David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (3):319 – 339 (2003)
This paper develops a version of the self-refutation argument against relativism in the teeth of the prevailing response by relativists: that this argument begs the question against them. It is maintained that although weaker varieties of relativism are not self-refuting, strong varieties are faced by this argument with a choice between making themselves absolute (one thing is absolutely true - relativism); or reflexive (relativism is 'true for' the relativist). These positions are in direct conflict. The commonest response, Reflexive Relativism, is shown to be vulnerable to an iterated version of the self-refutation argument. As a result, Reflexive Relativism possesses only the appearance of content, being either incoherent, or a regressively disguised version of Absolute Relativism. Concluding remarks on Absolute Relativism acknowledge this to be a bare, formal possibility, but claim that in fact it must represent one of a range of weaker varieties of relativism that alone remain tenable.
|Keywords||Relativism Transcendental Argument Reflexive Self-refutation|
|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
Rom Harré (1996). Varieties of Relativism. Blackwell.
Joseph Margolis (1991). The Truth About Relativism. B. Blackwell.
William Newton-Smith (1982). Relativism and the Possibility of Interpretation. In Martin Hollis & Steven Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism. Mit Press. 106--122.
Alvin Plantinga (1993). Warrant: The Current Debate. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2011). A Companion to Relativism. Wiley-Blackwell.
Aaron Z. Zimmerman (2007). Against Relativism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 133 (3):313-348.
Robert Lockie (2006). Response to Anders Tolland's 'Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism'. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (2):245 – 254.
Maria Baghramian (2004). Relativism. Routledge.
Achim Lohmar (2006). Why Content Relativism Does Not Imply Fact Relativism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):145-162.
Harold Zellner (1995). “Is Relativism Self-Defeating?”. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:287-295.
A. Long (2004). Refutation and Relativism in "Theaetetus" 161-171. Phronesis 49 (1):24 - 40.
Steven D. Hales (1997). A Consistent Relativism. Mind 106 (421):33-52.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads61 ( #30,744 of 1,679,382 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #182,933 of 1,679,382 )
How can I increase my downloads?