim there is no such truth as such, although there are indeed certain truths that I believe in. I regard this as the Achilles’ heel of the project.
H.U.O: A paradox?
W.T.: A paradox, yes. On the one hand, I want to encourage relativity. If we were all less dogmatic about world affairs, we’d have far fewer problems. On the other hand, there are things I accept as absolute truths…But we can’t let those who think it’s okay to be dogmatic monopolize the term “truth.” I think that the greatest problem of our time is people who claim to know the ultimate truth. Nobody seems to be humble enough to admit his own ignorance.
H.U.O: So facts exist, but at the same time we should be skeptical about absolute truths?…or absolutist truths?
W.T.: Yes, but the question is, where do you draw the line?…the border between facts and absolute truths. In a way, it’s impossible to make a clear distinction, because I think this indecisiveness, this dilemma, is part of the equation. This potential pitfall—the inability to eat your cake and have it too—is also part of the project. At the end of the day, I’m just as entangled in these problems, in this messiness, as anyone else. I find the term “entanglement” describes best what living in our time feels like.