The case against epistemic relativism: Replies to Rosen and Neta

Episteme 4 (1):49-65 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Unlike the relativistic theses drawn from physics, normative relativisms involve relativization not to frames of reference but to something like our standards, standards that we have to be able to think of ourselves as endorsing or accepting. Th us, moral facts are to be relativized to moral standards and epistemic facts to epistemic standards. But a moral standard in this sense would appear to be just a general moral proposition and an epistemic standard just a general epistemic proposition. Pulling off either relativism, then, requires not just relativizing the facts in the domain in question to the relevant standards; it requires taking a non-absolutist view of the standards themselves. Otherwise a commitment to absolute truths in the domain in question will show up in one’s attitude towards the standards themselves. But it is very hard to see how to take a genuinely non-absolutist attitude towards the standards themselves. That, in essence, is the difficulty for a relativistic view of a normative domain that I tried to develop in Chapter 6 of Fear of Knowledge. In their commentaries, Gideon Rosen and Ram Neta come up with ingenious ways of attempting to circumvent that difficulty. In my reply, I try to explain why I don’t believe they succeed

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,400

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Metaepistemology and divine revelation.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (1):85-90.
In defense of epistemic relativism.Ram Neta - 2007 - Episteme 4 (1):30-48.
Knowledge Attributions and Relevant Epistemic Standards.Dan Zeman - 2010 - In Recanati François, Stojanovic Isidora & Villanueva Neftali (eds.), Context Dependence, Perspective and Relativity. Mouton de Gruyter.
Epistemic Relativism and Reasonable Disagreement.Alvin I. Goldman - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 187-215.
Moral and epistemic open-question arguments.Chris Heathwood - 2009 - Philosophical Books 50 (2):83-98.
Trust, authority and epistemic responsibility.Gloria Origgi - 2008 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 23 (1):35-44.
What is Relativism?Paul Boghossian - 2006 - In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Truth and Relativism. Clarendon Press. pp. 13--37.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
279 (#43,617)

6 months
2 (#300,644)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paul Boghossian
New York University

Citations of this work

Fear of relativism? [REVIEW]Crispin Wright - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):379 - 390.
Naturalistic Epistemology and Reliabilism.Alvin I. Goldman - 1994 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):301-320.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references