Realism, relativism and pluralism: An impossible marriage?

Philosophy and Social Criticism 41 (4-5):413-422 (2015)
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In broad terms, realism, relativism and pluralism can be regarded as the theoretical articulations of the following insights. Realism embodies the sense that what is at stake in our beliefs is something serious, i.e. that there is a fact of the matter, independent from our desire, which is going to decide whether what we believe in is true or not. Relativism, on the other hand, incorporates the realization that our cognitive take on the world is always perspectival, that there is no way to overcome the blind spot which enables the knower to have a world in view at all. Pluralism, finally, draws on the intuition that every human being and every human community cannot fully understand, let alone save themselves, without the help of others’ sense-making efforts. Against the background of Charles Taylor’s philosophy, the core of truth of the above insights will be discussed and arranged to develop an active view of toleration that not only urges us to put up with others, but encourages us to rely on the benefit of coming to terms with different outlooks and ways of life



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Understanding and explanation in the geisteswissenschaften.Charles Taylor - 1981 - In Steven H. Holtzman & Christopher M. Leich (eds.), Wittgenstein: To Follow a Rule. Routledge.

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