Linked bibliography for the SEP article "Relativism" by Chris Swoyer
The literature on relativism is nearly endless, so the usual disclaimers about incomplete coverage apply more than usual. The following references will point the reader to important literature in various areas, some of which includes detailed bibliographies.
- Anderson, John R. (1990) The Adaptive Character of
Thought. London: Hove.
- Attempt by a major cognitive psychologist to explain various aspects of human cognition on the assumption that they are well adapted to the environment. (Scholar)
- Beattie, John (1964) Other Cultures: Aims, Methods, and Achievements in Social Anthropology. London: Cohen & West. (Scholar)
- Benedict, Ruth (1934) Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Scholar)
- Berger, Peter L. and Luckmann, Thomas (1966) The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. (Scholar)
- Berlin, Brent and Kay, Paul (1969) Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (Scholar)
- Berry, John W., Poortinga, Ype H. and Pandey Janak (1996) Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology: Volume 1, Theory and Method, 2nd/ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. (Scholar)
- Bloor, D. (1992) Knowledge and Social Imagery, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2nd/ed.
- A defense of the views of the Edinburgh School and the “strong programme” in the sociology of knowledge. The postscript responds to critics. (Scholar)
- Brown, Donald E. (1991) Human Universals. New York:
- Comprehensive discussion of human universals, including methodological issues and specific cases. Slightly dated, given the rapid advances in the field, but a good place to begin. (Scholar)
- Bruner, Jerome (1992) Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
- Work by a founder of cognitive science that attempts a synthesis of much of the work on cognition, on the one hand, and culture, on the other. (Scholar)
- Butterfield, Herbert (1931) The Whig Interpretation of History. London: G. Bell. (Scholar)
- Campbell, Donald T. (1964) “Distinguishing Differences of
Perception from Failures of Communication in Cross Cultural
Studies,” in F. C. S. Northrop and Helen Livingston, eds.,
Cultural Understanding. NY: Harper & Row.
- Good discussion of the role of something like a principle of charity in actual cross-cultural research. (Scholar)
- ––– (1974) “Evolutionary Epistemology,” in The Philosophy of Karl Popper. LaSalle, IL: Open Court, pp. 413-462. (Scholar)
- Carrithers, Michael and Lukes, Steven and Collins, Steven (1994) The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Papers by philosophers and social scientists on various concepts of the person and the self. (Scholar)
- Carnap, Rudolf (1949) “Truth and Confirmation,” in Herbert Feigl and Wilfrid Sellars, eds., Readings in Philosophical Analysis. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts; 119-127. (Scholar)
- ––– (1950) “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology,” Revue internationale de philosophie 4: 20-40.
- Develops a distinction between internal and external (framework) questions. (Scholar)
- Cassirer, Ernst (1923/1955) Philosophie der symbolischen
Formen, Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, vol 1. trans. R. Manheim, The
Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 1: Language, New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press.
- Defense of alternative frameworks by a major Neo-Kantian. (Scholar)
- Chase, Valerie M., Hertwig, Ralph and Gigerenzer, Gerd (1998)
“Visions of Rationality,” Trends in Cognitive
Sciences, 2/6: 206-214.
[Available online in PDF]
- Development and defense of one approach to bounded rationality. (Scholar)
- Chiang, Wen-Chi and Wynn, Karen (2000) “Infants' Tracking of Objects and Collections,” Cognition, 77; 169-195. (Scholar)
- Chomsky, Noam (2000) New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Recent collection of papers on the philosophy of language and mind. (Scholar)
- Cole, Michael (1996) Cultural Psychology: A Once and Future
Discipline. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Wide-ranging account of cultural psychology by an important practitioner; discusses what cultural psychology should be, as well as what it has been. (Scholar)
- Collingwood, R. C. (1939) An Autobiography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
- ––– (1940) An Essay on Metaphysics. Oxford: Clarendon
- Collingwood's absolute presuppositions are similar in many ways to conceptual frameworks; he discusses these and the way they have differed through history. (Scholar)
- D'Andrade, Roy G. (1995) The Development of Cognitive
Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- A very readable account of the development of the field by one who played an active role. (Scholar)
- Davidson, Donald (1974) “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 5-20. Reprinted in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.
- Davidson's classic attack on the relativism and the attendant notion of a conceptual scheme; his volume contains additional papers on the radical interpretation and the principle of charity. References to reprinted version. (Scholar)
- Donald, Merlin (1991) Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Attempts to synthesize work in psychology, neurobiology and anthropology to provide a speculative, but informed and interesting, account of how the human mind evolved in tandem with the evolution of the brain and of culture. (Scholar)
- Durkheim, Émile (1912/1995) Les Formes elementaires de
la vie religieuse. Paris: Alcan. Trans. Karen E. Fields, The
Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. New York, NY: The Free
- Classic work by one of the founders of sociology; stresses the influence of religious practices on many aspects of thought. (Scholar)
- Earman, John and Fine, Arthur (1977) “Against Indeterminacy,” Journal of Philosophy, 74; 535--538. (Scholar)
- Feyerabend, Paul (1962) “Explanation, Reduction and Empiricism,” in Herbert Feigl and Grover Maxwell, Eds. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol III. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press; 28-97.
- Early defense of incommensurability. (Scholar)
- ––– (1993) Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge, 3rd/ed. London: Verso.
- Just what the subtitle says. Contains changes from, and additions to, original, 1975, edition (Scholar)
- Fodor, Jerry A. The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- ––– (1984) “Observation Reconsidered,” Philosophy
of Science. 51; 23-43.
- Argues that observation is less theory-laden than many philosophers have supposed. (Scholar)
- Foucault, Michel (1969/1972) L'archéologie du savoir, Paris: Gallimard. Trans. A. Sheridan, The Archaeology of Knowledge, New York: Pantheon, 1972.
- ––– (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977. NY: Pantheon Books. (Scholar)
- Friedman, Michael (1994) “Geometry, Convention, and the
Relativized A Priori: Reichenbach, Schlick, and Carnap” in
Logic, Language, and the Structure of Scientific Theories,
Eds. W. Salmon and G. Wolters, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh
- Excellent discussion of the relativized a priori, particularly in the philosophy of physical geometry, during the first third of the twentieth-century. (Scholar)
- Geertz, Clifford (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures. NY: Basic Books. (Classic discussion by a leading anthropologist of local knowledge, interpretation, and related themes. (Scholar)
- ––– (2000) Available Light. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Scholar)
- Gadamer, H.-G. (1960) Wahrheit und Methode, Tübingen:
J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck); trans of 2nd/ed, Truth and Method,
J. Weinsheimer and D.G. Marshall, 1989.
- Treatment of relativistic themes from a continental, hermeneutical perspective. (Scholar)
- Gombrich, Ernest H. (1960) Art and Illusion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Scholar)
- Goodman, Nelson (1984) Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press, First edition, 1954.
- The classic source for Goodman's discussion of projectibility and an early account of reflective equilibrium. (Scholar)
- ––– (1960/1972) “The Way the World Is,” in Problems and Projects. NY: Bobbs-Merrill; originally published in the Review of Metaphysics, 14, 1960.
- Succinct statement of Goodman's view that it makes no sense to talk about the structure of the world as it is in-itself, apart from our ways of describing it. (Scholar)
- ––– (1972) Problems and Projects. NY: Bobbs-Merrill. (Scholar)
- ––– (1978) Ways of Worldmaking, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
- Defends the view that worlds are “made” through the construction and use of symbol systems. (Scholar)
- Gould, Jay Gould and Lewontin, Richard (1979) “The Spandrels
of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the
Adaptationist Programme,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of
London B, 205; 581-598.
- Classical critique of adaptationism in evolutionary biology. (Scholar)
- Graham, A. C. (1989) Disputers of the Tao. La Salle, IL: Open Court. (Scholar)
- Gumperz, John Joseph and Levinson, Stephen C. (1996) Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
- Collection of recent papers on the linguistic relativity hypothesis. (Scholar)
- Haack, Susan (1996) “Reflections on Relativism: From Momentous Tautology to Seductive Contradiction,” Philosophical Perspectives, 10; 297-315. (Scholar)
- Hampshire, Stuart (1959) Thought and Action. NY: Viking Press. (Scholar)
- Hanson, Norwood Russell (1958) Patterns of Discovery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Sets out many of the themes of the “new philosophy of science”; the canonical account of the theory-ladenness of perception and its bearing on science. (Scholar)
- Hardin, C. L. and Maffi, Luisa (1997) Color Categories in Thought and Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Scholar)
- Harding, S. (1998) Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialism,
Feminism and Epistemology, Bloomington, IN: University Press.
- Defends feminist epistemology and science studies. (Scholar)
- Harman, Gilbert (1977) Explaining Morality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
- ––– (1986) Change in View: Principles of Reasoning. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press/Bradford Books. (Scholar)
- Heit, Evan (2000) “Properties of Inductive Reasoning,” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 7; 569-592.
- Review of recent empirical work on inductive inference. (Scholar)
- Hollis, Martin (1967) “The Limits of Irrationality,” Archives Européenes de Sociologie, 7; 265-271. (Scholar)
- Hutchins, Edwin (1980) Culture and Inference: A Trobriand Case Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Scholar)
- ––– (1996) Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge: MA: MIT Press. (Scholar)
- Kroeber, A. L., and Clyde. Kluckhohn (1952) “Culture: A
Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions,” Papers of the
Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University.
- Classic treatment of the concept of culture by two leading anthropologists of the day; still interesting, but bear its date in mind. (Scholar)
- James, William (1907) Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
- An explicit, though often overlooked, defense of the possibility of alternative conceptual frameworks. (Scholar)
- Laudan, Larry (1977) Progress and its Problems. Towards a Theory of Scientific Growth. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Defends a “problem-solving model of rationality” that aims to do justice to the fact that particular standards of rationality have evolved over time while still enabling us to make sensible judgments about the rationality of beliefs in other periods. (Scholar)
- Levinson, Stephen C. (1998) “Studying Spatial Conceptualization across Cultures,” in E. Danziger, ed. Language, Space, and Culture. Special issue of Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology, 26; 7-24. (Scholar)
- Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien (1922/1978) La mentalité primitive. Paris: Alcan. Trans. by L. Clare as Primitive Mentality. New York, NY: AMS Press. (Scholar)
- Lewis, C. I. (1923), “A Pragmatic Conception of the A Priori,” Journal of Philosophy, 20; 169-177. (Scholar)
- ––– (1929) Mind and the World Order. New York: Charles Scribners Sons. (Scholar)
- Kuhn, Thomas (1970a) “Reflections on My Critics,” in Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave, eds. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 231-278. (Scholar)
- ––– (1970b) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd/ed (1st/ed 1962). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- A true classic; it revolutionized the philosophy of science and placed the theory-ladenness of perception, incommensurability, and the idea that there is no theory-independent notion of truth on the agenda. The second edition contains an important postscript. (Scholar)
- ––– (2000) The Road Since Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- A collection of Kuhn's writings from 1970 to 1993 along with an autobiographical interview (Scholar)
- Lynch, Michael P. (1998) Truth in Context: An Essay on Pluralism and Objectivity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
- Defends the view that metaphysical pluralism is compatible with realism. (Scholar)
- Makinson, D. C. (1965) “The Paradox of the Preface,” Analysis, 25; 205-207.
- Possible example of a situation where it is rational to knowingly hold inconsistent beliefs. (Scholar)
- Mannheim, Karl (1929/1936) Ideologie und Utopie. Bonn: F. Choen. Trans. by L. Wirth & E. Shilds as Ideology and Utopia. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World.
- Major work, with strong relativistic themes, by pioneer in the sociology of knowledge. (Scholar)
- Malotki, Ekkehart (1983) Hopi Time: A Linguistic Analysis of
the Temporal Concepts in the Hopi Language. Berlin: Mouton.
- A highly critical account of Whorf's interpretation of the Hopi concept of time. (Scholar)
- Medawar, Peter (1996) The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
- Nagel, Thomas (1996) The Last Word. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- State-of-the art defense of objective standards for many sorts of reasoning. (Scholar)
- Nietzsche, Friedrich (1906/1967) Der Wille zur Macht,
trans. Walter Kaufmann as The Will to Power. NY: Viking, 1967.
- Posthumous compilation; contains some of Nietzsche's more relativistic views. Nietzsche's persepctivalism is naturally read as a fairly strong relativism. (Scholar)
- Nisbett, Richard E. and Peng, Kaiping and Choi, Incheol and Norenzayan, Ara (2001) “Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic vs. Analytic Cognition,” Psychological Review, 108; 291-310. (Scholar)
- Quine, W. V. O. (1960) Word and Object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Detailed presentation of Quine's thought experiment on radical translation. (Scholar)
- ––– (1969) Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. NY: Columbia University Press.
- Detailed account of Quine's views on the inscrutability of reference and ontological relativity. (Scholar)
- Palmer, Stephen E. (1999) Vision Science: Photons to
Phenomenology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Up-to-date and wide-ranging presentation of vision science. (Scholar)
- Piaget, Jean (1972) Judgment and Reasoning in the Child.
Totowa, N.J.: Littlefield, Adams & Company.
- Written earlier; although few would accept all of the account today, a seminal work on cognitive development in children. (Scholar)
- Pinker, Steven (2002) The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of
Human Nature. Viking Press.
- Defends a strong version of nativism and argues that it is not committed, as many earlier writers supposed, to various unattractive social and political consequences. (Scholar)
- Poincaré, Henri (1902/1952) La Science et
L'Hypothèse. Paris: Ernest Flammarion. Trans. Science
and Hypothesis. New York, NY: Dover, 1952.
- Pioneering work on the conventionality of geometry that influenced many who defended the possibility of alternative conceptual frameworks. (Scholar)
- Polanyi, Michael (1958) Personal Knowledge. London: Routledge.
- The classic discussion of tacit knowledge, practice, and the role of the inexplicit in all knowledge. (Scholar)
- Popper, Sir Karl (1970) “Normal Science and its Dangers,” in Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave, eds. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 51-58. (Scholar)
- Putnam, Hilary (1981) Reason, Truth and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Scholar)
- Rawls, John (1971) A Theory of Justice. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
- Highly influential discussion of reflective equilibrium. (Scholar)
- Reichenbach, Hans (1920) Relativitätstheorie und
Erkenntnis Apriori. Berlin: Springer. Trans. M. Reichenbach,
The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge, Berkeley, CA:
University of California Press, 1965.
- Defends a sort of Kantianism without the necessity; he later moved to a more conventionalist position. (Scholar)
- Rorty, Richard (1991) Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Scholar)
- Sapir, Edward (1929) “The Status of Linguistics as Science,” Language, 5; 207-214. (Scholar)
- Searle, John (1983) Intentionality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Discussion of the role of the “background” in meaning and thought). (Scholar)
- Segal, Marshall H., Campbell, Donald T. and Herskovits, Melville J.
(1966) The Influence of Culture on Visual Perception.
Indianapolis: IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
- Meticulous study of susceptibility to various illusions in a variety of cultures; dated, but the methodological discussion is relevant to present work. (Scholar)
- Shepard, Roger N. (1994) “Perceptual-Cognitive Universals as Reflections of the World,” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1; 2-28. (Scholar)
- Siegel, Harvey (1987) Relativism Refuted: A Critique of Contemporary Epistemological Relativism. Dordrecht: D. Reidel. (Scholar)
- Sokal, Alan (1996) “A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies,” Lingua Franca, May/June; 62-62. [Preprint available online] (Scholar)
- Sosa, Ernest (1980) “The Raft and the Pyramid,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 5; 3-26. (Scholar)
- Spelke, Elizabeth S. and Newport, E. (1998) “Nativism, Empiricism, and the Development of Knowledge,” R. Lerner, ed., Handbook of Child Psychology, 5th/ed., Vol. 1: Theoretical Models of Human Development. NY: Wiley. (Scholar)
- Sperber, Dan (2001) “Mental Modularity and Cultural Diversity,” in H Whitehouse, ed., The Debated Mind: Evolutionary Psychology versus Ethnography. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 23-56. (Scholar)
- Stephens, Christopher L. (2001) “When is it Selectively Advantageous to have True Beliefs? Sandwiching the Better Safe than Sorry Argument,” Philosophical Studies, 105; 161-189. (Scholar)
- Strawson, P. F. (1959) Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics. London: Methuen.
- Defends a “scaled-down Kantianism,” according to which there is a “massive central core” that is common to all human thinking. (Scholar)
- Stroud, Barry (1968) “Transcendental Arguments,” Journal of Philosophy, 65; 241-56. (Scholar)
- Swoyer, Chris (1982) “True For,” in Michael Krausz
& Jack W. Meiland, eds., Relativism: Cognitive and Moral.
Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
- Sets out the framework for formulating various relativistic thesis adopted in section one and examines the doctrine that truth is relative; more sympathetic to the view than the present entry is. (Scholar)
- ––– (2002) “Judgment and Decision Making: Extrapolations
and Applications,” in Rajeev Gowda and Jeffrey Fox (eds.),
Judgments, Decisions, and Public Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge
U. Press; 9-45.
- Explores recent psychological research on judgment and decision making and its bearing on normative models. (Scholar)
- Tambiah, S. J. (1990) Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope
of Rationality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- An anthropologist's examination of the notions. (Scholar)
- Toulmin, Stephen (1972) Human Understanding: The Collective Use and Evolution of Concepts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Scholar)
- Unger, R.M. (1986) The Critical Legal Studies Movement, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Weber, Max (1904/5/1958) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. T. Parsons. New York: Charles Scribners Sons. (Scholar)
- Whorf, Benjamin Lee (1956) Language. Thought and Reality. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.
- A collection of Whorf's papers, originally published from the late twenties to early forties, in which he develops a fairly extreme, but highly influential, version of the linguistic relativity hypothesis. Close to a relativistic manifesto. (Scholar)
- Williams, Bernard (1986) Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. (Scholar)
- Wilson, Bryan R., ed. (1970) Rationality. N.Y.: Harper and
- Contains a discussions by Winch, Gellner, Lukes, MacIntyre and others of the possibility of alternative conceptions of rationality; much of it inspired by claims of British social anthropologists like Evans-Pritchard; little on American cultural anthropologists like Boas and his students. (Scholar)
- Wilson, Neil L. (1959) “Substances without Substrata,” Review of Metaphysics, 12; 521-529.
- Winch, Peter (1964) “Understanding a Primitive Society,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 1; 307-324. Reprinted in Bryan R. Wilson, Rationality. N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1970. References are to the reprinted version. (Scholar)
- Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1953) Philosophische Untersuchungen, Ed. G. H. von Wright, R. Rees and G. E. M. Anscombe, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell (Scholar)
- ––– (1969) Über Gewissheit, Trans. On
Certainty. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Wittgenstein's discussion of “hinge propositions” and the nature of ultimate justification as resting on contingent and unjustified beliefs and practices has relativistic overtones. Based on work during the last eighteen months of his life. (Scholar)
- Xu, Fei and Carey, Susan (1996) “Infants' Metaphysics: The Case of Numerical Identity,” Cognitive Psychology, 30; 111-153. (Scholar)
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