In his book Truth and Truthfulness (2002), Bernard Williams identifies the ‘commitment to truthfulness’ as a central tendency in current social thought that can be traced back to the Enlightenment and now stretches from philosophy and the humanities to ‘historical understanding, the social sciences and even to the interpretations of discoveries and research in the natural sciences’ (2002: 1). He describes this tendency as ‘an eagerness to see through appearances to the real structures and motives that lie behind them’ (ibid.). However, he sees this ‘commitment to truthfulness’ as increasingly paralleled by a no less pervasive ‘scepticism about truth itself ’, ‘whether there is such a thing [as truth] ... whether it can be more than relative or subjective or something of that kind’ (ibid.). His argument is that the latter inexorably corrodes the former.