David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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References found in this work BETA
Rom Harré (1996). Varieties of Relativism. Blackwell.
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Alvin Plantinga (1993). Warrant: The Current Debate. Oxford University Press.
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