David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Issues 14 (1):271–295 (2004)
Epistemic relativism rejects the idea that claims can be assessed from a universally applicable, objective standpoint. It is greatly disdained because it suggests that the real ‘basis’ for our views is something fleeting, such as ‘‘the techniques of mass persuasion’’ (Thomas Kuhn 1970) or the determination of intellectuals to achieve ‘‘solidarity’’ (Rorty 1984) or ‘‘keep the conversation going’’ (Rorty 1979). But epistemic relativism, like skepticism, is far easier to despise than to convincingly refute, for two main reasons. First, its definition is unclear, so we cannot always tell where relativism leaves off and other views, such as skepticism or subjectivism, begin. Consequently, it can be difficult to tell when a criticism has done enough. Second, the grounds for relativism are unclear, which can make it hard to know how to attack it or whether we have dismantled all of the ways of supporting it.
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Citations of this work BETA
Roger White (2007). Epistemic Subjectivism. Episteme 4 (1):115-129.
Steven Bland (forthcoming). Incommensurability, Relativism, and The Epistemic Authority Of Science. Episteme:1-11.
Steven Bland (2013). Scepticism, Relativism, and the Structure of Epistemic Frameworks. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):539-544.
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