The evidence for relativism

Synthese 166 (2):375-395 (2009)
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to examine the kind of evidence that might be adduced in support of relativist semantics of a kind that have recently been proposed for predicates of personal taste, for epistemic modals, for knowledge attributions and for other cases. I shall concentrate on the case of taste predicates, but what I have to say is easily transposed to the other cases just mentioned. I shall begin by considering in general the question of what kind of evidence can be offered in favour of some semantic theory or framework of semantic theorizing. In other words, I shall begin with the difficult question of the empirical significance of semantic theorizing. In Sect. 2, I outline a relativist semantic theory, and in Sect. 3, I review four types of evidence that might be offered in favour of a relativistic framework. I show that the evidence is not conclusive because a sophisticated form of contextualism can stand up to the evidence. However, the evidence can be taken to support the view that either relativism or the sophisticated form of contextualism is correct.
Keywords Relativism  Contextualism  Indexicality  Context of use  Circumstance of evaluation  Taste predicates  Knowledge attributions  Epistemic modals  Future contingents  David Lewis  David Kaplan
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 19,591
External links
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

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Max Kölbel (2015). Relativism 2: Semantic Content. Philosophy Compass 10 (1):52–67.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

204 ( #12,267 of 1,789,721 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

30 ( #26,994 of 1,789,721 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.