Circularity and Inconsistency in Kuhn's Defense of Relativism

Southern Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):467-480 (1987)
Abstract
For more than a century, it has been a standard ploy to argue against relativism on the grounds of self-referential incoherence (e.g., “if the relativists say that beliefs have no objective validity then that belief itself has none,” etc.). This paper determines the particular form this sort of charge takes when applied to a problematic passage in which Kuhn defends his relativistic theory of science by applying that theory to the debate between his critics and hirnself. If Kuhn were to give up relativism with respect to facts and truth but retain it with respect to the strength of reasons, a pair of dilemmas charging circularity andinconsistency could be circumvented
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