David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind 106 (421):33-52 (1997)
Relativism is one of the most tenacious theories about truth, with a pedigree as old as philosophy itself. Nearly as ancient is the chief criticism of relativism, namely the charge that the theory is self-refuting. This paper develops a logic of relativism that (1) illuminates the classic self-refutation charge and shows how to escape it; (2) makes rigorous the ideas of truth as relative and truth as absolute, and shows the relations between them; (3) develops an intensional logic for relativism; (4) provides a framework in which relativists can consistently promote ethical, mathematical, scientific, religious, and political truths (among others) as being relative; (5) argues that the notion of incommensurability is far less troubling than is commonly thought; and (6) argues that the concept of a perspective as needed by the theory is not prey to Davidson's well-known critique of conceptual schemes. The paper will not defend relativism as the correct theory of truth, nor will it provide a fully satisfying theory about the nature of a perspective. The logic of relativism is primarily meant to provide a formal framework in which relativists can consistently develop their theories. This alone is a considerable step forward, since the debate about relativism often founders upon the rock of self-refutation. It is argued that while 'everything is relative' is inconsistent, 'everything true is relatively true' is not. The latter is all a relativist really needs.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon (2013). A New Maneuver Against the Epistemic Relativist. Synthese (8):1-13.
Max Kölbel (2004). Indexical Relativism Versus Genuine Relativism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3):297 – 313.
Jonathan M. Weinberg (2007). Moderate Epistemic Relativism and Our Epistemic Goals. Episteme 4 (1):66-92.
Lars Bergström (2006). Quine's Relativism. Theoria 72 (4):286-298.
Timothy J. Nulty (2009). Conceptual Schemes Revisited: Davidsonian Metaphysical Pluralism. [REVIEW] Metaphysica 10 (1):123-134.
Similar books and articles
Mohammad A. Shomali (2001). Ethical Relativism: An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality. Distributed by Saqi Books.
Maria Baghramian (2004). Relativism. Routledge.
Steven Hales (2004). Intuition, Revelation, and Relativism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3):271-295.
Steven D. Hales (1997). Reply to Shogenji on Relativism. Mind 106 (424):749-750.
Patrick Greenough (2011). Truth-Relativism, Norm-Relativism, and Assertion. In Brown J. & Cappelen H. (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press
Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2011). A Companion to Relativism. Wiley-Blackwell.
Harold Zellner (1995). “Is Relativism Self-Defeating?”. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:287-295.
Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward (1990). Moral Relativism and Deontic Logic. Synthese 85 (1):139 - 152.
Robert Lockie (2003). Relativism and Reflexivity. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (3):319 – 339.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads146 ( #12,100 of 1,724,742 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #55,947 of 1,724,742 )
How can I increase my downloads?